Jan 12, 2013

[Review] Blood Red Road by Moira Young

Moira Young
Pages: 459
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Age Group: Young Adult
Date Published: June 7, 2011

Blood Red Road (Dust Lands, #1)
Saba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. The Wrecker civilization has long been destroyed, leaving only landfills for Saba and her family to scavenge from. That's fine by her, as long as her beloved twin brother Lugh is around. But when a monster sandstorm arrives, along with four cloaked horsemen, Saba's world is shattered. Lugh is captured, and Saba embarks on an epic quest to get him back.
Suddenly thrown into the lawless, ugly reality of the world outside of desolate Silverlake, Saba is lost without Lugh to guide her. So perhaps the most surprising thing of all is what Saba learns about herself: she's a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. And she has the power to take down a corrupt society from the inside. Teamed up with a handsome daredevil named Jack and a gang of girl revolutionaries called the Free Hawks, Saba stages a showdown that will change the course of her own civilization.
Blood Red Road has a searing pace, a poetically minimal writing style, violent action, and an epic love story. Moira Young is one of the most promising and startling new voices in teen fiction.

I've been in this awful reading slump lately. It started after I got back to school from Christmas break (AP classes drain my energy, man), and then I went on this whole "I hate romance streak" (long story). In short, I ended up picking Blood Red Road largely out of boredom a couple days ago and was hooked. The dialect is a little odd, but I had just read Huck Finn so my brain was still in the mood for the way Blood Red Road was written. 

I feel like the main moral to get out of this book is that everything can always be worse. Poor Saba went from having her brother kidnapped, to having to bring her 9 year old sister with to look for him, to cage fighting, to dealing with a pain-in-the-butt *gorgeous, amazing* jerkwad, to fighting to save her brother, to bartering for her sister, to dealing with whacked out gaurds, and then a cliffhanger. (This is literally the plot) It was so fresh and new. I loved the whole search for her brother plot. I'm so sick of just plain and simple "girl has special powers. hey. boy has special powers. LOVE." Saba is just a ridiculously crazy and stubborn girl who would not be able to handle life without her twin. She doesn't have any "special powers." Saba relies only on herself. And the book deals heavily with her beginning to find who she is and what she really wants from life. There's a cute bad boy too. But, you know. That's just a nice bonus. :)

It took me a while to figure out that we were actually dealing with the future. It's never explicitly stated, but they mention "wrecker times" and her house was made out of tires, and "flying machines." It took me a while, but it looks like Ms. Young is giving us a future in which society degenerates and people lose education and proper speech. It was so brilliant, I wasn't quite sure what to do with it. The way the world works in this post-apocalyptic, incredibly sandy world is insane. And realistic. I really loved this aspect of the book, and it was such a subtle thing.

I loved Saba. She was kind of a [bleep] but I feel like that was part of her charm. She's rude and callous and speaks her mind more often than not. She argues with anyone and everyone and she'll kill you in a heartbeat if she thinks you'll hurt her or her family. I don't think she was like this in the very beginning of the book, but she certainly hardened into this girl quickly. She pushes everyone away, because all she wants to care about is finding her brother. She's afraid of getting distracted by friends or Jack or her little sister Emmi. 

Speaking of Emmi, I loved the way the relationship between her and Saba changed throughout the book. Saba hated and resented Emmi in the beginning (for reasons you'll find out when you read it), and generally didn't know what to do with her without Lugh. Emmi is a stubborn, wild, little girl, and is seriously like a mini- Saba. I think that might be why they butt heads so bad in the middle of the book. I really just loved their development as characters and as sisters as the book carried on.

Now it's Jack time. I feel like the only words that can truly describe him are: slkdflsjkdfjkdhksdjfhkjsdh. He's just so dang perfect. This guy is literally the epitome of bad boys. He's scarier than Jace, but just as kind on the inside. I can't figure out yet if he has any weaknesses. He's gorgeous and funny and kind and brave and crazy and did I mention gorgeous? He's amazing. AMAZING. I'm scared something's gonna go screwy with him in the next book, but for the moment he's just perfect. I loved the way they met, and the first things they said to each other. (oh you wanna know what those were? too bad. read the book.) I likey Jack.

There were minor characters other than Emmi, who were very awesome, but I'm not gonna go into detail about them for fear of giving things away. I just loved them, though. Ike and Tommo are definitely my favorites.

So, yeah. This book is full of awesome and you should go read it now.



  1. This sounds like a good read and I'm really curious about the whole Emmi and Saba relationship! Thanks for sharing and awesome review! :D

    Sarika @ The Readdicts

  2. Haha, I loved this one too! I loved the world-building and Moira Young's use of language. Saba was so amazingly focused; I did find Emmi really annoying, though. Jack was wonderful, but I also really want to see more of DeMalo! Fab review, Megan. :)


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