Thursday, September 25, 2014

Blood Red Road

A review in 10 words (or thereabouts):  Never get into the cage against the Angel of Death.

Author: Moira Young
Info: Margaret K. McElderry Books, copyright 2011, 459 pages

Saba lives in Silverlake, a wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms where her family scavenge from landfills left by the long-gone Wrecker civilization. After four cloaked horsemen kidnap her beloved twin brother Lugh, she teams up with daredevil Jack and the Free Hawks, a girl gang of Revolutionaries. 

Saba learns that she is a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. And she has the power to take down a corrupt society from the inside. Saba and her new friends stage a showdown that change the course of her civilization.

~Goodreads Description

What a suprise!  I have to admit that about ten  pages in I was ready to throw in the towel.  There are no quotations to mark dialogue, the dialect and slang is a bit overwhelming, and I truly disliked our heroine and lead protagonist.  It was not boding well for me actually finishing.  But then I relaxed into the language, opened my heart to Saba, and finally figured out when people were talking, and I realized that the story is just a lot of fun (even though it's a bit terrifying and depressing :).

So the world is dry and desolate.  Saba, her siblings, and father are living a solitary life on the family homestead called Silverlake when strangers come and destroy her world.  Her brother Lugh is kidnapped and her father is murdered.  Saba is determined to find her most beloved sibling and sets out on a journey that will test her courage, survival skills, and heart.

Saba is a flawed character.  She is surly, stubborn, and kind of just mean.  She's borderline abusive to her younger sister Emmi and refuses help that is willingly given.  But she grows as a character as the story develops, albeit not on her own.  Saba is shamed into change by her travelling companion Jack. Jack's a thief and rogue, but he's cute and compassionate.  Kind of a strange combination, but oh so likable.  The secondary characters seem a bit like stock personalities, but they create the appearance of a band of warriors ready to take on an evil empire.

The villain doesn't really receive a lot of love either.  Victor Pinch seems to have nine lives, but we don't really get to know much about him, where he came from, and what motivates him.  In fact, he's pretty much absent for 95% of the book.  All that being said, however, Saba's journey takes her into some pretty interesting territory, and her found family, the Free Hawks, will hopefully make an appearance in the rest of the series...which I hope to read.  But you know the drill : Emily + book series = a lot of want and little read.

If you're a fan of science fiction, dystopias, and cage fighting (yes, cage fighting)...with a dash of handsome love interest...check out Blood Red Road by Moira Young.

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