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.
Admittedly Blood Red Road sat on my shelf for quite awhile. I started reading it last year and got about a chapter in when I decided to set it aside. I’m very much a mood reader and this one I believe requires the right mood. Whenever I try to force through reading a book that doesn’t catch me right away, then what might normally take me a few days could take 2 months. When I picked it back up I devoured it in 2 days.
The entire book is written/read in some sort of clipped English vernacular. There is no punctuation for you to note when the actual speech of a character begins and ends. You simply have to pay attention to the cues of so-and-so says, I said, he says, etc. The jumps to the next line are very frequent but they help you keep track of when the person who is talking changes. Once you get comfortable with this and the speech patterns the book flows smoothly and quickly. If you can’t get past this you might end up really annoyed.
Saba, the heroine is 18, and I really considered this her story of how she finds herself by trying to find her brother. It appears to be set in post-apocalyptic America by all of the descriptions throughout the book of “wrecker” technology. I enjoyed the references in the book to these things and the fact that they didn’t go into any background as to how the world got to the state it is in.
I didn’t particularly find this to be a fast paced action adventure, I thought it had a steady progression that kept you turning the pages without feeling the need to tear through them.
Saba, set out with her younger sister Emmi, whom she has hated her whole life, in search of her brother Lugh. The character profile you get of Saba at the beginning is great. You can see she’s strong willed to the point of stubborn, that she has a definite mean streak (especially where Emmi is concerned), though still a softie, she’s got the grit of a survivor who thinks on her feet. I love the way her character flaws annoyed me, rather than other books I’ve read where they’ve made me want to punch the character in the face.
What I loved about this is that there is absolutely no love interest until the second half of the book. I often find that YA books focus so heavily on romance that the story takes a backseat to it – which drives me up the wall. I prefer that romance support a story – not BE the story. This one gave me that perfect balance I like.
You also see a wonderful portrayal of personal growth for Saba through the course of the book. She self evaluates and learns from her past and mistakes. I hate it when characters beat their head up against the same wall over and over, doing the same stupid thing each time. Saba does some of that to an extent but only where it concerns her mission to find her brother and the fact that she feels she has to do it alone. She isn’t used to interacting with other people and it shows.
The setup for additional books is very obvious, and I’m looking forward to reading more by Moira Young, but I felt that even if there weren’t further books slotted to come out a reader could still walk away content with how this book ends. Oh and I was tickled pink to learn that this is supposedly going to be made into a movie in 2014.
Oh yeah – anybody that’s read it already – got any thoughts on what chaal is?
* Personally purchased copy. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.