I finally got around to reading the much-hyped BLOOD RED ROAD by Moira Young, and here's why I'm recommending this debut novel to you!
Character: Saba's impulsive, stubborn, and quick-to-anger, but I still managed to connect with her. She'll do anything to save her kidnapped twin brother Lugh — but she wants to do it alone.
To me, the journey of BLOOD RED ROAD was less about finding Lugh and more about Saba's development as a person as she begrudgingly begins to care for people other than her twin. All the supporting characters serve as foils to Saba and push her toward this development in different ways.
Plot: Like I said, the character development interested me more than the action, but I may be alone in that thought. Make no mistake, BLOOD RED ROAD is primarily an adventure, and it's filled with page-turning action (cage fighting and enormous killer worms, anyone?).
(FYI: Despite the "change the course of her own civilization" talk in the description (below!), don't go into the book expecting a HUNGER-GAMES-esque revolution. Yes, there are crazy injustices in the world, but BLOOD RED ROAD is about saving Lugh, end of story.)
Worldbuilding: The world Young has built is fantastic. I love seeing post-apocalyptic United States in books, and this dusty, lawless version feels both rich and complete. I especially liked the hints of magic realism sprinkled in the world.
Dialogue: There's a distinct dialect and abrupt style in the book which might be off-putting to some people, but I listened to the audiobook and enjoyed the stellar narration.
Ending (Spoiler-free, promise!): BLOOD RED ROAD could very well be a standalone and has a complete ending (thank goodness!), but I'm curious to see what the next Dust Lands book brings Saba & Co.
Read or listen? Listen. The audiobook narrator did an excellent job with the dialect, so I'm voting audiobook on this one!
What did you think of BLOOD RED ROAD? Leave your thoughts (or a link to your review!) in the comments!
Description from Goodreads:
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
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.