Friday, August 19, 2011

Blood Red Road by Moira Young

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.

Title: Blood Red Road {Dustlands, book 1}
Author: Moira Young
Publication: 07th June 2011
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
459 pages

This book is the first of a series. I read the French translation.

My review

I really wanted to read Blood Red Road as soon as I saw its cover and read the summary. I must say that I am not disappointed at all. It was a really fascinating, captivating and compelling read. This book offers the reader a very elaborate and original atmosphere, which I particularly appreciated. In addition, the characters are endearing and the plot is fast-paced, everyone will be able to find one or several aspects appealing for him.

I would be lying if I said that I immediately dived into the story and action. Indeed, Saba is an illiterate heroine and she tells her story and her life as it comes, that is to say, with a vocabulary and a way of speaking of her own. She has a rather unique voice, so I needed a little time to adapt and fully appreciate it. In the beginning I was a bit afraid because I struggled a lot and I had great difficulties with the writing. Finally, I got used to it and after a few pages I couldn't put it down. I was compelled, I read it quickly and I finished this book completely under its spell. I'm now really looking forward to reading the sequel and to learning more.

Saba is an endearing character, though she is sometimes a little too hard with the others. Indeed, the young girl is very brave and determined, but she sometimes seems a bit insensitive and very unfeeling. She was wounded by life though she has built a shell and she sometimes seems hard-hearted, except when it comes to her twin brother. Fortunately, along the pages, she slowly opens herself. If I did not always agree with some of her reactions, particularly the ones toward the other characters, it was easy for me to relate to her. It's easy to empathize with her, I enjoyed following her adventures and seeing her evolve along the pages.

The other characters are also enthralling, namely Saba's little sister, the warriors or Jack, who is very brave to endure all that. Moira Young manages to make them all alive, credible, believable and interesting. Each character is important and necessary to the plot. As a result, some events are totally touching and moving for the reader.

Feelings are really well-written and well-described. This injust world is sometimes revolting, cruel and we want to take the characters under our wing to protect them. In addition, Moira Young also makes her reader think about the limits of human beings, especially through the battles which reminded me of the era of gladiators, Moira Young also deals with great accuracy with fraternal relations.

Blood Red Road is a dystopian novel and also a post-apocalyptic book, it's halfway between the two genres, at the border, neither fully dystopian nor completely post-apocalyptic. The plot is fast-paced and is very addictive. Once I dived into the story I could not put it down and I practically read it in one sitting. One of the strengths of the plot is the atmosphere that is really well-done and exciting.

To sum up, this first instalment totally captivated me. It was an intense and really exciting read. I loved it. It sets the series up in a really promising way and I can not wait to discover the rest of Saba's adventures. The characters are engaging, the plot is compelling and fast-paced and the atmosphere is very pleasant. If you are looking for a post-apocalyptic dystopia and something different then you should definitively check out this one.

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