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Blood Red Road by Moira Young

Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia

Publishing Info: Marion Lloyd Books; 1 edition (4 Jan 2012)

Pages: 417

Star Rating: 4.5/5

Back Cover Summary:

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.

I’m going to start off by saying this is one of the best young adult dystopias I have read (so far). Young’s writing style is fresh and enjoyable to read and really makes Saba’s voice very strong. The plot itself is full of action and twists and turns – it’s one of those books that just keeps you turning the pages.

The book is written in first person from Saba’s perspective with colloquial language, which makes Saba’s character even more real. There are no speech marks which initially is a little confusing as to who is speaking but it was something I got used to quite quickly. It is fairly easy to understand who is speaking once you have adjusted, as the way the characters speak is very individual to them.

Saba was a great heroine who had a very clear personality. And she wasn’t perfect. She can be quick tempered and cruel to her younger sister. But we can understand why and so we don’t hate her for it, because she also has very redeeming qualities. One of the strengths of the novel is character development – Saba clearly changed as a character due to her experiences (something many young adult novels seem to be lacking lately). The other characters were also strong although Saba definitely dominated.

The post-apocalyptic setting was well thought out. I got a real sense of how small the world felt to Saba since she hadn’t set foot outside of her home, Silverlake, before. I really believed in the world – there were no holes or slip-ups where something seemed out of place.

The plot was exciting and new, unlike so many other of the hundreds of dystopias on the shelves at the moment. I cared for the characters and wanted to know what was going to happen to them. I really felt I was on a journey with them. At no point did I know how it was going to end, or even what would happen in the next chapter. There were so many unexpected twists and turns. It was such a thrilling read.

I don’t often give five stars. It has to completely blow me away. This didn’t quite do it but was incredibly close so I gave it 4.5 stars. I would heartily recommend this to everyone, especially people who like dystopia and want to read an excellent, well written novel with an exciting plot and great characters.

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