Moira Young: Blood Red Road

by Rachel Baker on May 25, 2012

I like a great story of survival despite the odds, even when some of the details don’t actually seem to add up.  Blood Red Road by Moira Young is one of these books.  This book has been sitting on my book stack since last June – yep, that’s almost a whole year.   I picked it up because I was thinking about playing a different xbox game and wasn’t sure which one, though I’d come close to deciding on Fallout 3 or Fallout New Vegas.  I thought Blood Red Road was a story set in a society that had been destroyed at some point with events set a few hundred years in the future.  I was right and having also just picked up the new Stephen King installment, The Wind Through the Keyhole, where I was reacquainted with my old Dark Tower friends and another world that had moved on, I decided on Fallout New Vegas – everything just seemed to be heading west along the beam (okay, I don’t know that for sure with the Dark Tower ka-tet, but in my mind, the Tower is to the west.)

Blood Red Road Synopsis:
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.

Blood Red Road has a searing pace, a poetically minimal writing style, violent action, and an epic love story. Moira Young is one of the most promising and startling new voices in teen fiction.

Epic love story? No. Violent action? Yes. Poetically minimal writing style? Well…I wouldn’t say poetical, but certainly minimal.

In fact, one of the things about the book I really liked was the minimalist writing.  Make no mistake, Saba is no scholar and her narration stays true to this fact.  The only other thing missing in the synopsis is that she has a little sister she resents. In my opinion, the latter is incredibly important to the story and Saba’s development as a character.

Like most books, the description of the book (which I’ve used for the synopsis) is over dramatized. However, if you take out the buzz words, its pretty close to accurate to what the story is about.

I liked the Blood Red Road – in fact, I read it straight through.  I found some incredible discrepancies, like all of a sudden Saba is a prize winning fighter, oh, and…somehow she falls for another prisoner fighter and does so in a “love at first sight” kind of way (which just seemed odd); but I was able to overlook them because I liked the idea that two sisters were trying to save their brother.  I did think there were some areas that were a bit more rushed than others, but on the whole the book read well and was very engaging.

Warning: If you pick up the book, you will need to put grammar rules and spelling rules aside and just immerse yourself in the world knowing schools are a thing of the past – not because the author and editor missed things, but because its how Saba talks, and she grew up away from others with just her brother, father and little sister.

This is the first book in a series, and the next installment comes out October 2012. I would encourage you to put Blood Red Road by Moira Young on your summer reading stack, giving you enough time to get Rebel Heart when it comes out in October.

Click here to order the book.

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