Blood Red Road-Moira Young
Novel, YA (Series: Dustlands)
Saba's twin is golden. She is his living shadow. He is strong and beautiful. She is scrawny and dark. Nothing will separate them... Raised in isolated Silverlake, Saba is ignorant of the harsh and violent world beyond her home. But when her twin is snatched by black-robed riders, red rage fills her soul. Racing across the cruel dustlands to find him, she can spare no one. Not even the boy who saves her life. Blood will spill. Every step of Saba's journey sizzles with danger in this futuristic thriller, which beats with a powerful, red-blooded heart.
I finished this book almost as if I were stunned. The writing is as brutal and adventurous as the plot. I was likely still riding high on sympathetic adrenaline.
This is a dry, bitter dystopia run by a madman. Our society is called the Wreckers and we’ve destroyed the environment –calling into being a world of desert and searing sun and a lack of surface metal. The dystopia is run by chaal, a drug grown much like weed. The heroine is tough and terrifying to men. When she’s stuck as a cage fighter she becomes the Angel of Death since she is accompanied by a crow and holds her own. I have a weakness for crow familiars so I may be biased but she is pretty badass. Since this is a YA novel though, she has low self-esteem (she is the shadow of the brother she is saving), there are absent parents, and she’s a bit short sighted. Oh, and there is an as-if-fated love interest. These are not deal breakers for me and I think the heroine stands tall despite these YA traits.
It’s a cliché to say the book grabbed you in the first pages but five pages in, I knew I was going to finish this book. Fast. There’s this quality to the narrative that is quirky and unpredictable as the adventure goes on. At times you could be reading a Western and other times you’re immersed in science fiction. Neither are my favorite genres but Young’s blend of them is gripping. The ‘regional’ accent the book is written I’m sure contributes to the whole strangely historical feel of the whole thing but never distracts.
I look forward to the sequels!