Release Date: June 7th, 2011
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Age Group: Young Adult
Buy This Book: Amazon
Saba has always felt her brother Lugh's presence at her side, and she loves him more than anyone else in the world. Her mother being dead, her sister so needy and scrawny and her father blank and unseeing, there is no one else she can count on besides him, and they have been just like that, ever since the day they were both born, eighteen years ago on midwinter's day.
So when riders approach their desolate home in the middle of a deserted country called Silverlake and takes Lugh with them, Saba begins an epic journey to search for him, fighting haunting memories of the past while pushing forward, forever looking for the one thing that she knows is there for her, as she is for him.
Everything about Blood Red Road is truly epic. I can't say how many times the perilous fight scenes have left me breathless, or the romance bubbling and budding between Saba and her interest, Jack, left me shouting in frustration. At first glance, Blood Red Road could be perceived as an action-packed fantasy; but as you look closer, you see hints at a past civilization not unlike ours. That's what I enjoyed most about this novel. Not only has Moira Young taken the dystopian genre and put a good character to it, but she picked the most awesome plot and world as well. Instead of being a pristine, seemingly perfect society-like civilization, the land that we explore in this book is gritty and lawless, along with being almost completely devoid of technology. To me, it seemed like the perfect mix of the Graceling series and the Hunger Games. Saba, being fiery and a natural surviver, but being set in a world similar to Graceling's appealed to me a lot. I also enjoyed the author's use of style-in Blood Red Road, dialect is used to emphasize Saba's culture and the place from which her world had risen from. I could also find poetic musings scattered among the novel-though Young's work is never really based on sensory detail (instead, it is her character's which are really fleshed through and developed) you can still feel beauty in her simple phrases and vocabulary.
As I mentioned before, the romance was a great addition to Blood Red Road. It certainly added some interest to a plot that might have otherwise been boring without it. Jack and Saba's relationship was a lot more realistic and true-to-life than a lot of other romances I have happened to pass by in my reading discoveries. It was also fun to read because it seemed to integrate into the story rather than encompass the whole thing, which I rarely find in other novels. All in all, it was an amazing love story that had a lot of bumps along the road like real relationships often do.
I LOVED the hints of magic in this one. Though futuristic, it strayed away from sci-fi, and was more fantasy than anything. Right at the beginning, Saba mentions how her father seems to know things when he reads the stars, and how he often does magic 'circles' to bring rain. Saba also receives a necklace early on in the book, called a 'heartstone' which warms up whenever you are near to your heart's desire. Though you never really are sure if they are mere tricks, you can be sure that something supernatural is going on, and that just amps up the suspense that is already present in this book.
I just can't say how awesome this book truly is. Though I'm not sure if there will be a sequel to Blood Red Road, I can say it was a very intense stand-alone book, and that I'm not going to find anything like it soon. I'm just glad I'm a patient person, or else I couldn't stand to wait for another book by the author of this shining debut.