Tuesday, January 17, 2012
"Blood Red Road" (Dust Lands Book #1) ~ Moira Young
Author: Moira Young
Publication: June 7, 2011 (read Jan. 16, 2012)
By: Margaret K. McElderry
5 Stars ~ A MUST READ!
"To escape she will have to fight."
"To survive she will have to lead."
This was like mixing The Hunger Games, Gladiator, True Grit and Romeo & Juliet all together to make one AWESOME book! I fell in love with Jack and Saba is my new hero!
Eighteen year old Saba has spent her entire life at Silverlake with her twin brother Lugh (pronounced "Lou") her Pa and nine year old sister "Emmi". It's a hard life in the dusty wasteland although not a bad one. She's happiest when she's with Lugh, her golden brother with his blond hair and eyes as blue as the sky. (Everyone says Saba's the night to Lugh's day with her black hair and dark eyes.) Saba and Lugh do everything together, always have since before they were born. She can't imagine living her life without him around or living anywhere but Silverlake, however, she could do without her pesky little sister Emmi.
Emmi's always bugging Saba and she often sends her off to help their Pa who hasn't been the same since their Ma's been gone. Seems he always has his head stuck in the clouds, muttering about what's written in the stars. Pa believes everyone's life has a plan and a purpose that's already been determined for them and says he can see it but he doesn't share what he's seen for Saba and Lugh. Lugh thinks their Pa is crazy and wants nothing more than to get out of Silverlake. Saba? She doesn't know what to believe. She just knows she likes having her family together.
When a dust storm rolls in fast and fierce one afternoon, it brings with it five cloaked men who turn Saba's world upside down when they take off with Lugh. She's determined to go after Lugh, to bring him back and make the men who took him pay. Having never been outside of Silverlake, Saba is thrust into a violent world where laws only apply to a select few and the danger is unlike any she's ever experienced before.
On her journey to rescue Lugh, Saba will learn some hard lessons about people, life and herself. She discovers she's stronger than she ever knew she could be, a true warrior. She'll also find she has room in heart for someone other than Lugh which both surprises and scares her.
Hopetown is where she thinks the cloaked men, or Tonton have taken Lugh and it's there that Saba meets Jack, a cage fighter with a bad rep but one she can't seem to get away from. She's drawn to him and he to her and it makes her crazy! He's cocky, infuriating, irritating, helpful, funny, beautiful and wiling to help her find Lugh. (See how he could drive a girl insane?)
She also meets the Free Hawks, a gang of girl rebels who are bad ars! They too agree to help her find Lugh, although their leader warns Saba not to trust Jack, and what starts out as a simple rescue plan quickly morphs into something that could change the course of their world forever.
In order to accomplish her mission, get Lugh back and reunite her family, Saba will have to rely on the help of her new found friends, trusting them with her family, her life and with one of them, her heart.
Blood Red Road is a story full of action and adventure but it's also a story about love and not just the romantic kind. Saba is a girl whose love for her family knows no boundaries and she literally goes to the ends of her earth, enduring serious physical and emotional trials to try and save her brother. One of her biggest struggles is in allowing herself to be vulnerable, not just with Jack but with the Free Hawks as well. For her, to be vulnerable is to be weak.
Saba also can't see her worth, having always been told that Lugh was the "golden boy" she's believed that meant she was the lesser, uglier twin, and she's genuinely surprised when Jack tells her that she's beautiful. She has a fear of abandonment too which makes it difficult for her to get close to others. Why should she when once she has Lugh back everyone else will go their separate ways?
Is Blood Red Road violent? Yes, but no more so than The Hunger Games. What stood out to me as a "negative" was the language but even that was still within context of the story in my opinion. "Gawdamn" or "Gawdammit" is used in place of "G*d damn or G*d dammit".