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I Belong

Review: Blood Red Road by Moira Young

Title: Blood Red Road

Author: Moira Young

Genre: YA Dystopian

Series: Dust Lands Trilogy (Book 1)

Publication Date: June 7, 2011

Format: Hardcover, 459 Pages

ISBN-10: 1442429984 (Simon Pulse)

ISBN-13: 978-1442429987 (Simon Pulse)

Reviewed by: Kristie


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.

Quick & Dirty: Angst ridden dystopian that follows one girl’s terrible journey to find her brother. The writing style takes a little time to get used to but it fits the story perfectly.

Opening Sentence: Lugh got born first.

Excerpt: Yes


Blood Red Road is a dark and terrifying dystopian set in a distant future where humans are few and far between. Saba, her twin brother Lugh, her father and her “horrible” sister live on the edge of Silverlake. The lake has long since dried up but her father doesn’t want to leave. Saba’s world is turned upside down when Lugh discusses leaving. Unfortunately he drops this bomb on Saba just minutes before he is attacked and taken away by a group of strangers who want him because of the significance of his birthdate.

Saba can’t live without her brother so she embarks on a journey to save him. She is forced to take her younger sister with her as she begins her journey, much to Saba’s dismay. Saba has been taught to distrust people in the world around her, especially places where there are lots of people, so it seems quite strange when she tries to be friendly towards some people who are traveling to where she wants to go. Things for Saba just go downhill from there and just when you think things can’t get any worse for Saba they do.

The bleak nature of Saba’s travels underscore how desolate and alone she is in this world. It really shows how terrible people can be even as Saba learns the kindness of strangers, that she doesn’t have do to everything herself. Saba has a strange nature. She has a crazy love towards her brother (if she hadn’t met the mysterious Jack that she finds herself attracted too, I would almost say it could be incestuous what she feels for her brother) while she unduly treats her sister like trash. There are more times I felt sorry for her sister than I did for Saba but she had to be tough if she was going to survive to save her brother. In the end Saba learns some life lessons, good and bad, that transformed her outlook on life.

Saba is the narrator for Blood Red Road. She is uneducated and lives away from most human interaction so she has a strange way of talking (*see notable scene below*). Also, there is absolutely no use of quotation marks when someone is talking. It does take a little bit to get used to but this style really fits this dystopian world and how Saba would really talk and think. Once I got used to the style I could clearly see this world and I was engulfed in Saba’s trials and tribulations.

If you like your novels with emotional turmoil and constantly wonder “how is she going to get out of this mess?” Blood Red Road, the first novel in the Dust Lands Trilogy is for you. I can’t wait to learn more about Jack and the next step in Saba’s journey. Thankfully I don’t have to wait long, Rebel Heart is available now!

Notable Scene:

He hurries to finish with Emmi, then moves over to me. Whaddya mean, she killed the last one, I whisper. What last one?

He don’t reply. I try to make him catch my eye, but he won’t, he jest stares down at the bowl. His face is shiney with sweat an the spoon trembles in his hand. Fer the first time, I notice his hands an wrists is covered all over with ugly purple burn scars. Like somebody’s gone at ‘em with a hot poker.

So that’s what she means when she says she’ll give him the burn. That’s what she does when he crosses her. He ain’t gonna help us. He’s too terrified.

We’re on our own.

An I feel calm.

It seems crazy, seein how we’re both chained hand an foot an there ain’t a soul to help us, but I’m calm. Because now I see what I gotta do. An what I ain’t gotta do, which is waste time thinkin that anybody’s gonna help us. That somebody’s gonna come along an rescue us. I cain’t count on nobody but me.

So what I gotta do now is watch. An learn. An think. An plan. I’m gonna make sure we stay alive, Emmi an me. I’ll do whatever it takes. I’ll do what the hellhag tells me.

But I’ll be watchin an waitin. An when the time comes, when it’s the right moment to make a move, I’ll be ready. I’ll know what to do an I’ll git us outta here.

Dust Lands Trilogy:

1. Blood Red Road

2. Rebel Heart

FTC Advisory: Margaret K. McElderry Books/Simon & Schuster provided me with a copy of Blood Read Road. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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Rating: 8.7/10 (3 votes cast)
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Review: Blood Red Road by Moira Young, 8.7 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
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