Saturday, October 15, 2011

Book Review: Blood Red Road by Moira Young

Title: Blood Red Road
Author: Moira Young
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Genre: Young Adult (dystopian)
Why I read it/how I found it: Moira Young was at a book signing I went to this week.

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 four cloaked horsemen capture Lugh, Saba's world is shattered, and she embarks on a quest to get him back. Suddenly thrown into the lawless, ugly reality of the outside world, Saba discovers she is a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. Teamed up with a handsome daredevil named Jack and a gang of girl revolutionaries called the Free Hawks, Saba’s unrelenting search for Lugh stages a showdown that will change the course of her own civilization.

Ok, so this book has a lot of great action in it. The world is ruthless and brutal, so the characters in it need to fight a lot. There's never a slow moment in it, which I very much appreciated. However. I don't think this book was the best fit for me. Why? This book is written in dialect. I cannot stand it when prose is written in dialect. I mean, there's a difference between showing voice and writing how people speak. It was just difficult for me to get past it. I had to read for large amounts of time to get the rhythm of it down. And, frankly, I didn't think there was a point to it other than showing they're uneducated and tough, which is stereotypical to give the characters a southern dialect. But even worse than that is there were no quotation marks. Sometimes I'd read something and then realize it wasn't Saba narrating it, it was someone else saying it. Also, Saba's character growth was too fast for me. She was a follower of Lugh, not showing an abundance of backbone, but then she turns all bad-a and can fight like no other. I'm all for character growth, but not a 180 change in two pages. However, the relationship between Saba and her little sister Emmi was adorable to read. That progressed very naturally and beautifully. I feel like the world needs a lot more description in the upcoming books in the series, because while it isn't lacking, there are questions that need to be explained.

Other information: This is a series (unsure of how many there will be right now). Also, Ridley Scott's production company has picked up rights to Blood Red Road for a movie.


  1. I've heard a few more times than I care to recount how dialect can cause a reader difficulty, that delivering the line and providing a brief, but descriptive tag can accomplish more. It seems that was the case for your read of this book.

    I'm a fantasy reader. Dialect can happen a lot so it may be a bit of an easier read for someone with the set expectation.

    Congrats on the author getting such a big name like Ridley Scott's production company interested in it. Very nice :-)

    Thanks to you for sharing your review. I enjoyed it for it's balance and candor.

  2. I completely agree--this book was well-written and had lots of wonderful action, but I just couldn't get past the dialect. It's a good way to show that a character is uneducated, but I feel like there are better, more effective ways that don't impede the telling of the story so much.

    This was a great review!

  3. I love this book so much, it's one of my favorites! At first, I hated the dialect style, but then after a while I started to love it and I couldn't imagine this book any other way! You're so lucky you got Moria Young to sign your copy, that's be so cool!
    No! I hope they don't make it a movie. that'll ruin it.

  4. I've heard that nearly every reader that comes across this book has trouble with the dialect at first. For me, I was able to adjust pretty quickly and I actually think the narration added a lot of depth to the novel! It reminded me of how Huck Finn and another YA dystopian, The Knife of Never Letting Go, are written.

    Great review!

    - Alyssa of Redhead Heroines

    Book Review of “Blood Red Road” by Moira Young