"The day’s hot. So hot an so dry that all I can taste in my mouth is dust. The kinda white heat day when you can hear th’earth crack."
As you can see from the first few sentences, Blood Red Road runs on its own dialect. If that’s the kind of thing that deters you from reading books, then you may be wary of this one already. However, Blood Red Road is set in a dried-up wasteland where sandstorms are a constant occurrence; and right from the start we plunge into Saba’s world with a pretty good sense of that dreadful reality—the dialect feels natural in the setting and was easy enough, in my opinion, to get used to.
Saba has spent her whole life in Silverlake. Though, with how difficult it continues to get to retrieve water, the name doesn’t seem to fit anymore. Saba lives with her pa, her twin brother Lugh, and her little sister Emmi, but she’s closest with Lugh—he’s her guide, her strength; all is fine as long as he’s around.
When a monster sandstorm sweeps through Silverlake bearing four cloaked horsemen, Saba’s world shatters. Lugh is captured and Saba is determined to do whatever it takes to get him back—even if it means treading the lawless expanse of the desert to find him.
Blood Red Road has a captivating quality about it, which I think has a lot to do with Young’s characterizations. Saba is a flawed, yet strong heroine—the kind we don’t see enough of in YA novels. At first, I thought she acted a bit childish with the way she followed her brother around and teased her little sister. But when she’s forced to take the lead, we get to see this whole other side of her—the raw, gritty side that’s just trying to survive in this uncivilized wasteland.
Emmi is only 9 years old, and Saba has a tendency to blame her for everything. She’s a sweet character and it broke my heart every time Saba expressed dislike towards her. Just like Saba, Emmi displayed a significant amount of growth by the end of the book.
Jack is the love interest. He's strong, brave, and not afraid to put Saba in her place – especially concerning her treatment toward Emmi. And he wasn’t the type to treat Saba like a damsel in distress. It was refreshing to watch the romance unfold at a slower pace (unlike many of the books I’ve read lately), and I was grateful that it didn’t take precedence and drown out the rest of the story.
On the downside, I couldn’t overlook the few plot holes scattered throughout the story, and there’s a death near the end of the book that seemed to come out of nowhere and made me stop reading for a minute or two trying to figure out why the author would do such a thing. But, of course, I couldn’t stay away for very long.
Overall, this is a fast-paced adventure filled with strong female characters, merciless villains, and did I mention cage-match fighting? There’s so much more I want to say but I know I’ve given too much away already.
A great addition to the post-apocalyptic genre! Even though this book can stand on its own, I'm really looking forward to the second book in this series.
This book is scheduled for release on June 7.
Thanks to Simon and Shuster, I have an ARC of Blood Red Road that I'd like to share with another book lover.
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**This giveaway is now Closed**