Blood Red Road and Rebel Heart – Moira Young

“In the Dustlands, you fight or you die.

There are no laws in Saba’s world.  When her twin brother is stolen, she pursues his captors through a wild, wasted land.  She must become a warrior to survive.  On this dangerous road she can trust no one. Not even the handsome thief who saves her life – and steals her heart.”

This was an impulse buy, I hadn’t heard anything about it but I liked the cover and the synopsis intrigued me so I went ahead and bought it.

Straight away I knew this book was different from anything I’ve read before, the style of writing being the main clue:

“Ain’t you figgered it out yet? It’s all in his head.  Made up.  There ain’t nuthin written in the stars.  There ain’t no great plan.  The world goes on.  Our lives jest go on an on in this gawdfersaken place.  An that’s it.  Till the day we die.  I tell you what Saba, I’ve took about all I can take.”

At the beginning I found that the style of writing made the story hard to follow because I had to concentrate on figuring out what certain words meant, I soon fell into a natural rhythm though and in no time at all I was reading the words as if nothing was out of the ordinary.

Another thing that made it difficult to begin with was the lack of speech marks, again this took a while to get used to but once I had, it was like I didn’t even notice that they weren’t there!

Told from Saba’s point of view the story starts off with some detail of where and how they are living, and how important Saba’s twin brother Lugh is to her.  This meant that when he was kidnapped it was a very emotional moment and I couldn’t wait to find out why he had been taken.  Their younger sister Emmi seemed to be a thorn in Saba’s side, she showed a clear dislike towards her but the reason for this had already been explained so I kind of understood Saba’s reaction.

Based in a tough future world I wasn’t sure if Saba could make it alone – at that point she seemed quite innocent and vulnerable, especially without Lugh, but I soon realised that she was a very resourceful, defensive and, when fuelled by her anger, incredibly tough girl.

On Saba’s quest to find and save Lugh she comes across many dangers, accompanying her on the quest was Emmi and their pet crow Nero, who turned out to be a vital part of the story.  She was like a magnet for other people as more and more joined her on her journey until they became like a gang of rebels, each with their own personal mission but working together to achieve it.

There was a lot of action throughout the book and it was so exciting to read – cage fighting, escaping from burning buildings and giant worms were just a few of the dangers the gang faced, each time my heart was pounding so hard it felt like it would beat out of my chest!

The tension between Saba and Jack was fabulous, Saba held him at arm’s length and most of the time seemed angry with him, but I was sure that was just to cover up how she really felt towards him.  Jack was a bit of a mystery to me, I felt like I couldn’t quite figure him out.  I thought he might have been hiding more than he let on, and I am hoping the next book will tell us what that is.

There were a couple of moments near the end that had my eyes filling up with both sadness and happiness.  I was very curious about DeMalo because there seemed to be some kind of spark between him and Saba whenever they were near each other, I hope the next book reveals more about that too.

Blood Red Road can be purchased from The Book DepositoryAmazon or from most good book retailers.

“There’s a price on Saba’s head.

They call her the Angel of Death.  She defeated a tyrant, but victory has come at a cost.  Haunted by the ghosts of her past, she needs Jack.  His moonlit eyes, his reckless courage, his wild heart.  But Jack has left, and a ruthless new enemy searches for Saba across the Dustlands…”

This is the second book in the series, it didn’t make as much of an impact on me as the first one did, but it was still a fantastic read!

The story is not just told from Saba’s point of view this time, I think I was a little disappointed about that because it was one of the things that really made the first book special for me.

Saba was suffering the after effects of what happened in the last book, previously she had powered through her troubles because she was concentrating so hard on saving Lugh.  Once that concentration had gone she was able to think more about her actions and she seemed haunted by the decisions she had made.  It was like her spark and strong survival instinct had gone.

“Tears start to roll down my cheeks.  He wipes ’em away, but they keep on comin.  Silent.  Never endin.  They splash in the dust at my feet.  But I ain’t cryin.”

Events soon made Saba see what she had to do and whilst trying to do this she found herself in a very precarious position with some headhunters, I wasn’t sure she would make it out in one piece!

I had mixed feelings about DeMalo and Jack in this book, one moment I hated them both and the next I thought I quite liked them – this confusion continued right to the end and I’m hoping I can decide once and for all in the next book.

I was surprised by some of the choices Saba made, after reading the last page I have a feeling that one of those choices may come back to haunt her next time – I think she underestimated someone who could potentially cause her a lot of trouble.

This is a powerful series that, I think, would make a great movie.  I have been left wanting more and can’t wait for the next book to be released.

Rebel heart can be purchased from The Book DepositoryAmazon or from most good book retailers.