Friday, 30 May 2014

"Blood Red Road" | Book Review

"Blood Red Road" book cover
Everything Saba loves is taken from her one fateful day: the day when four horsemen show up and abduct her twin brother, Lugh. In order to get him back, Saba must navigate not only the harsh desert landscape, but also the brutal, drug-addled people she encounters. With the help of comrades she meets along the way, will Saba reach her brother in time?

Blood Red Road has action from beginning to end - just when you think the characters are finally safe, there's another onslaught of action or a barrier they must overcome. This novel keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout, and you never know what's going to happen next.

The style of writing Moira Young uses is, I think, perfect for the story she is telling. The first thing you notice about the words themselves is that they're written phonetically - that means they are spelled out exactly the way they sound. Most of the characters in the novel have accents, so this is a really authentic way of being more immersed in the world of Blood Red Road. Personally, it took some getting used to at first, but I quickly adjusted - it's fun reading with an accent!

Another interesting point about the writing style is that there are no quotation marks used to indicate dialogue. I find this so interesting because sometimes we don't know if we're reading what someone's saying or if we're hearing Saba's internal monologue. Without quotation marks, we as the readers are right in her mind; it's abundantly clear that we're seeing things from Saba's subjective perspective and must sometimes question her opinions and the conclusions she reaches.

Saba, our protagonist, is a fascinating character. She is by no means perfect - in fact, she's often very frustrating. This is realistic though, especially because we're right inside her mind; when we spend time with someone, we see what they want us to see, but the fact that we're in Saba's head means we see all her imperfections and cruel thoughts and opinions.

Having said that, Saba's character development from the beginning to the end of this novel is spectacular, especially concerning her relationship with her little sister, Emmi, who she blames for Ma's death. Character development is a big deal to me, and I'm really impressed with how it's done in this novel. When I went to Moira Young's book signing, she gave some really great advice on the subject, saying "you have to make the stakes high; that's how the characters grow as people".

The world-building in this story is fantastic as well; it takes place post-apocalypse, but there are some really cool references to our current civilization - they call us "Wreckers", which is incredibly appropriate, seeing as we're wrecking the planet. There are several references to our civilization and it's often funny to read about the seemingly outlandish things we take for granted from the perspective of a character who's never seen them in use.

I absolutely love Blood Red Road, it's one of my favourite books. It's an action-packed and thrilling read, and I'm eager to read the next books in the trilogy!

Have you read Blood Red Road?

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