August 15th, 2012


Book Review: Blood Red Road, by Moira Young

Two girls enter, one girl leaves -it's Katniss Everdeen some chick in the Thunderdome a post-apocalyptic future.

Blood Red Road

Simon and Schuster, 2011, 466 pages

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.

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Verdict: This is a perfectly pleasant if unexceptional bit of YA adventure. It is fun and a decent read and it's really not fair to call it derivative of The Hunger Games since it's clearly its own world and its own story with only superficial similarities. However, it's a middle-of-the-road YA offering; there is promise here and some engaging writing, but the author did not risk enough or do anything really new. It's better than a lot of YA books I've read, but certainly not a book to convince you that YA books have anything to offer that their grown-up equivalents aren't much better at.

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