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5 of 5
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list price: $12.95
edition:Paperback
also available: Hardcover
published: Feb 2012
ISBN:9780385671859

Blood Red Road

Dustlands: 1

by Moira Young

reviews: 2
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5 of 5
1 rating
rated!
rated!
list price: $12.95
edition:Paperback
also available: Hardcover
published: Feb 2012
ISBN:9780385671859
Description

This fast-paced YA debut novel has it all: smart, savvy characters making their way through an eerily dystopian society, with all the requisite action, adventure and romance characteristic of the genre vividly and at times, chillingly, portrayed.

In a wild and lawless future, where life is cheap and survival is hard, eighteen-year-old Saba lives with her father, her twin brother Lugh, her young sister Emmi and her pet crow Nero. Theirs is a hard and lonely life. The family resides in a secluded shed, their nearest neighbour living many miles away and the lake, their only source of water and main provider of food, gradually dying from the lack of rain. But Saba's father refuses to leave the place where he buried his beloved wife, Allis, nine years ago. Allis died giving birth to Emmi, and Saba has never forgiven her sister for their mother's death.

But while she despises Emmi, Saba adores her twin brother Lugh. Golden-haired and blue-eyed, loving and good, he seems the complete opposite to dark-haired Saba, who is full of anger and driven by a ruthless survival instinct. To Saba, Lugh is her light and she is his shadow, he is the day, she is the nighttime, he is beautiful, she is ugly, he is good, she is bad.

So Saba's small world is brutally torn apart, when a group of armed riders arrives five day's after the twin's eighteenth birthday snatch Lugh away. Saba's rage is so wild, that she manages to drive the men away, but not before they have captured Lugh and killed their father.

And here begins Saba's epic quest to rescue Lugh, during which she is tested by trials she could not have imagined, and one that takes the reader on breathtaking ride full or romance, physical adventure and unforgettably vivid characters, making this a truly sensational YA debut novel.

From the Hardcover edition.

Contributor Notes

MOIRA YOUNG was born in New Westminster, BC, where she attended the University of British Columbia before heading to the UK to study drama. After a few years of performing on the alternative comedy circuit and tap-dancing on a West End stage, Young returned to Vancouver where she successfully trained as an opera singer. Returning to the UK, she sang in some of London's most prestigious venues. Young has now returned to her first love - writing - with her debut novel, Blood Red Road. Moira Young lives in Bath, England with her husband.

From the Hardcover edition.

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
Age:
12 to 100
Grade:
7 to 17
Awards
  • Winner, Sheila A. Egoff Children's Literature Prize
Editorial Review

 “It’s Mad Max and The Hunger Games meets True Grit. . . .The author moves between ruthless action and gorgeous, buttery narration. . . . In the hands of a lesser writer, that style might have dragged, but first-time author Young is talented, and she’s just getting started. . . This is a must-read, where girls rescue boys, and where the future looms up full of hope and loss, struggles and archetypes that give the story a timeless, classic edge.”
The Globe and Mail

“Eerie and adventurous. . .on par with Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games and Paolo Bacigalupi’s Ship Breaker. . . Blood Red Road has a cinematic quality that makes it white-hot. . . .The fervor is more than warranted.”
LA Times

“Brutal and thrilling.”
The Wall Street Journal

“Not only will it satisfy the cravings of Hunger Games fans, but it is—dare I say—better than The Hunger Games. . . . This book will blow you away. . . . Blood Red Road simply delivers. The story, the writing, the characters and the narrative voice are stunning and completely original, setting this book apart from the crowd of dystopian novels.”
—Hollywood Crush, MTV.com
 
“[Blood Red Road is] poised to be the next big thing in teen fiction, and with good reason. . . . The world . . . is beautifully wrought, as well as terrifyingly plausible. . . . Young has taken familiar pieces of everything from Gladiator to Lord of the Rings and put them in the hands of a spunky, moody heroine who breaths new life into old motifs.”
Quill & Quire

“[Blood Red Road] mashes together McCarthy’s intensity with a laconic narrative style taken from the literature of the American west. . . . Yes, this is the perfect apocalypse for pre-teens.”
The Guardian (UK)

“Young adults will enjoy reading this story of the transformation that is possible when you fight for what you believe in and know in your heart that it is right.”
National Post

Blood Red Road is an epic adventure set in a violent future world and nothing is as it seems. Young manages to breathe life into her characters with little insights that warm the heart.”
The Sun Daily

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Reader Reviews

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Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

Blood Red Road

When the men on horses arrive at Saba’s home by Silverlake, shoot her father and kidnap her brother, Saba knows she must go after them. In the unruly, black-hearted city of Hopetown, as Saba fights for her life, she learns that her brother is to be sacrificed by the King on Midsummer’s Eve. Joined by an arrogantly charming fighter named Jack as well as the Free Hawks, a gang of girl revolutionaries, Saba makes for the King’s Freedom Fields with only one thought in mind: save Lugh. But she just might end up triggering the fall of an empire.

In telling the story, author Moira Young drops grammar, punctuation and spelling in favour of dialect, which makes Saba seem younger than her 18 years. But her strength is apparent; her tough-as-nails attitude asserts her as someone to root for. Siblings Lugh and Emmi are introduced early, and the growth in Saba and Emmi’s relationship is as essential to the plot as the action is.

And the action is essential: from cage fighting to hellwurms to showdowns, the pace constantly drives forward. The sexual tension between Saba and Jack has them ricocheting off each other, culminating in alternately touching and steamy scenes. The novel gives the reader no sense of how the world has reached its present state, and the ending drags: a second battle loses its flashiness, and there are a few too many deaths for any to make a real impact. However, the non-cliffhanger finish will please readers when they emerge from Young’s vivid world.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Fall 2011. Volume 34 No. 4.

Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

Blood Red Road (Dustlands)

When Saba’s brother Lugh is captured by four cloaked horsemen, she embarks on a quest to get him back. Teamed with Jack, a handsome daredevil, and a gang of girl revolutionaries called the Free Hawks, Saba discovers she’s a fierce fighter, a cunning opponent and, above all, she’s going to change the course of her own civilization. Book One in the series.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. Fall, 2012.

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