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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Favourite Book of the Year So Far
Blood Red Road follows Saba on her journey to find her brother Lugh, who's been taken by some cloaked men. Saba has to leave Silverlake, the only home she's ever known, to go and find him, risking her life to get her twin back.
Blood Red Road is set in an apocalyptic future where there are no laws. Saba, Lugh, their younger sister Emmi and their pa all live so far...
Published 11 months ago by Molly Looby

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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A middle-aged man says, "It's an enjoyable adventure"
I was recommended Blood Red Road after greatly enjoying the Hunger Games and Chaos Walking trilogies. As a 40 year old man, I am not really the target audience for "YA" literature. My 13 year old daughter reads "YA" books and it's nice to be able to talk about books with her, so when she gets excited about a book, I see if I want to read it too. I was greatly impressed...
Published on 24 April 2012 by PB


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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Favourite Book of the Year So Far, 19 Aug 2013
By 
Molly Looby - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Blood Red Road follows Saba on her journey to find her brother Lugh, who's been taken by some cloaked men. Saba has to leave Silverlake, the only home she's ever known, to go and find him, risking her life to get her twin back.
Blood Red Road is set in an apocalyptic future where there are no laws. Saba, Lugh, their younger sister Emmi and their pa all live so far away from anyone that they don't get into any trouble. However when Lugh is taken, Saba more or less goes running for trouble and shoving it out of her way. Blood Red Road is set in the Dustlands and the settings are all rocks and sand and harsh, like Saba's world.

To start with, I struggled with Blood Red Road. This is because the writing style is so different than anything else I've come across. The whole novel is narrated in Saba's speech patterns, for example: git instead of get, an instead of and, jest instead of just. Because of this, a lot of it is also grammatically incorrect which didn't bother me but I feel it may bother some readers. It was difficult to grasp but once I fell into it somewhere in the first fifty pages, I loved it. I don't think it should've been written in any other way. My favourite example of the way this is written I have to share with you. It's the word exactly. In Blood Red Road it is spelt like this: "ezzackly". I think it's brilliant.
Another style choice - much stranger than writing the novel in Saba's speech patterns - was the decision not to include speech marks. This was much more difficult to get on with as sometimes I was unsure what had been said aloud. But I was shocked to find that it wasn't impossible to get on with. If Blood Red Road has taught me anything about writing, it's that you don't have to listen to the rules. And sometimes you'll get on just fine without them.

Blood Red Road has again done things differently with its way of chaptering. The chapters are separated into places - it's more like parts when I think about it. Each part ends when Saba arrives in a new place and it's much more interesting like that. The breaks in between the chapters can sometimes be very small, less than a page sometimes, which makes it very easy to read and get into. And most important of all it makes it easy to pick up and impossible to put down. But I never felt like the sections were ever too short or going too fast. I thought the pace was spot on from start to finish.

I felt the characters speech patterns made them even more endearing and lovable. I felt it made it that much easier to feel what Saba felt and because of it I felt really connected to her and I wanted to follow her every step of the way and to the ends of the earth to find Lugh. The other characters are all so different that it makes it that much easier to fall in love with them. There wasn't one character in the book that I didn't like (who I was supposed to like). Even the ones I disliked I liked, if you know what I mean. Everyone loves the bad guys really.

The plot amazed me. That's all I can say. Unlike most books you - literally - cannot guess where the plot is going to take you next. Well, you can try but you wouldn't be right. I loved that about Blood Red Road, there was so much going on and most of it I could've never predicted.

Speaking of this, the final climax at the end just goes on and on. I was breathless, just reading and turning pages, knowing there was no way I was putting the book down until the end, that was certain. I even had to cover up the end of a section where I could see a break so that my eyes didn't wander. I just needed to know what was going to happen! To say my heart sped and so did my breaths would not be an exaggeration. This book had a real physical reaction on my body. I was there in the moment with Saba and the other characters and I was fighting side by side with them.

Also, a mark of a great book. It made me cry.

Plot Idea - 10/10 - I loved everything from start to finish. The plot was thick and fast and never did I question the relevance of anything. It was all important. It was amazing.

Way Plot Was Pursued - 10/10 - I love post-apocalyptic novels and I loved that Saba went from place to place.

Characters - 10/10 - they were all amazing. Good, bad, ugly. Perfect. I loved them all.

Style - 9/10 - the only reason this is not a 10 is because it was difficult to grasp the style at first until you got into it and I think it would put some people off.

Pace - 10/10 - there's nothing to say but it was perfect. Start to finish.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dustlands book 1, 2 Sep 2012
By 
Sarah (Feeling Fictional) (Kent, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
I have seen very mixed reviews of the writing style of Blood Red Road and I can understand why some people found it hard to read but I have to say that was one of my favourite things about the book. I'll admit it took a couple of pages to get into the rhythm of things - the story is told by Saba and her lack of any kind of education shines through in her phonetic spelling and the complete lack of quotation marks but that just makes her voice completely unique compared to anything else I've read. The book stands out immediately because of that and I found it was surprisingly easy to read once I got started. I have seen a lot of people say that they struggled with the style though so it might be worth reading a sample before investing in the book.

Writing style aside Moira Young has created a harsh futuristic world where food and water is hard to come by. The land is mainly desert and the few areas that are populated aren't really places you'd want to visit. Saba has grown up far from civilisation with only her family for company, they are so far from anyone else that they rarely even see people passing through. The person Saba is closest to is her twin brother Lugh, they have been inseparable since they were born and never spend any time apart. Her father hasn't been the same since their mother died while giving birth to her younger sister Emmi and has been retreating further away from them with every day that passes. Life in the wilds isn't easy for the family and it is getting very difficult for them to find enough food to support themselves but their father refuses to leave their mother's resting place. Everything changes for the family the day four armed horse riders appear and kidnap Lugh. Saba doesn't know why her brother was taken but she vows that she will find him no matter where he has been taken. So begins her epic journey across the desert to find the missing part of herself.

As much as I was instantly drawn into the story by Saba's voice I have to admit that I didn't find her the most sympathetic character at the beginning of the book. Lugh is the centre of her world and she doesn't seem to have any time or feelings for anyone else. As much as I felt for her when Lugh was taken I found myself particularly irritated by the way she treated her younger sister. Saba blames Emmi for the death of their mother and for the loss of the father that she once knew and because of that the sisters have never been close. Lugh is the one who always had time for Emmi and she is just as lost as Saba without him. There were times I wanted to grab Saba and shake some sense into her when she was constantly ignoring Emmi and pushing her away. I'm happy to say that this starts to change as the story progresses though, Saba does a lot of growing up throughout the book and it didn't take me long to start routing for her. The longer she is separated from Lugh the more she starts to let Emmi and others in, she is almost in denial to herself that she could possibly need help from anyone but you do see her soften up around her new found friends no matter how hard she tries to hide it. Whatever else I may think about Saba I will tell you she is a kick ass heroine who uses her fierce determination to find her brother to see her through some incredibly difficult situations.

Emmi was one of my favourite characters though, she is so young but at the same time she is incredibly brave. I can't imagine how hard it must have been for her to lose Lugh when he was the only one to care for her and it must have been even worse knowing that Saba would rather have nothing to do with her. I loved the fact that she was so persistent with her older sister though, she has definitely inherited Saba's stubborn streak and it comes in handy on more than one occasion! Another stand out character would have to be Jack, he can be so cocky and arrogant but he has a heart of gold and he isn't afraid to tell Saba when she is being out of order. I loved the way the two characters were continuously arguing with each other and you could just see there was chemistry between them even when they hated each other. My all out favourite has to be Nero though, all I'm going to say is that he's a bird with attitude and he is totally awesome - I would love a pet just like him!

The romance is definitely secondary to the action in this story and I wouldn't have had it any other way (although I am hoping we'll see a little more of it in the next instalment!) the pacing kept me completely gripped and I just had to keep reading to find out what would happen next. At just under 500 pages this is a monster of a book but I devoured it, I couldn't get enough of the characters and the world that Moira Young has created. So if you're looking for a book with a fierce but flawed heroine, action, adventure and a completely unique writing style then Blood Red Road is perfect and it's a book I'll definitely be recommending to fans of post-apocalyptic fiction.
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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A middle-aged man says, "It's an enjoyable adventure", 24 April 2012
By 
PB (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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I was recommended Blood Red Road after greatly enjoying the Hunger Games and Chaos Walking trilogies. As a 40 year old man, I am not really the target audience for "YA" literature. My 13 year old daughter reads "YA" books and it's nice to be able to talk about books with her, so when she gets excited about a book, I see if I want to read it too. I was greatly impressed with the afore-mentioned trilogies and was keen to further mine this genre, if it can be called that. Given the reviews BRR has garnered, I think I expected too much - Blood Red Road is fun, written in a compelling vernacular (similar to Todd's voice from the Chaos Walking trilogy) with some really good action scenes and an interesting heroine. However, I felt that the character development was limited; some of the characters were rather two-dimensional (in particular, the "baddies" of the piece), there were some gaping holes in the credibility of certain aspects of the story and there was far too much 'Mills and Boon'-level romantic prose. Without wishing to give away any spoilers, I also felt the final phase of the book pushed my ability to suspend disbelief too far.

I think I may have experienced the very best that YA has to offer in The Hunger Games and Chaos Walking - those books were not only great adventures, but also had deeper meaning and provided the reader with many important issues to think about, long after the books finished. If I seem dismissive, I do think BRR is better written and better developed than most any "adult" best seller. Moira Young has done a better job than I would expect from Dan Brown, for instance, but the book still falls short; it is, at best, an adequate time-filler, but I do not imagine that any of the characters or situations will stay with me beyond a few days. Great books stay with you forever.

Blood Red Road is a perfectly enjoyable adventure story and interestingly written and for that, worthy of three stars. However, to earn more than that (from me, anyway), it needs to offer the reader more than adventure alone, but also something to think about after the story concludes. I don't discourage you from reading Blood Red Road, but I think some of the cover sleeve comments and reviews are over the top in their praise. The publishers are hopeful that Hunger Games readers will pick this up for their Katniss-fix; a gross over-sell, I'm afraid.

An enjoyable adventure, but nothing more than that. Sometimes, that's all you want, so it's OK. But it's a league or two down from Hunger Games.
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5.0 out of 5 stars As such I can't really comment about the relative merits of the two series but for me this was just excellent. Once you get into, 28 July 2014
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This review is from: Blood Red Road (Dustlands) (Kindle Edition)
I couldn't put this down - I've seen the comparisons with Hunger Games and although I've seen those movies, haven't read the books yet. As such I can't really comment about the relative merits of the two series but for me this was just excellent. Once you get into the rhythm of the writing style it's easy to follow.
Without giving too much away, it's a tale of downtrodden people in a post-apocalyptic world, with would-be empire builders exploiting the weak and the poor. Written in the first person by Saba, it's mainly the story of her searching to free her twin brother Lugh after he's kidnapped and their father killed. Saba is hindered by her younger sister Emmi, whom she's never really loved. During their adventure both of them learn a lot about themselves and each other as well as the harshness of the new world they inhabit.
One of the things I liked about this story was that all of the protagonists were credible; the good guys weren't always perfect and the bad guys weren't always purely evil. I've now read the other 2 books in the series and enjoyed them enormously. They're probably aimed at the Young Adult audience, but I'm 55 and found them riveting.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Blood Red Road, 31 Aug 2012
This review is from: Blood Red Road (Dustlands) (Kindle Edition)
Blood Red Road (BRR) was a highly enjoyable book, with an incredible plot line. It is an amazing post-apocalyptic book that has action, romance and that extra thing that just makes the book a wonderful read. The characters are very well written and you easily find yourself empathising with some of them, like Emmi. The only criticism I have of BRR is its lack of speech marks. There are no speech marks in BRR. Ever. It can sometimes get quite confusing because of that. However, whilst that annoyed me greatly, I am glad I carried on reading it. I would most definitely recommend BRR. It is a gripping read!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this book!!!, 5 Nov 2012
This review is from: Blood Red Road (Dustlands) (Kindle Edition)
this book is great!!!! i couldnt put it down!!! a great holiday read. really good for the hunger games fans if your suffering from the hunger games withdrawl symptoms!!! would reccomend this to everyone and cant wait to read the next book which is no doubt going to be EPIC!!!!! well done Moira Young!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Road to Ruin and Rescue, 5 Sep 2011
By 
Book Gannet (Devon, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Blood Red Road (Paperback)
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For eighteen years Saba has lived an isolated life, with her father, her twin Lugh and little sister Emmi, with few neighbours or visitors to spoil things. But life at Silverlake is changing, the ground is dying and the rains refuse to come. For all her life Saba has followed Lugh's lead, but now he is talking about leaving and Saba doesn't know what to do.

Until strangers come and snatch her brother away. Now Saba has no choice. She's always followed in Lugh's shadow - now it's up to her to fetch him back.

But the world is a wider, wilder place than Saba yet knows, and more troubles lie ahead than she can imagine. Yet she made a promise to her twin and she won't break it - no matter what it takes.

Written in first person phoentics, with minimal punctuation (no speech marks!) I'll admit this took me a while to get into and definitely isn't for everyone. That might also have had something to do with Saba, though. The girl we first meet just doesn't fit. She's supposed to be Lugh's shadow, following him around and being mean to her little sister. She's too unformed and shallow.

Thankfully once Lugh's gone things change quickly - not least Saba - who assumes control exceedingly easy for a shadow. True, her behaviour towards Emmi needs work, but at least it's consistent. In fact once Saba hits the road, I soon forgot all about the dodgy spelling and quirky grammar, and began thoroughly enjoying this dystopian world, made up of the scrap remains of our own.

It's a hard, desperate place, filled with hard, desperate people, and Saba is soon on a steep learning curve. But she's a strong girl, principled and essentially good underneath it all (well, there has to be some reason why Nero the crow and Hermes the horse like her), with enough wits and guts to make the best of the bad situations she constantly finds herself in.

Luckily for her she stumbles across other mostly good people, even if their lives have muddied a few of their morals. Actually, if I had one complaint it might be that the majority of the supporting cast are pretty one dimensional - merry, weak, cruel, brave, smart etc - with only Jack having a little more depth. Little history, though. The most intriguing character for me was DeMalo, but even he was predictable at the end, and so rarely seen.

An enjoyable read that went by surprisingly quickly, with an interesting world and some clever ideas. If you can put up with the grammar quirks, do, because this is worth a read. A good, solid fantasy with enough loose ends to leave room for more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible!, 15 Aug 2011
This review is from: Blood Red Road (Paperback)
I absolutely adored `Blood Red Road'. It was so fresh and unlike anything I've ever read before!

The setting is described marvellously, with barren wastelands being the main environment. It feels like a whole new futuristic, bleak world, in which there are terrible sandstorms. Young split `Blood Red Road' into sections, such as when Saba came to a new place and this really added to the adventure theme, as I felt like I was on the journey with Saba.

The characters in `Blood Red Road' feel very real! Saba was definitely annoying at first, but grew on me as the novel progressed. She had her bad points -she is very selfish, but also her good points -fiercely independent. Saba really does go through her own personal journey through the novel and learns much more about herself. I liked how she was willing to sacrifice herself to rescue her brother - I also enjoyed how it was a girl doing the rescuing! :)

Jack was an enjoyable character! I l liked him from the first meeting and I'm glad that he had an important involvement in the story. He is very humorous, and I felt like `Blood Red Road' needed a character like Jack to lighten the tension in parts. Most of the characters all added that little bit of something into the novel and I enjoyed reading about them, from Papa, to Tommo, to Emmi.

The plot kept me on the edge of my toes throughout! There was always something happening , whether it be kidnap or fighting. I particularly enjoyed how Young created her own dialect. This emphasised the sense of a whole new world and time. The contrast between the beginning and the end is very clear and I really enjoyed seeing how Saba's situation had been developed and changed throughout.

Overall, I loved `Blood Red Road' and I would recommend to anyone who loves a massive adventure, strong, feisty heroine, a little bit of romance and plenty of action! I will definitely read the sequel, which comes out next year! :)

5 out of 5 stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for teens and adults, 4 Aug 2011
By 
Claire (LEIGH ON SEA, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Blood Red Road (Paperback)
This book is the start of a trilogy. Its a gripping read - mixture of adventure and a love story. Will appeal to teens but also adults in the same way that Philip Pullman and Stephanie Myers and The Hunger Games books do. I blitzed through it in a couple of days. can't wait for the next installment
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Epic Adventure Story, 24 July 2011
This review is from: Blood Red Road (Paperback)
Let me start out by saying that Blood Red Road is an epic story - the pure scale of the journey that characters go through demonstrates the need for page a count a tad on the large side.

The story poses a very tough problem within the first few pages - what would you do if your brother was kidnapped by strange people and taken from you? Would you follow and do whatever it takes to get him back? Blood Red Road is the story of what happens when Saba decides she will do what needs to be done.

It leads her and her almost fearless younger sister, Emmi on a journey which will change their lives, the way they see the world and the way they see the people around them forever.

Blood Red Road's pace really picks up after about 100 pages as the characters we meet become more self interested - there's more to many of them than first meet the eye and each one we meet has a direct and important role in the story, the way that each of them are connected leads to some unexpected twists and some scenes which in a lawless society I could sadly imagine happening.

That said there are some genuinely lovely characters thrown in there too, Jack for instance comes across initially as arrogant and cocky and my first impressions of him were not overly positive but he proves himself again and again and, maybe just maybe he deserves his bravado.

I've already mentioned Emmi but she was my favourite character so I have to mention her again :D . She shows so much strength and loyalty throughout that by the end of the book I completely respected her. Sure she goes against Saba's wishes but in a way that's what makes her so great.

If you love adventure stories on an epic scale Blood Red Road will be for you, it has everything you could want - adventure, action and a gentle romance thrown in for good measure, it if was a tiny bit shorter for me at least it would have been perfect!
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