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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Road to Ruin and Rescue
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...
Published on 5 Sept. 2011 by Book Gannet

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Post-apocalyptic adventure with a hint of the Western
'The Blood Red Road' is a post-apocalyptic adventure novel set in a bleak and unforgiving world. Saba, her twin brother Lugh and younger sister Emmi live with their father in virtual isolation. Their Pa believes he can read the future in the stars and he is trying to protect them from some future event. Shortly after Saba and Lugh's 18th birthday 4 horseman arrive and...
Published on 17 Jun. 2011 by I Readalot


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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 Sept. 2011
By 
Book Gannet (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
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Post-apocalyptic adventure with a hint of the Western, 17 Jun. 2011
By 
I Readalot (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Blood Red Road (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
'The Blood Red Road' is a post-apocalyptic adventure novel set in a bleak and unforgiving world. Saba, her twin brother Lugh and younger sister Emmi live with their father in virtual isolation. Their Pa believes he can read the future in the stars and he is trying to protect them from some future event. Shortly after Saba and Lugh's 18th birthday 4 horseman arrive and kidnap Lugh, the fact that he is 18 and born at midwinter is crucial. The story then becomes a quest as Saba sets out to find and rescue him. Along the way she meets a variety of characters, human and monstrous, some want to kill her and others to help her in her quest. Having lived in isolation for so long Saba finds it hard to accept help and even harder to trust anyone but as the story progresses she gradually learns to do both, gaining true friends along the way.

The story is told by Saba and the language used is reminiscent of cowboy movies, I did find this a bit distracting at first but once I adjusted to this it added colour to the story. In fact the plot reminded me a bit of some old 'Westerns' with the kidnapping and searching as they ride towards the final showdown. There is also an element of paganism in the story with the belief in the stars and talk of the 'sun king'.

It is a fun fast paced read that should appeal to fans (teens or adults) of 'The Hunger Games' and 'The Maze Runner'.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dustlands book 1, 2 Sept. 2012
By 
Sarah (Feeling Fictional) (Kent, England) - See all my reviews
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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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5.0 out of 5 stars Heart-pounding adventure, 20 Aug. 2014
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Okay. I have one word for you. WOW. WOWWOWWOWWOWWOW! I mean, I had vaguely heard that Blood Red Road was really good, and I knew it was the winner of the 2011 Costa Children's Book Award (that little titbit of info was written on the inside of the copy that I borrowed) but Blood Red Road still blew me away!

My heart was literally pounding as I was swept away across the Dust Lands to join Saba on a high-tension, action-packed adventure. Blood Red Road was written in a very unique style - completely in dialect, lacking in any quotation marks and not really separated into distinct chapters - more like a continuous account of Saba's journey, a new section beginning with each new location she reached.

I suppose some may be troubled by the whole book being written in dialect, but I found it no problem at all. I love how different it was! It made you feel like you had definitely made the transition into a completely different world from ours. Everything flowed really naturally and, personally, I think it made me feel closer to Saba, as if I was really in her head and part of her world.

Now, Saba is what you call a fiery character! When what she calls the 'red hot' takes over, she is practically invincible - a real fighter. She's not a typical 'perfect' heroine, though, in fact she's pretty much the opposite of perfect. Rude, sassy and rather horrible to her nine-year-old sister Emmi (Their mother died giving birth to Emmi and Saba has never been able to look past the fact that her mother would still be alive if it weren't for Emmi) we should probably not like Saba at all, but somehow I felt myself drawn to her character and I couldn't help admiring her guts and strength. Her character did change and develop along her journey, though, and it was nice to see this.

And Jack. Jack is the perfect match for Saba. Witty, charming and mysterious, I fell in love with him straight away. As did Saba, really, even though she refused to admit it for a LONG time.

Blood Red Road was a red hot novel - amazingly exciting and amazingly...well, just AMAZING! I love dystopians and this has definitely made its way onto my list of favourites, up there with the likes of The Hunger Games and Divergent!

Have I told you that you should read this yet? No? Well I'll tell you now. YOU HAVE TO READ BLOOD RED ROAD. NOW.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Awkward... to say the least., 14 April 2013
By 
Juliet's dagger (Liverpool, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Blood Red Road (Dust lands Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
It took me a while to get in to this book, but i perservered because it was the only thing that i had to entertain myself with during a 12hr shift. Our patragonist lives far in to the future on a dusty wasteland where schools are non existant and because of that, she speaks a little different, which is fine, but the author writes the way her character speaks and it does make for awkward reading at times and she has also chosen not to use speach marks so when someone talks you don't know it until you see 'he says/she says/i says' and i found myself being pulled out of the story everytime someone spoke. The story flows along well enough, but the writing doesn't, it is short, choppy sentances and paragraphs that i also found quite annoying.
The overall story was quite good once i got in to it, there is losts of action and adventure with a bit of romance thrown in, but the main patragonist fell a bit flat with me. Saba is hard and outright nasty to her little sister,who she blames for her mother's death because she died in child birth with her - very cliche, and the way she describes and thinks about her twin brother comes across a bit wrong - like she is in love with him frankly - and i found it quite creepy. The love interest and his late-comer friend where probably the only characters i liked in this book, and the love story was quite a good one until they did that all annoying 'let's fall in love completely after a few kisses, open up to each other in ways no real people ever do and dedicate our lives to each other' thing. The little sister was a good character too btw.
I think the author probably put a lot of effort in to the way she wrote this book, it can't be easy to write in a way that someone else speaks and keep a track on how they say the things they do, but for me it was too much effort just to get the jist of things and although i eventually enjoyed reading this while i had nothing else to do, i left it a whole two weeks before finishing it because i wasn't compelled to read it when i had other things to entertain myself with so it was completed on another 12hr shift. By all means, give this book a shot, i might even buy the sequel myself at some point in the future to see how it all ends, but... i doubt it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Book Geek, 21 Dec. 2011
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This is the novel that I wanted Graceling to be. An alternate world/reality full of adventure with a hardcore warrior heroine, and here's the key bit, who doesn't feel the need to unsex herself (à la Lady Macbeth) and prove that she's not feminine. In fact, all the female characters are wonderfully strong and unforgiving, no damsels finally, and there's just a general sense of equality - pretty much everyone is a warrior without a masculinity v. femininity contest. Where Graceling seemed in some ways downright offensive to a 'certain type' of women, Blood Red Road has a heroine who is unapologetic of her gender and doesn't attempt to constantly prove herself by becoming stereotypically masculine.

Saba is a great heroine. She makes no pretense of being some kind of saviour or martyr, she simply has two missions: find her brother, and stay alive. She uses violence throughout, but only to accomplish her missions rather than some kind of demonstration of her worth. I also liked the love interest of the novel, even with all the unnecessary dithering about they both did with regards to one another, it seems romance is never straight forward.

The dystopian element of the novel had just the right amount of action and horror, without that "I'm just cruisin along through this awful, oppressive society" like in Matched, where it's damn near impossible to care about the characters because even they don't seem too bothered about the whole situation. It was a refreshingly quick take-off too. I prepared myself for a slow start when I encountered dust clouds in the first few pages (uh, do I care?) but the novel got to the action almost instantly with a murder and kidnapping - that's right, no Diana Gabaldon style digression from the main story, I've missed this kind of novel that get's into the thick of the plot right away.

Oh, and another thing... journies. I love journies in novels, when they're kept at a good fast pace you feel like there's constantly something happening. Though the books are actually very different from Blood Red Road, one of the main reasons I loved The Knife of Never Letting Go and Beyond the Deepwoods is because they had awesome fast-paced journies throughout. So, yeah, kudos for that.

I know some people who've read ARCs of this didn't like the language style, but I did. I've always liked different accents, dialect and colloquialism. It was different, but a good kind of different.
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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 
PeeBee (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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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Blood Red Road, 26 Oct. 2011
This review is from: Blood Red Road (Paperback)
This is Moira Young's debut novel and what an entrance to the world of young adult literature she has made. 'Blood Red Road' is a relentless adventure which will grip you from beginning to end and will leave you counting the days until the sequel is released.

The story revolves around Saba trying to find her brother, taken from their family home by mysterious men on horseback. Saba's quest takes place in a dystopian world which Young has vividly created. There are elements of our world and yet so much is different. Cities are now concrete jungles and new species roam the barren wastelands, ready to pounce on unsuspecting souls.

The book moves at an exhilarating pace as Young pushes Saba ever onwards on her quest. Accompanied by younger sister Emmi, Saba endures many challenges including a period where she is a competitor in a'Hunger Games'(fellow dystopian novel) style cage fighting event.

It is within the walls of the cage fighting arena that Saba discovers Jack who joins the two sisters in their desperate search for Lugh. The three of them all play their part in the books exciting final chapters.

Saba is one of the many reasons you will love this book. Feisty, fearless and yet at times fragile she leads you through Young's desolate landscape with no fear. Jack although arrogant and cocky still comes across as a likeable guy and the love/hate relationship which develops between him and Saba is an enjoyable plot development.

Almost stealing the show from Saba is her pet crow, Nero. Never has there been a more unorthodox yet instantly likeable hero in a book! A constant confidant for Saba, Nero allows us to see what Saba is really thinking as she continues on her journey.

Young has written the book in the first person in the style of, what I presume, is Saba's Western accent. There is also no speech punctuation and although some may find this tricky it didn't spoil my enjoyment of the book.

Blood Red Road is an epic adventure story which will transport you to a near future which will scare you, yet excite you at the same time. Reminiscent at times of Patrick Ness and Suzanne Collins yet still full of originality Young has written a book which you will be sure to enjoy.
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