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Road to Ruin and Rescue,
This review is from: Blood Red Road (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
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.