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on 12 December 2015
Blood Red Road is raw, arid, grit in your eyes compelling and it drags you into a world of hopeless, praying the main characters will be left with their bodies complete and a shadow of soul left to nurture.
Four horsemen kick the story into life by kidnapping Lugh, Saba’s twin brother, and the son of a desperate man the horseman, thankfully put down like a wounded dog.
Saba vows to rescue her brother but there’s a little sister, a bothersome thing whose birth nine years earlier was the death of their mother. Emmi is her name and untrainable stubborn she proves to be.
With a crow stealing the best scenes the threesome head out into a waste land so bereft of life you got to wonder how many apocalypses it takes to reduce a world to nothing.
They are captured and transported to a thunder dome type world where Saba has to fight daily to the death, but she learns the location of lugh’s prison and his imminent sacrifice at the hands of an immortal King. In between the scrapping, a task Saba has a natural feral talent, she befriends an all female troop called the Free Hawks and fights against an all consuming love for fellow cage fighter Jack.
Did I like this story? Oh yeah, I liked it a lot.
Just a quick point to put out there. If Saba met Katniss in a fight I reckon Saba would cream the girl from district twelve easy. Hand to hand combat that is. I mean don’t let Katniss anywhere near a bow and quiver stuffed with arrows.
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on 20 August 2014
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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on 28 July 2014
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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on 21 December 2011
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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on 29 August 2016
I loved this book. It had a mad max fury road sort of vibe and I really loved the storyline and the characters. This is a new favourite of mine which will be re-read. I don't think it needed the romance though, I think the book would have succeeded admirably without it. The romance didn't detract from the excellent writing, likeable characters, interesting plotline, good suspense and nice ending.
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on 20 June 2013
I think this was on Amazon's recommended books so I checked the rating with Goodreads and thought I'd give it a go. The language and the lack of punctuation annoyed me for a bit but then I got used to it and then the story kicked off. I've read a couple of reviews about people not understanding Saba's relationship with her brother Lugh and I agreed to an extent. I think she mentions that after her mum died, her dad wasn't present so Lugh became her idol in a sense because he took charge of everything. I loved this book, I loved Jack and De Malo and Saba and Nero and even the horse! Just amazing!
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on 20 September 2013
First off, i loved the writing style. The first person, with no speech marks actually really let's you get under Saba's skin. And what a heroine she is! I love books with a strong female lead, but this one really pulled me in with her blunt emotions, family loyalty and sheer pig-headedness. There's none of the guilt about being a violent, even brutal, female because she knows exactly who she's fighting for throughout the book: a self belief that is refreshing in it's honesty. The supporting characters are fantastic too, I especially enjoyed the interplay between Saba and her siblings, and between Saba and her roguish love interest. The romantic interplay wasn't overdone, with the stereotypical misunderstandings and jealousies, but it really tugged at the heartstrings all same.
Overall, it was so refreshing to have a storyline and a background history to the book that wasn't totally obvious from the start, or filled with simpering women (pet hate). If you enjoyed hunger games you'll be in for a treat. Keep it coming Moira!!
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on 4 December 2017
Pretty Good Book, not an unforgettable story but I still think about it sometime to time.
I'm a fan of dystopian fiction and I'm happy to have this book on my dystopian shelf.

Would recommend
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on 24 September 2014
I know it sounds wierd but I didnt read anything about this book before reading it, it was recommended book from Amazon and I just bought it on a whim. At first I couldn't really get into it, until I realised it was a set in the future and then it started to make a bit more sense, and I think it does take few pages to get into it even if you know what you are reading
By the end I was hooked and I will definitely read more of the series.
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on 3 May 2018
A good read. Enjoy.
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