Review: Blood Red Road

Wednesday, 27 March 2013
Author: Moira Young
Edition: Scholastic Paperback
Released: 3rd January 2012
Series: Dust Lands #1
Pages: 417 approx.

In the Dustlands, you fight or you die.

There are no laws in Saba's world. When her twin brother is stolen, she pursues his captors through a wild, wasted land. She must become a warrior to survive. On this dangerous road she can trust no one. Not even the handsome thief who saves her life - and steals her heart.


When I first heard of this book, I'd been super excited. It'd sounded absolutely perfect for a dystopian lover like myself, and there had been so much hype surrounding it that I couldn't wait to buy my own copy. Even though, admittedly, it did take me a couple of tries to finally get into the book, I am so glad I did because it turned out to be one amazing, action-packed adventure that I ended up really loving.

The reason it took me a couple attempts to get into this book is simply because of its format. It was certainly very alien to me to start off with. I'd never read a book quite like this one. The narrator Saba's dialect is very strong throughout the course of the novel and the fact that no speech marks are used whenever a character talks certainly baffled me to begin with. However, after a while I finally managed to struggle through it to the point where it didn't bother me and I actually started to appreciate the way the author was making her book unique by doing it. This book also doesn't have any chapters and, instead, has an image of a crow - who I'm suspecting is Nero, Saba's bird friend ;) - separating sections which, again, I didn't mind so much about after a while.

One of the main reasons I loved this book so much - and that managed to make me dismiss my earlier scepticism - was all down to the action and adventure. I just love good ol' stories where the main characters go on a dangerous quest - especially if it's a unique, dystopian one brimming with action and adventure! The fighting scenes in this book were one of my favourite parts! The author managed to write them in a way that was clear but never boring which I really appreciated. The dystopian setting she created was also a very enjoyable part of the book. Saba's world is definitely one of the most haunting visions of the future I've ever read about! I really hope in book two we'll be able to find out even more about how it came to be that way.

The characters were also a big factor too, of course! To begin with I didn't think I'd get along with Saba - the way she treated her little sister, Emmi, instantly made me weary of her. She was so horrible to her! However, I really loved watching their relationship develop and grow - it was rather adorable. Due to this, I really came to admire and adore Saba. She was strong, brave, fiery... Just the sort-of heroine I love! She also had that more vulnerable side to her which made me love her even more. You could see the emotional affect some of the incidents in the book had on her and how she tried to stay strong and focus on fixing the problem instead of running away. It really showed that she was both strong inside and out. I also adored Jack. He's just how I like my love interests. ;) Arrogant, cocky, secretive, mysterious and, of course, swoon-worthy. I really enjoyed - or should I say, found it frustrating! - that Saba denied her feelings for him. It really helped add another layer to the story. Nero too! As already mentioned, Saba has a crow companion named Nero. He was certainly a very loveable and wise creature! I always seem to love animal sidekicks in books... 

To conclude, Blood Red Road, though it did take me a while to get into it, was a really unique, thrilling and exciting edition to the YA dystopian genre. The setting was intriguing, the characters well-developed, the plot a rollercoaster of action and adventure and the romance a great sub-plot that helped hook the reader even more. I really loved this book overall and can't wait to get my hands on book two, Rebel Heart, to find out what's going to happen next! Especially since that ending left me hanging! Jack?!?! I definitely recommend you read this if you love action/adventure novels and/or dystopia. Also, if you find the format hard to get over, try to struggle through! You do settle into it after a while! Maybe don't read this if you're looking for an easy read though - the dialogue does need some concentration. :)

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

PS: How nice is the cover for Rebel Heart by the way?! *_* ;)


  1. I've read so many amazing reviews for this book, but still haven't picked up a copy for myself! The writing style does sound very alien and perhaps difficult to get used to. I hope I don't have too hard of a time when I start this one. Saba sounds like a fantastic protagonist. I love my heroines fiery and brave, too! I also love action. This book sounds like fabulous. Wonderful review, Rachel!

  2. Amazing review, Rachel! I keep meaning to read it as, like you, this is my favourite genre! I LOVE thrillers and dystopian so since they come together in this book... BONUS! :D

    The structure of the book sounds interesting. It reminds me of a book called The Road which also used no speech marks when a person speaks. It was amazing! I think it takes a really talented author to pull that off :)

    I'm glad that you got into this book eventually. I don't have very good stamina when it comes to a slow paced book :P I'll definitely look out for this one though! And a bird sidekick?! YAY :D
    Thanks for posting :)

  3. I'm glad you gave it another try, I loved it and the sequel's very good too. Great review, Rachel :)

  4. Everytime I see another raving review for this popular novel, I want to try Blood Red Road again. I picked this up twice, and gave up twice. I don't know why, but I simply could not get used to the no speech marks thing. I probably didn't have enough patience with this book, though, and am going to give it another try.

    I am so glad that you didn't have as big an issue as I did with the format. It's great that you really enjoyed this action-packed novel, and that the characters had an impact on you, despite your rocky start with Saba.

    Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful review with us, Rachel! I have been persuaded to give Blood Red Road a 3rd try! :)

    By the way, I hope your studying and exams are going well, and that June comes around really quickly so you can come back to us full-time here in the bloggy world! :Dxxx

  5. Fab review Rachel :) I tried reading this a while ago, but like you, didn't like the style of writing :/ I think I'll give it another go though, Saba (and Jack ;D) sound like great characters :)

  6. Woohoo! This sounds really rocking-- I'm glad to hear that you made it through, even though it was hard to get used to the punctuation. I have this on my shelf. (I love animal sidekicks too!!) Jack sounds really swoony, and I think I could like Saba...after a while, LOL! Fantastic review, Rachel! (:

    Megan@The Book Babe

  7. Eeep, I'm glad you were able to power through the harsh beginning of this one! I totally agree about how hard it is to start this book because of the strange dialect. But I find that after you really get into it, it starts to flow really well. I also loved all the action and adventure in this one, it made this one so gripping!! And my love for Jack has no limits. ;)

    Fantastic review! <3

  8. I'm so glad you stuck with Blood Red Road and ended up loving it cause I love it too! This is why I always try to finish books even if I'm not particularly into it at the beginning because you never know, it might end up surprising you and you might actually love it! Now you really need to read Rebel Heart!! (It's so good - I practically devoured it when I got my hands on it!)

    Catherine :) xxx

  9. I've been wanting to read this book for ages! I'm so happy you enjoyed it, the cover is amazing! The format of the book seems really interesting...and strange! I'm so glad you enjoyed it-I've been wanting to read it for ages and after reading your review I need to read it ASAP! Thanks for the amazing review!
    Beth x

  10. Yay! I'm so glad you ended up loving this, Rachel. Conversely to you, I actually loved Saba right from the start and grew really annoyed with Emmie. Maybe that makes me a mean person, but oh well. :P I loved the way Moira Young chose to experiment with language; I thought it was such an amazing way of reflecting this dystopian society. Wonderful review, hon. :)

  11. Oh I absolutely LOVED this book, I'm glad you did too :)

  12. Glad that this one worked for you! Cause to be honest, it was decent to me :( I was annoyed with the way Saba treated Emmi and yeah I agree that Jack was amazing and Nero was such an adorable pet xD


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