Saba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. The Wrecker civilization has long been destroyed, leaving only landfills for Saba and her family to scavenge from. That’s fine by her, as long as her beloved twin brother Lugh is around. But when a monster sandstorm arrives, along with four cloaked horsemen, Saba’s world is shattered. Lugh is captured, and Saba embarks on an epic quest to get him back.
Suddenly thrown into the lawless, ugly reality of the world outside of desolate Silverlake, Saba is lost without Lugh to guide her. So perhaps the most surprising thing of all is what Saba learns about herself: she’s a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. And she has the power to take down a corrupt society from the inside. Teamed up with a handsome daredevil named Jack and a gang of girl revolutionaries called the Free Hawks, Saba stages a showdown that will change the course of her own civilization.
I just found out that Moira Young was born in New Westminster which is the city I lived in for the first ten years after I moved to Canada so yes, immediate bias. That said, Blood Red Road really was all sorts of awesome. I was initially hesitant to read it because of I had read that it was written in dialect but I found that the dialect was not at all intrusive where reading is concerned. In fact, you somehow don’t even notice it as the novel progresses.
I had trouble with Saba’s character from the get go. I thought she was unnecessarily mean to her younger sister but as you follow the trajectory of her growth as a person through the length of the narrative, you can’t help but come to like her, flaws and all. Young is particularly skilled at building believable characters who are not at all stereotyped. Saba is mean to her sister but she has her reasons and her reasons show her immaturity but she overcomes this, her attitude is addressed explicitly and I quite liked that.
Blood Red Road has some of the most villainous villains present in literature – the most horrible of them being the mother of the official villain of the series. The actual villain is not so much a threat as a warning to all about the vagaries of power and corruption. The romance in this one is liable to make a girl heart sputter and then race and then sputter some more. Jack is somehow the answer to all I want a dystopian love interest to be. Seriously.
Plotting, pacing, characters, the novel has them all. This is the one dystopian that I can whole heartedly endorse. I recommend this to everyone who wants to be thrilled. Go forth and acquire this novel.