Title: Blood Red Road
Author: Moira Young
Published: June 7th, 2011 by Margaret K. McElderry (Simon & Schuster)
Buy: Amazon / Book Depository
Series: Dustlands #1
Source: ARC from S & S
Synopsis: 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. (Goodreads)
Initial Thoughts: I first noticed this book because of the (awesome) cover. I immediately thought: post-apocalyptic setting, woman on her own; this is going to be scary as hell. When I read the blurb, I was surprised (pleasantly) to discover that it was a YA title. I received this title from the publisher free of charge, in exchange for an honest review.
Review: This was a fantastic book. The main character was just flawed enough to be realistic. Her struggle to find her twin and her the devotion she felt toward him was balanced out by much more complex relationships with the other members of her family. I loved watching Saba force her way through this new world, becoming as nonchalantly Bad-A as a character from a Quentin Tarantino movie. I love that the author avoided making her main character too perfect. I like a character who sometimes makes you cringe. It's hard to relate to someone who always does the noble thing, never acts like a jerk. My only complaint with this book (and the reason it didn't get 5 stars) was the dialect. It was just too distracting. I stopped noticing it about a quarter of the way in, but I had to really push myself to stay engaged for that quarter. Reading and writing have been all but extinct for generations, so words have softened and distorted. The author's crazy spellings are a way to convey this (and I understand why she did it), but it still drove me crazy. For instance: exactly was spelled "ezzackly". It felt like one of these would pop up and destroy my rhythm just when I was really getting into the story.