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July 17, 2012

[White Pine 2012] "Bood Red Road" by Moira Young

 Title: Blood Red Road
Author: Moira Young
Publication: 2011, Margaret K. McElderry Books

Summary: 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. ....read more

Review: This was a surprisingly slow (for me) yet still enjoyable and emotionally decent book for me. I feel that under the circumstances that I read this book, I may not have felt as strongly toward it as many of you.

 Is it safe to say that all you dear readers have had incidences of  bad food combinations? For me, eating Xiao-rong-bao-zi (a Chinese breakfast snack) and then drinking water would directly lead to terrible stomachaches. Well, this is my first time experiencing bad book conbinations. While reading "Blood Red Road", I was reading my compulsory book for English class. Which just so turns out to be a book with a title containing the phrase: "The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation!". Pair that up with a book completely lacking in proper quotation marks, ....oh boy.

Aside from being slightly annoyed (okay, okay, I was VERY annoyed) with the punctuation, and somewhat of the spelling (Spelling Bee champion here! ^_^), the story that Ms. Young put out there was actually quite compelling. The positive side to the interesting and unique writing style? The incredible picture it painted for me as a reader. One major impact of the "slang" that the author used was that, along with the use of first person, I felt like I could hear exactly how Saba was talking, and how her voice sounded like! This was the first time I felt like I could hear a character's voice so clearly and strongly, and that, I must admit, is pretty amazing.

The storyline itself is pretty well-paced for the most part, as the tension builds and the author pulls off a couple of nice twists here and there nearing the home stretch and end. Characters do take a bit of time to warm-up, though the intense climb in the closeness of inter-character relationships were great, so by the end of the book, I felt like they were closely knit. 

One aspect that I didn't like about the characters and relationships was how little time the author dedicated to Lugh. From the summary, you can tell that Lugh is the main drive for the plot. And technically he is. And he is not. We don't get to know Lugh at the beginning before he gets kidnapped, even though there are a couple of reminiscent pieces from Saba dropped in here and there. Therefore, I felt like I really couldn't relate to Saba's love for Lugh, so ultimately for me, the fire didn't reach hot level...it just stayed luke-warm. 

Overall, the characters (especially Saba, not including Lugh) are really well-developed, and I loved how much change Saba went through; she definitely won me over by the end. This was really an interesting read that's out of my normal, which I honestly appreciate! The plot itself is not bad, though not epic, but it's still enough to keep a firm grasp on you through this rocky and adventurous ride!

Rating: ✿✿✿ 3 Blossoms
Final Notes: Took me longer than I expected, but by the end of it, whew! Great journey, definitely! Didn't impress me as much as I wanted (and I'm saying that without any side-feelings for the style), though a decent read for the most part. I really do think this one's going to depend on you as a reader. Characters though? (Besides Lugh, again...sorry Lugh). Fantastic!



  1. I'm sorry you didn't love this one as much as I did, Vivian! I totally understand about the writing style- it was really frustrating for me. And I love that you were reading a book about punctuation while reading this book! XD Although I really liked the writing, after a while. It started really flowing for me. I do agree about Lugh as well, I wish we had some more memories and that we got to know him more. The whole book was centered around finding Lugh, but we don't even know that much to happen. I can definitely see how that made the tension in the story luke-warm, as you put it [very nicely phrased! <3].

    Fabulous review, Vivian! I hope that you'll pick up the sequel as well so that we can chat about it. =)

    -Aneeqah @ My Not So Real Life

  2. It was slow at the beginning for me too, but then really picked up with Saba fighting. As an older sister I understood her annoyance with her little sister, but was glad that she came to value that relationship tons more by the end. I'm looking forward to seeing how this series continues (more romantic tension please!) and wonder about the movie rumors I've been hearing.

    Great review! (and yeah, that would be a horrible book combination!)

  3. It took me half the book to really get into Blood Red Road. Once I started to understand the lingo, the reading got a lot easier as well. Thanks for the review!

  4. Oh, Vivi, that's EXACTLY why I couldn't get into this book too! I read the first bit of this in stores to give it a taste, but the prose was so strange and hard to get into that I ended up putting it down and never giving it a second chance. The only thing that keeps me going is that other people DO seem to love this series, and when you put it that way, I guess it really does have a positive impact on story visualization. :')

    Awesome honest review, Spelling Bee Champ! ;) <3

  5. True! Saba's love for Lugh is so blind, one keeps wanting to say, nope he's not all. Great review, I never mind slang, so after a couple of pages I was okay with the style, so I really enjoyed it.

  6. How cool that you were a Spelling Bee Champ! I must say that I'm very good too (in my own language, mind that :p My English is far from perfect) so those things always bother me. Luckily for me, English is not my native language, so perhaps it won't bother me as much :) I really like the blurb - and this version of the cover - so I might give it a try. I think I'll go to the library and get a copy :) Thanks for the great, honest review Viv ^^

  7. Oh God, the bad book combination happened to me in high school. Freshman year, we were studying syntax and I had to read these articles on the importance of complete sentences. You'd be surprised how many fiction books use fragmented sentences, on purpose, for a stylized impact. It drove me bonkers.


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