Author: Moira Young
Series: Dust Lands #1
Rating: 4.5 / 5 stars
"I ain't no quitter. No matter what."
Well, by golly, if that isn't the case. She may not be the most grammatically trained young individual (which you will quickly come to realize when reading Young's rather unique prose), but she ain't no liar neether. Saba is the first female heroine since Katniss that I can fully get behind. She's dedicated to her twin brother, concerned about how her younger sister will slow her down, and will stop at nothing to do what she needs to get done. She's a teenage girl, so of course hormones come into play, especially since the only other male she's met in her lifetime that's her age is her brother, but she doesn't let her hormones control her either. She is also self degrading, which I can totally understand.
Blood Red Road is the story about Saba's quest to save Lugh from the scoundrels who swept him away in the middle of a dust storm, but it is so much more than that. It is really a coming of age story for Saba, and how she finds out who she really is, and what she really stands for. I love the transition in the relationship between Saba and Emmi. In the beginning, all she wants to do is leave her sister behind. She doesn't really care, or at least she tells herself so, if Emmi lives or dies. After all, Emmi's birth killed their mother. She thinks Emmi is a weight holding her back. But Emmi is a relentless little pest, and Saba can't easily shake her. I think Saba can really relate to that. After all, sounds a lot like Saba herself, no? When someone tries to hurt Emmi, someone other than Saba threatens Emmi, then woah. Because, family is family. You sometimes forget that when you're by yourself, but when you're let loose on society... family matters. It's a theme that runs throughout the novel, and it's a powerful one.
And then the ending. Oh, the ending. The ending is so perfect. There's no better ending than one that wraps so tightly and eloquently back to the beginning of the novel, and this novel does just that. And it does it in a way that chronicles how far Saba has come in the novel, how much she's changed since she first abandons the only home she's ever known.
It's hard to pin point exactly what is so great about Blood Red Road, especially since the grammar can be so difficult to read at times. But it's fast paced, heart warning and heart wrenching, and just plain interesting. The world is unique. I think it's a futuristic, post-apocalyptic Earth, but I can't be entirely sure. It's a great stand alone novel on its own, but it's part of the Dust Lands trilogy. Needless to say, I can't wait to see where we go from here.