Monday, 19 September 2016

Blood Red Road by Moira Young


 Series: Dust Lands
Author: Moira Young
Page Count: 459
Published: June 7th, 2011
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
  2.5 Stars ★★

Saba lives with her father, her brother Lugh, and her sister Emmi. Their home is in Silverlake, where they live alone beside a drying-out lake and face sandstorms regularly. When Lugh is taken by strange men on horseback, Saba vows to rescue him and she starts on a journey to get him back.

But her journey is anything but smooth, and she must face harsh weather, dangerous creatures and people with evil intentions. With the help of some friends along the way, she's hopeful to get Lugh back before anything happens to him. But what if she doesn't make it in time?

I feel a bit conflicted over this book. There were some things that I liked, but the things that I didn't like are quite significant and affected my reading experience greatly. I hate giving books a low rating, but I can't find any way to justify rating this over a 2.5 out of 5 stars.

So the best thing about this book was the story. I loved the concept of a dystopian wasteland and the thing that really kept me reading was the events and struggles that Saba faced, and the hope that she would find her brother. I had trouble putting this book down because I wanted to hurry up and read it to find out what happened to Lugh, I wanted to see if she would save him. 

Saba's journey was an interesting one, filled with fights and scheming and making new friends. However, while I enjoyed the story, I can't say that I enjoyed the book itself.

The big issue for me was the writing style. The author decided not to use punctuation such as quotation marks when someone was talking, so that made for some confusion when there was a conversation between several people. I'd have to go back and read the page over to make sure I knew who was saying what. Sometimes I couldn't tell if something was being said out loud, or only in Saba's head. 

To add to the confusion was the deliberate misspelling of words to convey an accent or style of speaking. I understand wanting the reader to know what Saba sounds like, but this along with the lack of proper punctuation just added more confusion. I get that the author was probably trying to make her book unique, trying to make Saba seem more real and genuine, however it didn't work for me. 

I felt a bit distanced from the events that took place. In many books I feel like I'm actually there with the characters, and I find that makes a story all the better. But I felt more like just a spectator in this one, and I found that disappointing. If not for my interest in the ending, I probably wouldn't have continued reading past the first one hundred pages. 

Overall, a unique read with a great concept, but the writing style didn't work for me. 

Fans of futuristic and dystopian novels may like this. If you like action-packed stories and the writing style doesn't seem like it would bother you, I think it would be worth a try.