This weeks book recommendation is...
by Moira Young
amazon - paperback £5.11
In a lawless future land, where life is cheap and survival is hard, Saba has been brought up in isolated Silverlake. She never sees the dangers of the destructive society outside. When her twin brother is snatched by mysterious black-robed riders, she sets outon an epic quest to rescue him. The story's searing pace, its spare style, the excitement of its fabulously damaged world, its unforgettably vivid characters, its violent action and glorious lovestory make this a truly sensational YA debut novel.
Set in the distant future, Blood Red Road is narrated by the colourful Saba, a girl whose life changes one day when her brother is stolen by four men in black robes. After they kill her father and disappear with her brother, Saba takes in hand her little sister and decides to cross the dustlands of their world to bring her brother back. Along the way, she encounters trouble, disaster, friendship and love.
This is a great read. I admit to being a little disappointed because I wanted it to be an amazing read, but nonetheless Blood Red Road is a page turner and I’m definitely looking forward to the sequel. This was a difficult one to begin with because Moira Young not only writes in present tense, but in first person narrative with no quotation marks to separate prose from dialogue. I'm guessing the unique style had a literary function – in Young’s world there is barely anything left of our technology and culture, including literature, and so Saba has no understanding of the written word. The book is written in an unbroken, spoken style that reflects that. However, I found it very confusing, not entirely sure when Saba was speaking and when she was thinking. Eventually I caught onto the flow, but there were still moments throughout where I was caught out. Other than that I liked Young’s style. Her short, sharp sentences and choppy dialect made for fast reading.
There is plenty of action in Blood Red Road, and although not overly original or fresh, the plot devices were fun and often exciting and allowed my favourite part of the novel to shine – Saba. Saba is a great heroine. She’s got defences as high as Fort Knox; she’s impatient, she’s surly, and yet she has heart; she’s brave, she’s fiercely loyal and she has the ability and willingness to change. Saba was Blood Red Road for me, and I’m looking forward to reading more about her, and in particular her developing relationship with Jack. The chemistry between these two characters was fantastic and it’s the thought of the unknown with regards to their future together that makes me want to pick up the next book.
On a side note: Blood Red Road for me is a media amalgamation of Patrick Ness' The Knife of Never Letting Go,the movies Beyond The Thunderdome, The Postman, Gladiator and Tremors. There was definite influences from lots of fiction but as I say it didn't really bother me. It was actually fun, well done, and an enjoyable read.