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Blood Red Road: Dustlands: 1 Hardcover – Jun 7 2011

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday Canada (June 7 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385671830
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385671835
  • Product Dimensions: 14.5 x 3.6 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 590 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #233,157 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Darlene TOP 500 REVIEWER on Dec 20 2012
Format: Audio CD
This YA Dystopian debut by Canadian author, Moira Young, is pretty good. It won numerous literary awards, including: Sunburst Award Nominee for Young Adult (2012), Costa Book Award for Children's Book (2011), Cybils Award for Fantasy & Science Fiction (Young Adult) (2011), and Teen Buckeye Book Award Nominee (2012).

Saba and her twin brother, Lugh, are 18 years old. They are as close as siblings can be, and Saba lives and breathes for Lugh. For the most part, they have been raised by their father. Their mother died in childbirth when their younger sister, Emmi, was born when the twins were 10 years old. Saba is resentful of Emmy and blames her for causing their mother's death. Lugh is the kinder one, and he does what he can to make Emmi happy.

Saba's father, Willem, reads the stars. Lugh thinks it is nonsense, but Saba believes her father when he warns her to be strong and not give into fear because, one day, Lugh and Emmi and many others will need her. He makes her promise to never give up, and she assures him that she is not a quitter. Four horsemen come, and they take Lugh away. Willem is killed during the melee, and Saba promises Lugh that she will find him.

Saba and Emmi now only have each other. Willem always told Saba to go to Crosscreek and find Mercy, who was her mother's friend, should anything happen. It is a three-day journey on foot. Saba explains what has happened and asks Mercy to look after Emmi while she goes off in search for Lugh. Mercy agrees, and Saba sets off. Saba gets captured and is taken to Hopetown, where her head is shaved and she is forced to engage in cage fights against other women. She earns the nickname of "The Angel of Death." There, she meets a mysterious man named Jack who is another cage-fighter.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Cassandra63 on July 19 2011
Format: Hardcover
Critics compare this novel with Hunger Games, so I had high hopes and bought one right away. And read it right away, so it was good enough, but not as good as Hunger Games. It gets off to a great start in a manner reminiscent of Mad Max: Road Warrior. However, some elements seem lifted directly from HG and barely concealed by new names. BRR visits some of the same topics as HG, but with less finesse and subtlety. Characters are not as fully developed. BRR reminds me of the first Harry Potter in that there is room for growth, and I expect this young writer will, like JK Rowling, gain better control of her story as the series progresses. I will direct my student fans of HG to this book, but it will not become a classroom tool for starting the post-apocalyptic conversation. It does not as cleanly hold up the mirror to real life, except in the parts borrowed from HG.
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By Rose TOP 500 REVIEWER on April 9 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Saba isn't what you would call a people-person. She leaves that to her twin brother Lugh. When four riders come to their home, kidnap Lugh and kill her Pa, she's left with her little sister Emmi, the reason her mother died in childbirth and Saba's never forgiven Emmi for that. Saba's got her mind set - she's going to travel to a friend of her mother's, drop Emmi off, then head out to find Lugh.

The first part of the story reminded me a bit of Not a Drop to Drink. They were living in a small place in the middle of nowhere with an ever-dwindling supply of water. Strangers were rare and not to be trusted. Once she had begun her travels, it quickly morphed into Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. It was a total adventure and I had a good time reading it. I even liked the romance part of it, and anyone who knows me knows I hate reading romance, but this was done perfectly.

This instalment ended exactly the way I think a series should be done. You're not left on a cliffhanger, essentially mid-story. You have a sense of fulfillment but also a desire to see what happens next in their lives. It can be read as a stand-alone but I can't imagine not wanting to read more about this world and the people in it. Most of all, I can't wait to discover what we crazy humans have done to leave the world as it is in this story. It's not mentioned but we are referred to as the Wreckers. Should be interesting to find out....I hope we find out.
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Format: Paperback
While the plot of this book held great potential I felt that the narrative devices used in this book were weak at best. The writing style of this book is difficult to follow and comes off as clumsy for most of the story.

With the exception of Saba (our hero) the other characters are one dimensional and their decisions lack any kind of internal consistency. A character will be a brute one minute and a savior the next without any explanation or reason. As if the author couldn't be bothered to devote time to develop motivations or histories on any secondary characters.

Then there is the adventure itself which seems to be more about Saba being lucky then possessing any kind of skill or survival instinct. Every difficult situation Saba finds herself in seems to be resolved by lucky circumstance or an impossible coincidence rather than any effort on Saba's part. Every character she encounters is also either the one person who just happens to have the knowledge she needs to go to the next stage of her quest or someone who will drop everything they are doing to help her. Given the narrative sets up a cruel, harsh and untrusting world I found this overabundance of trust and helpfulness from everyone she meets a little difficult to swallow.

At the end of the day the book is 450 page of Saba feeling sorry for herself while her quest is more about happenstance and fortuitous circumstance than the cunning survivalist heroine the book jacket leads us to believe.

Better than the Hunger Games... I think not.
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