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Blood Red Road: Dustlands: 1 [Hardcover]

Moira Young
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
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Book Description

June 7 2011 Dustlands
This fast-paced YA debut novel has it all: smart, savvy characters making their way through an eerily dystopian society, with all the requisite action, adventure and romance characteristic of the genre vividly and at times, chillingly, portrayed.

In a wild and lawless future, where life is cheap and survival is hard, eighteen-year-old Saba lives with her father, her twin brother Lugh, her young sister Emmi and her pet crow Nero. Theirs is a hard and lonely life. The family resides in a secluded shed, their nearest neighbour living many miles away and the lake, their only source of water and main provider of food, gradually dying from the lack of rain. But Saba's father refuses to leave the place where he buried his beloved wife, Allis, nine years ago. Allis died giving birth to Emmi, and Saba has never forgiven her sister for their mother's death.

But while she despises Emmi, Saba adores her twin brother Lugh. Golden-haired and blue-eyed, loving and good, he seems the complete opposite to dark-haired Saba, who is full of anger and driven by a ruthless survival instinct. To Saba, Lugh is her light and she is his shadow, he is the day, she is the nighttime, he is beautiful, she is ugly, he is good, she is bad.

So Saba's small world is brutally torn apart, when a group of armed riders arrives five day's after the twin's eighteenth birthday snatch Lugh away. Saba's rage is so wild, that she manages to drive the men away, but not before they have captured Lugh and killed their father.

And here begins Saba's epic quest to rescue Lugh, during which she is tested by trials she could not have imagined, and one that takes the reader on breathtaking ride full or romance, physical adventure and unforgettably vivid characters, making this a truly sensational YA debut novel.

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Product Description


 “It’s Mad Max and The Hunger Games meets True Grit. . . .The author moves between ruthless action and gorgeous, buttery narration. . . . In the hands of a lesser writer, that style might have dragged, but first-time author Young is talented, and she’s just getting started. . . This is a must-read, where girls rescue boys, and where the future looms up full of hope and loss, struggles and archetypes that give the story a timeless, classic edge.”
The Globe and Mail

“Eerie and adventurous. . .on par with Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games and Paolo Bacigalupi’s Ship Breaker. . . Blood Red Road has a cinematic quality that makes it white-hot. . . .The fervor is more than warranted.”
LA Times

“Brutal and thrilling.”
The Wall Street Journal

“Not only will it satisfy the cravings of Hunger Games fans, but it is—dare I say—better than The Hunger Games. . . . This book will blow you away. . . . Blood Red Road simply delivers. The story, the writing, the characters and the narrative voice are stunning and completely original, setting this book apart from the crowd of dystopian novels.”
—Hollywood Crush,
“[Blood Red Road is] poised to be the next big thing in teen fiction, and with good reason. . . . The world . . . is beautifully wrought, as well as terrifyingly plausible. . . . Young has taken familiar pieces of everything from Gladiator to Lord of the Rings and put them in the hands of a spunky, moody heroine who breaths new life into old motifs.”
Quill & Quire

“[Blood Red Road] mashes together McCarthy’s intensity with a laconic narrative style taken from the literature of the American west. . . . Yes, this is the perfect apocalypse for pre-teens.”
The Guardian (UK)

“Young adults will enjoy reading this story of the transformation that is possible when you fight for what you believe in and know in your heart that it is right.”
National Post

Blood Red Road is an epic adventure set in a violent future world and nothing is as it seems. Young manages to breathe life into her characters with little insights that warm the heart.”
The Sun Daily

About the Author

MOIRA YOUNG was born in New Westminster, BC, where she attended the University of British Columbia before heading to the UK to study drama. After a few years of performing on the alternative comedy circuit and tap-dancing on a West End stage, Young returned to Vancouver where she successfully trained as an opera singer. Returning to the UK, she sang in some of London's most prestigious venues. Young has now returned to her first love - writing - with her debut novel, Blood Red Road. Moira Young lives in Bath, England with her husband.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By Darlene TOP 50 REVIEWER
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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4.0 out of 5 stars uniquely different June 4 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It took a few pages to grow used to the lack of punctuation and intentional misspellings in the dialogue but it's this writing style that makes the characters so much more convincing. I have already downloaded book #2 in this series and can't wait to begin a new adventure with Saba and her crew!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent young adult post-apocalypse story 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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2.0 out of 5 stars Our hero is more lucky than good. Aug. 27 2013
By Ranger
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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5.0 out of 5 stars amazing July 30 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
i loved the relationships that starte to grow! i never read a book with this kind or style of how the characters alked but it made the book even better if thats even possible
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprised
I enjoyed this book so much because it started off slow but then it actually got really interesting and exciting. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Rogan Andrew Kilburn Leach
4.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 Stars
I had heard really good things about Blood Red Road and of course the quote on the cover -- "Better than The Hunger Games . . . This book will blow you away. Read more
Published 20 months ago by SIKBookReviewer
5.0 out of 5 stars Can be put on the same pedestal as Hunger Games!!
I had trouble with finding a good book in the Dystopian genre that was on par with The Hunger Games. I thought to myself, nothing will be able to compare. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Karoline
5.0 out of 5 stars Teen Review from Esther's Ever After
This is one of those books where you either hate it, or you love it. I was anticipating for this book to be alright, but what I didn't expect was to love it as much as I did. Read more
Published on May 2 2012 by Dorian.EverAfterEsther
4.0 out of 5 stars Blood Red Road
Much like the majority of books I buy nowadays I bought this book solely based upon recommendations and reviews I had read, reviews written by fellow book bloggers- I admittedly... Read more
Published on Jan. 10 2012 by Avery Greaves
5.0 out of 5 stars refreshing
This book is amazing! Young's incredible descriptive writing made me feel like I was walking through the heat and blowing sand right along with Saba! Read more
Published on Nov. 1 2011 by Amanda Reeves
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Quite Hunger Games
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. Read more
Published on July 19 2011 by Cassandra63
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