Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Blood Red Road, by Moira Young (A Book Review)

Summary:  Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome for a new generation, only with a chick as the one kicking post-apocalyptic tail feathers.

The only world Saba knows is Silverlake, a dried up land where life is hard and food is scarce.  Strange, cloaked riders on horseback appear on the heels of a wicked dust storm, capturing her twin brother Lugh and stealing him away.  Saba, knowing almost nothing but stories of the world beyond her home, vows to get him back.  Her journey lands her into a world of violence and corruption.  She teams up with renegade Jack and a girl gang of insurrectionists called the Free Hawks.  Together they endeavor to rescue Lugh and depose a corrupt king. 

Sound the trumpets!  Fire the canons!  Cue the choir of angels!  It’s finally happened.  You have no idea how much I’ve longed for this day.  I’d almost given up.  But Ms. Moira Young has done the impossible for me—she created a female protagonist that I loved from the first page.  Saba.  This is not a story about a girl, quaking in her espadrilles, who sits back and watches the boy save her repeatedly while she nibbles on her cotton candy pink glitter nail polished fingertips.  Yessssssss!!  J

I loved this book, I loved this book, I loved this book.  Whew!  I feel so much better to have that off my chest.  Blood Red Road is now located in the very short stack of books I will read again one day.  I lost track of how many times I moaned and laughed out loud. I truly can’t remember having this much fun reading any book.  Ever.

All that gushing aside, there are a couple of things I should prepare you for.  This book is written without the use of quotations.  Glancing at other reviews, it seems to have taken some people a number of pages to adjust to this.  I confess, for me, it was easy and refreshing.  If you find yourself initially frustrated, I urge you to push forward. You’ll catch on.  This is a post-apocalyptic/dystopic world where no one goes to school.  They have their own verbiage, slight variations to English slang.  Perhaps a sample from the book to demonstrate?  Here goes:

He throws his head back an curses unner his breath. Stands up. Whatever I say now, he says, you ain’t gonna believe me. 

Alright, so one of the reasons I loved this book so much is that I am a Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome fan  (This admission will unfortunately clue you in to my age).  I have a sneaking suspicion that Ms. Young is as well.  I’d go so far as to suppose she has an old Beyond Thunderdome movie poster hanging up somewhere with a lipstick kiss on a youthful Mel Gibson’s cheek.  J  This story also involves a bit of cage fighting and I confess, any time I read a fight scene, a crazed crowd cheered from the recesses of my brain, “Two men en-tah, one man leaves.”

This is the point in my review where I offer up some tidbit of criticism, as no author is perfect and the art of writing is a continual refining process…nope, I got nothing.  This is  story with action, adventure, romance, drama, tension, tears,  plot and characters I can’t get enough of.  Fans of The Hunger Games will find plenty to get excited about here. 

Here’s the part of my review where I was going to implore Hollywood to add this to the list of YA fiction it scoops up for the big screen.  But then a little birdie whispered in my ear that my wish is already coming true.  Who you ask?  Why, Ridley Scott.  Oooo…I’m all aquiver.  Check it out:

Parental note:  Some cussing.

As I end this book review, cue the guitar and keyboard.  Sing it, Tina Turner.  “We don’t need another heeeeero,  We don’t need to know the waaaay home.  All we want is—” Ms. Moira Young to write quickly.  I’m ready for the next book.  Like, now. 

            --Suzi Ryan

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