“In the Dustlands, you fight or you die.”
The writing style is either going to be a hit or a miss with readers. The whole book is written in incorrect spelling and lack of dialogue markers because the narrator lived in isolation with her family and in Saba’s world literature has long but disappeared. Just to give you guys a gist of what it’s like:
“I don’t say naught. Jest trace circles in the dirt with my finger.”
Obviously, it gave me a hell of a ride in the beginning, but as I got to see more of Saba and Emmi, Maeve (Yes, this book’s got girl warriors!) and Jack, it proved to enhance Saba’s (the narrator) authenticity.
The heroine’s heritage comes from a long line of dystopian fighters, and every now and then you see a little of Katsa from Graceling or Katniss from the Hunger Games surface in Saba. The familiar heightened survival instincts, protectiveness, charisma, stubbornness, and strength. When the future world is a hellish desert ruled by bandits, Saba is the only fighter you want on your side. In the desert, food and water is scarce, and you can trust no one. Blood Red Road is a celebration of girl power, where girls save boys, and there is not a single damsel in distress to be seen. They don’t even bother trying to prove to guys that they are just as strong or feel the need to unsex themselves Lady Macbeth style. The girls in Blood Red Road really just don’t give a crap ’bout the guys, the simply are girls, they kick ass, and the know it.
So, back to Saba’s lil sis for a second. She’s nothing like Prim- in facts she is the most annoying little twerp I’ve ever read about and at some parts I was glad I’m not related to a little tag-along-ruin-it-all like that. Emmi played her role of little sister extremely well, and the growth in her is obvious; as the plot develops Emmi becomes a loyal and strong girl who’s really just a mini version of Saba- just more innocent and childlike.
But the thing that makes Blood Red Road a shining beacon in a saturated market of Dystopian (no, I’m exaggerating, but don’t go in expecting another Hunger Games or Divergent!) is its plot. Unlike most dystopian series, it’s not about rebellion and power, it is just an adventure with a hint of western. Simple as that. Saba’s story is a familiar adventure book, with bits of romance twisted in here and there. Although there isn’t as much as we are probably used to, but you don’t hear me complaining- Jack’s a cool, likable guy, and he doesn’t use some macho maleness to dominate Saba or has some sort of supernatural instinct to protect her. He’s just a boy, and she’s just a girl. It’s as simple as that, and sometimes he even defends Emmi from Saba when she gets mad (which is understandable, because if I had a sister as
annoying loyal as Emmi I’d snap too). Saba may take some getting used to in the beginning (she used to be an overload of rudeness and blind loyalty) but Jack certainly plays a part in making Saba an extremely likable narrator.
Blood Red Road was a refreshing dystopian/adventure novel- it’s an easy read and definitely suitable for all ages. The pace of the plot is fast and just right for an adventure, complete with some falling into sandpits or Gladiator cages in a re-created Coliseum. Saba is definitely a memorable YA character and I fell hard and fast for her from the beginning. I can unquestionably see why Blood Red Road’s on its way to become a movie. Although the ending was probably not what I wanted, it was understandable and now I DEFINITELY want to get ahold of Rebel Heart next.
Ahhhhh! And Jack’s on the cover!
But now that the adventure’s got ahold of me..gotta make time for Katsa and Po in Bitterblue as well!
I’m torn, guys.
The Permanent Monday