Edition: Scholastic Paperback
Released: 3rd January 2012
Series: Dust Lands #1
Pages: 417 approx.
In the Dustlands, you fight or you die.
There are no laws in Saba's world. When her twin brother is stolen, she pursues his captors through a wild, wasted land. She must become a warrior to survive. On this dangerous road she can trust no one. Not even the handsome thief who saves her life - and steals her heart.
When I first heard of this book, I'd been super excited. It'd sounded absolutely perfect for a dystopian lover like myself, and there had been so much hype surrounding it that I couldn't wait to buy my own copy. Even though, admittedly, it did take me a couple of tries to finally get into the book, I am so glad I did because it turned out to be one amazing, action-packed adventure that I ended up really loving.
The reason it took me a couple attempts to get into this book is simply because of its format. It was certainly very alien to me to start off with. I'd never read a book quite like this one. The narrator Saba's dialect is very strong throughout the course of the novel and the fact that no speech marks are used whenever a character talks certainly baffled me to begin with. However, after a while I finally managed to struggle through it to the point where it didn't bother me and I actually started to appreciate the way the author was making her book unique by doing it. This book also doesn't have any chapters and, instead, has an image of a crow - who I'm suspecting is Nero, Saba's bird friend ;) - separating sections which, again, I didn't mind so much about after a while.
One of the main reasons I loved this book so much - and that managed to make me dismiss my earlier scepticism - was all down to the action and adventure. I just love good ol' stories where the main characters go on a dangerous quest - especially if it's a unique, dystopian one brimming with action and adventure! The fighting scenes in this book were one of my favourite parts! The author managed to write them in a way that was clear but never boring which I really appreciated. The dystopian setting she created was also a very enjoyable part of the book. Saba's world is definitely one of the most haunting visions of the future I've ever read about! I really hope in book two we'll be able to find out even more about how it came to be that way.
The characters were also a big factor too, of course! To begin with I didn't think I'd get along with Saba - the way she treated her little sister, Emmi, instantly made me weary of her. She was so horrible to her! However, I really loved watching their relationship develop and grow - it was rather adorable. Due to this, I really came to admire and adore Saba. She was strong, brave, fiery... Just the sort-of heroine I love! She also had that more vulnerable side to her which made me love her even more. You could see the emotional affect some of the incidents in the book had on her and how she tried to stay strong and focus on fixing the problem instead of running away. It really showed that she was both strong inside and out. I also adored Jack. He's just how I like my love interests. ;) Arrogant, cocky, secretive, mysterious and, of course, swoon-worthy. I really enjoyed - or should I say, found it frustrating! - that Saba denied her feelings for him. It really helped add another layer to the story. Nero too! As already mentioned, Saba has a crow companion named Nero. He was certainly a very loveable and wise creature! I always seem to love animal sidekicks in books...
To conclude, Blood Red Road, though it did take me a while to get into it, was a really unique, thrilling and exciting edition to the YA dystopian genre. The setting was intriguing, the characters well-developed, the plot a rollercoaster of action and adventure and the romance a great sub-plot that helped hook the reader even more. I really loved this book overall and can't wait to get my hands on book two, Rebel Heart, to find out what's going to happen next! Especially since that ending left me hanging! Jack?!?! I definitely recommend you read this if you love action/adventure novels and/or dystopia. Also, if you find the format hard to get over, try to struggle through! You do settle into it after a while! Maybe don't read this if you're looking for an easy read though - the dialogue does need some concentration. :)
FIVE STARS! xD
PS: How nice is the cover for Rebel Heart by the way?! *_* ;)