Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Review: Blood Red Road

Author: Moira Young
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.

MY REVIEW:

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
 
Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo

PS: How nice is the cover for Rebel Heart by the way?! *_* ;)

Monday, 18 March 2013

When The Silence Ends Blog Tour: Author Interview!

Hey everyone! Today I'm participating in the When The Silence Ends blog tour and have an interview to share with you all from the author, Jade Kerrion. Enjoy! :D
 
First off, can you tell us a little about yourself and your book, When The Silence Ends?
 
Certainly. In real life, I juggle several roles, including that of wife, mother, business executive, author, and publisher. When the Silence Ends is my fourth novel, a standalone YA novel in my award-winning Double Helix series. It is the story of a pair of twins, Dee and Dum. Dee, the protagonist of When the Silence Ends, is ordinary. She’s seventeen years old, and she has ordinary concerns that include holding down two jobs to pay the rent, making sure her brother gets to his speech therapy class, and wondering how to pay for college. She lives in a world populated by extraordinary people who possess psychic powers, but unlike Bella who had the good fortune to be loved by a vampire, Dee can never become that kind of extraordinary, now or ever.
 
Still, Dee finds her own brand of extraordinary. Inspired by her love for her brother Dum, and armed with nothing more than her wits and pepper spray, she navigates the social and political minefield of a world transformed by the Genetic Revolution. In so doing, she changes her life and the lives of those around her.
 
Did you always want this book to contain a strong sibling relationship? If so, why is this?
 
Dee and Dum were secondary characters in the main Double Helix series, but their history was compelling and their bond undeniable. I had explored dysfunctional sibling relationships in the three novels in the main series, and for a change, wanted to write about a sibling relationship that did work. I think the sibling relationship is a key relationship for many of us. In the normal course of a typical life, we would expect to outlive our parents, and we only meet our spouses as adults. Our siblings are the ones who typically accompany us through our entire lives. It’s a fundamental relationship to get right.
 
If you could spend a day with any of your characters, who would it be and why? What are they like?
 
It would be Danyael Sabre, the main protagonist of the Double Helix series who also plays a key role in When the Silence Ends. Danyael Sabre is fascinating. He has many facets. On the one hand, he is a doctor who works insane hours for little pay at a charity clinic. On the other hand, he is an alpha empath. He controls emotions and channels pain. Physical and emotional pain fuels his deadly mutant powers; with a touch, he can heal or kill. Craving privacy and solitude, he shields both his mind and emotions, but we catch tantalizing glimpses of his courage and compassion.
 
Even among the alpha mutants who redefine the boundaries of power in a world transformed by the Genetic Revolution, Danyael is rare and coveted by many who desire to control him and his power. He has the misfortune to fall in love with Zara Itani, a Lebanese-Venezuelan assassin. Sultry and beautiful, she is lethal with blades and guns, and her attitude is more abrasive than steel wool. She thinks Danyael is evasive and a coward, unwilling to face his past or embrace his empathic mutant powers. He thinks she’s an interfering troublemaker with a ruthless and cruel streak, but is too polite to say so. When she finally falls in love with him, they are not certain if she did so on her own accord or whether she was influenced by his emotion-altering mutant powers.
 
No question, Zara and Danyael are made for each other.
 
If you could have any super power in the world, what would it be?
 
The ability to transform matter. For example, if you were falling from a building, I could save your life by transforming asphalt into an air mattress. More practically, however, I could transform leftover pizza into sushi, or spin air into fabric to increase the size of my denim jeans. In theory, I’d never have to buy anything ever again, which I suppose makes irrelevant my ability to turn dirt into gold…
 
If you could live in any fictional world, who's would it be and why?
 
You know, that’s a really tough question. Eliminate all the dystopian settings. They’re so fun to read and write about, but it’s just too hard to live in them. Eliminate all the fictional worlds that do not have climate-controlled homes, flush toilets, and sushi. I can’t live without the trappings of civilization. That eliminates all fantasy worlds and apocalyptic settings. What does that leave me? Not a whole lot, I realize. I think I’ll just keep living in the fictional world in my head. There, I get to do whatever I want, and still have my climate-controlled house, flush toilets, and sushi.
 
Do you need any necessities when writing?
 
Other than my computer? No, not really. I write obsessively and you will find me curled up in various corners of my house, tapping away on my computer at random hours of the day or night.
 
Finally, are you currently writing any other books? Or planning any?
 
Earth-Sim, a whimsical view of Earth’s history as seen through the eyes of the two students and the android assigned to manage it, was just released in February 2013 and is also on tour. I’m currently working on the paranormal-romance-turned-science-fiction, tentatively titled City of Eternal Night. After that, it’s back to the Double Helix series to write the fourth book.
 
Quick-fire Questions:

Print book or ebook? E-book.
Rain or snow? Rain.
Contemporary or Dystopian? Dystopian.
Whale or dolphin? Dolphin.
Early bird or night owl? Both! There’s too much to do.
 
When the Silence Ends is the Young Adult spinoff in the award-winning Double Helix series.
 
Seventeen-year old Dee wants nothing more than to help her twin brother, Dum, break free from the trauma in their childhood and speak again, but the only person who can help Dum is the alpha empath, Danyael Sabre, whom the U.S. government considers a terrorist and traitor.
 
The search for Danyael will lead Dee and Dum from the sheltered protection of the Mutant Affairs Council and into the violent, gang-controlled heart of Anacostia. Ensnared by Danyael’s complicated network of friends and enemies, Dee makes her stand in a political and social war that she is ill equipped to fight. What can one human, armed only with her wits and pepper spray, do against the super-powered mutants who dominate the Genetic Revolution?
 
America, nevertheless, is ripe for change. Exhausted by decades of belligerence between humans and their genetic derivatives, the clones, in vitros, and mutants, society is on the verge of falling apart or growing up. Which path will it choose, and can a mere human, her sassy attitude and smart mouth notwithstanding, light the way to a better future?
 
Buy the eBook version of this book: Amazon US // Amazon UK
Buy the paperback version of this book: Amazon US // Amazon UK

Happy Reading,
Rachel xoxo