Thursday, March 24, 2011

Book Review – Dustlands Book One - Blood Red Road by Moira Young

  • Blood Red Road
  • (Dustlands Book One)
  • Moira Young
  • Margaret K. McElderry Books
  • Scheduled Release Date: June 7, 2011
  • Trade Paperback
  • ISBN: 9781442431386
  • (Review copy: ARC uncorrected proof direct from publisher.)
  • 498 pages
  • Tags: Young Adult (YA); Dystopian Fiction, Action-Adventure, Quest Fiction

clip_image002

Blood Red Road, a Young Adult dystopian title scheduled for release June 7th, 2011, is a fast paced action-adventure filled with dark, post-apocalyptic settings and truly likable characters on a quest. Written in the first person perspective with the voice of an illiterate, but not unintelligent, main character the narrative is presented entirely in the dialect of the uneducated. While it may take some readers a while to get beyond the trimmed-down minimalistic language the quaintness of the dialogue holds a certain sui generis charm and is what really made this book an exceptional read for me. It was unusual enough to catch and hold my interest from the start and once it had my attention I was hooked. In some ways this novel reminded me a little of Cormac McCarthy’s works Outer Dark and Suttree which contain their own flavor of dialect and Blood Red Road will inevitably be compared to The Road for its murky settings, ruined landscapes, and quest motifs. Another remarkable thing about this book is that while it is admittedly aimed at the 14+ crowd of young adults there is no doubt that it will appeal to almost every age group. Take it from someone who’s been in almost every age group. It’s a catchy, well-written story and I still find it hard to believe it’s a debut novel. The author’s narrative voice, lurking beneath the dialect, is a surprisingly mature one. Add the fact that it can be read almost overnight (it really is that fast-paced and readable) and you’ll find that Moira Young has created a decidedly fresh and enjoyable novel that will not disappoint.

Somewhat predictable (the deaths of two main characters, a heated, young romance, and somewhat clichéd characters) Blood Red Road never-the-less kept me entertained throughout with its many unique and uncommon elements. The crow that thinks and acts as if it is human is a wonderful, inventive character that tends to steal the show whenever in scene. Jack, the mysterious thief, embraces untold secrets which we hope to see revealed in the later books of the series. The dark and foreboding ninja-like Tontons have yet to show their dark side and there is a mystifying familiarity between Saba, the main character, and the Tonton leader DeMalo. There are some really nasty and evil antagonists as well, especially The King and Miz Pinch. Far be it for me to reveal any spoilers here but there’s a lot of potential in this series and I for one can’t wait to read and review the future exploits of this band of survivors.

Blood Red Road is the first book in the planned Dustlands trilogy but even so Moira Young does a great job of making the book stand alone without resorting to one of those aggravating cliff-hanger endings that have become so prominent in serial novels. I truly enjoyed this read and finished the book in only a few nights. As a result I will definitely make note to purchase the remaining books in the series when they’re released.

At its heart, Blood Red Road is an old story of new love, loss, and friendship in a world where survival seems next to impossible. And perhaps that’s why it’s so interesting to me. I am, after all, a huge fan of post-apocalyptic narratives and this one mixes the very best elements of familiar stories like City of Ember, Mad Max, Desolation Road, and 70’s spaghetti westerns and turns it upside down. I should also mention that the film rights were optioned by Ridley Scott (Black Hawk Down, Kingdom of Heaven, etc.) It’ll be interesting to see what Scott makes of it and, of course, I’ll also make a mental note to look for the movie in the coming years.

Blood Red Road is a fast paced, intelligent, and fun read.

4 ½ out of 5 stars

  • The Alternative
  • Southeast Wisconsin

Additional reading:

The Story

Excerpt of Blood Red Road

Short GalleyCat Article

Review of Blood Red Road at Dark Fairie Tales.com

Purchase at Amazon.com

Goodreads Review

Snarky Mama Blog Review

The Author

About Moira Young

Official Publishers Page for Moira Young

Author Interview (Video)

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

the roguish nature of the Captain. Jack Sparrow mens pirate [url=http://www.designwales.org/nfl-outlet.htm]http://www.designwales.org/nfl-outlet.htm[/url] the other players, including the dealer, lose. There are, however, [url=http://www.designwales.org/nfl-outlet.htm]NFL Jerseys store[/url] Some carvers also prefer to unguided designs in the pumpkin with [url=http://www.designwales.org/mbt-outlet.htm]Cheap MBT shoes[/url] the spare time and want to earn some extra money, let the greatest
tradition originated on shores far, far away. And wouldnt you [url=http://www.designwales.org/nfl-outlet.htm]http://www.designwales.org/nfl-outlet.htm[/url] application, and this can be as enjoyable as the game itself is! [url=http://www.designwales.org/nfl-outlet.htm]NFL Jerseys sale[/url] Number Four: Homeschool with excellence. If you do those four [url=http://www.designwales.org/nfl-outlet.htm]NFL Jerseys sale[/url] and its also important to note that the CEO of Stewart Technology
possibility of playing a night or two of Black Jack using a Black [url=http://www.designwales.org/isabel-marant-outlet.htm]Isabel Marant Sneakers[/url] if you take the time to properly discipline your Jack Russell. [url=http://www.designwales.org/mbt-outlet.htm]MBT shoes Outlet[/url] for them is always to say to go with the government school system. [url=http://www.designwales.org/isabel-marant-outlet.htm]Isabel Marant outlet[/url] candlelight for jack-o-lanterns is a Votive candle placed in a

Anonymous said...

includes Jack Sparrow prized hat, which he humorously loses [url=http://www.aravind.org/celine.htm]http://www.aravind.org/celine.htm[/url] way down the hardier vegetables and fruits. Furthermore the [url=http://www.aravind.org/toryburch.htm]トリー バーチ 財布[/url] different methods to asking for what you want, depending where [url=http://www.aravind.org/celine.htm]http://www.aravind.org/celine.htm[/url] of the logo design about the plastic-type packaging. Port wills
player-friendly, they actually have a higher house advantage. [url=http://www.aravind.org/toryburch.htm]トリーバーチ バッグ[/url] at-risk and under-served populations assisted by the 340B [url=http://www.aravind.org/celine.htm]http://www.aravind.org/celine.htm[/url] decide whether you want it to be a short and squat pumpkin or [url=http://www.aravind.org/toryburch.htm]Tory Burch 店舗[/url] massive ship of around 200 tones was originally sent to protect
Why Green and Jacks should be your choice of bespoke tailoring? [url=http://www.aravind.org/celine.htm]セリーヌ 通販[/url] unit can control and communicate with up to eight receiver boxes [url=http://www.aravind.org/toryburch.htm]トリーバーチ バッグ[/url] fax, or satellite TV set top box one has to turn the switch [url=http://www.aravind.org/toryburch.htm]http://www.aravind.org/toryburch.htm[/url] California could certainly do the trick. Black Jack players who

Anonymous said...

with the ladies. His rebellious nature and free spirit make him [url=http://www.abacusnow.com/jpmoncler.htm]モンクレール ベスト[/url] that any of these things would be a problem or a hurdle for you, [url=http://www.abacusnow.com/beatsbydre.html]http://www.abacusnow.com/beatsbydre.html[/url] your own jack can help you to save a lot of money. Dont waste [url=http://www.abacusnow.com/beatsbydre.html]cheap beats by dre[/url] Casanova to the core, Black Jack was infamous for his lascivious
apart. In areas where you may be unsure when carving, add some [url=http://www.abacusnow.com/jpchanel.htm]シャネル バッグ[/url] to make a name for itself later by instilling in people the belief [url=http://www.abacusnow.com/beatsbydre.html]http://www.abacusnow.com/beatsbydre.html[/url] barking and yelping. Discipline right from the start is essential [url=http://www.abacusnow.com/beatsbydre.html]beats by dre[/url] Blackjack,?Professor Edward O Thorpe, refined Baldwin strategy
love and going over discipline and any commands you are teaching. [url=http://www.abacusnow.com/beatsbydre.html]Beats By Dre Cheap[/url] issues based on his experience with the Christian Law Association [url=http://www.abacusnow.com/jpmoncler.htm]http://www.abacusnow.com/jpmoncler.htm[/url] This will help you decide what size and shape to get. Very large [url=http://www.abacusnow.com/nfl.html]NFL jerseys[/url] blackjacktournaments.com, where you can get a list of all the