When it comes to YA dystopian literature, The Hunger Games pretty much set the bar. In stores today, Blood Red Road by Moira Young may have just raised that bar.
Now before you Hunger Games fans grab your pitchforks, give Blood Red Road a chance. This book is by no means meant to replace Hunger Games in the world of dystopian YA lit. But it certainly gives fans a phenomenal book to dive into, fall in love with, and share with their friends. It is packed with drama, action, compelling characters and a completely engaging storyline.
Blood Red Road is absolutely stunning and completely original, standing out from the many dystopian titles hitting shelves these days. It tells the story of 18-year-old Saba, who sets out across the wasteland of her world to find her twin brother, Lugh, when he is kidnapped by four mysterious men. All their lives, Lugh has been the one to lead, and Saba has been the one to follow. But without Lugh to guide her, Saba learns a lot about herself — and what she’s capable of, all while facing brutal violence, a seemingly impossible journey, and her own inner demons.
What readers will notice first when they pick up Blood Red Road is its unique voice. Young writes with a simplistic and stark style that is at first jarring, but only at first. Readers will soon find themselves easily slipping into the cadence of Saba’s narrative voice. The colloquial spellings and lack of quotation marks suddenly become non-issues; this is simply Saba’s voice, and it pulls you into the story in such a way that you feel immersed in Saba’s world.
And while fans of The Hunger Games will see a lot of Katniss’s grit in Saba, that is where their similarities end. Saba is a unique character, with flaws that are genuine and relatable. She is wholly realistic, and as a character, she is perfect in her imperfections. The internal journey she undertakes in Blood Red Road is just as crucial to the story as the phyiscal journey she takes, and the changes she undergoes are natural and right.
Saba is surrounded by an engaging cast of characters who help to flesh out the story, as well as populate this harsh futuristic world with warmth and color. The characters that Saba encounters not only change her — but are changed by her. They all interact in a way that just feels familiar, even if the setting and the situations they are faced with are so foreign to most readers.
Blood Red Road has it all: a compelling story, an engaging cast of characters, a unique voice, a beautifully stark writing style and bloody violent action that drives the plot forward. This is fiction in its finest, most perfect form. I can’t wait to see what this author does next.
Blood Red Road is in stores today.
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