In Blood Red Road by Moira Young, eighteen-year-old Saba must rescue her twin brother Lugh from the men who captured him. We quickly learn that the two have never been apart in their lives, and Saba isn’t sure she would be able to survive without him. But after their father is killed and Saba leaves on her journey to find her brother, she is shocked when she discovers her nine-year-old sister, Emmi, follows her. Although Saba is obviously upset that her sister followed her and worried about her safety, the siblings continue on their quest to find their brother and bring him home safely, making many new friends along the way. The book is set in a dystopian society, many years after our modern world has ended. The characters call us the Wreckers, and based on the skyscraper ruins and other “Wrecker” objects lying around, I’m assuming our society went through some kind of war where everything was destroyed.
The first thing I noticed about this book was the unique writing style that Young used. Saba, our main character, can’t read, and her vocabulary is unique in both spelling and grammar. For example, when she refers to a baby, the word is spelled as babby, and many similar instances exist. I must admit that it took the entire first chapter for me to get used to the style of this book, but the farther you go, the easier it is to understand. The book does have a slight Hunger Games feel to it, especially when Saba is cage fighting, but the characters are fairly unique on their own, and their motivations are all different.
I felt like the ending was slightly cliché with the Free Hawks riding in at the last moment to come to the our characters’ aid and save the day, but I’m not sure how else Young could’ve ended the book. Cliché aside, the ending was a good fit for the book and left the storyline open for a sequel. And I hope Young writes one. there’s a lot she can do with these characters, and something tells me that Saba and her friends are going to have a big battle on their hands soon.
Overall, I thought this was a great YA novel and am looking forward to more from this author. If you’re a fan of dystopian YA novels, this is definitely for you.