Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Book Review: Blood Red Road by Moira Young

Disclaimer:  This is the last book review I did before realizing I needed a break.  So it's a little more... critical than usual. 

Pros: bleak post-apocalyptic world, good fight scenes, smooth writing

cons: uneven pacing, unlikable protagonist, written in dialect with limited punctuation

Blood Red Road is the narrated account of Saba's quest to find and save her twin brother from the cloaked men who kidnapped him. The world is a bleak place and despite her 18 years, Saba knows little about it. Using her wits and the crow she keeps as a pet, she's determined to find out where her brother is and bring him home no matter what the cost

While the setting is interesting - a post-apocalyptic desert - the pacing's uneven, with long quiet stretches occasionally broken up by an action sequence.  And Saba is surprisingly unlikable for a narrator.  She treats her younger sister horribly and insists she can do everything alone even when its clear she can't.  She's a bad judge of charcter, trusting easily when she shouldn't and treating badly those she should trust and be greatful to.

The novel is written in Saba's dialect meaning a lot of misspelled words like 'yer' for 'you are' 'aks' for 'ask, etc.  It does bring you into her mind, but the dialect and the lack of quotation marks around dialogue meant I occasionally had to reread passages to understand them correctly.  Having said that, once you got the hang of the dialect the work was highly submersive.

The ending seemed a little contrived and by the time people started dying I didn't care about any of them.

Still, for a debut, the writing showed a lot of promise.

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