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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Audiobook Review: Blood Red Road by Moira Young

SERIES: Dust Lands, Book #1
AUTHOR: Moira Young
PUBLISHER: Simon & Schuster Audio
FORMAT: Unabridged, 9 Audio CDs, 13 hrs and 12 mins
GENRE: Young Adult, Science Fiction/Dystopia
ISBN: 9781442341951
A girl goes on an epic journey through a bleak landscape in the first book of this post-Apocalyptic trilogy. Saba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. The Wrecker civilization has long been destroyed, leaving only landfills for Saba and her family to scavenge from. That’s fine by her, as long as her beloved twin brother Lugh is around. But when a monster sandstorm arrives, along with four cloaked horsemen, Saba’s world is shattered. Lugh is captured, and Saba embarks on a quest to get him back.

Suddenly thrown into the lawless, ugly reality of the world outside of desolate Silverlake, Saba is lost without Lugh to guide her. So perhaps the most surprising thing of all is what Saba learns about herself: she is a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. She has the power to take down a corrupt society from the inside. Teamed up with a handsome daredevil named Jack and a gang of girl revolutionaries called the Free Hawks, Saba stages a showdown that will change the course of her own civilization.

Blood Red Road has a searing pace, a poetically minimal style, violent action, and an epic love story. Moira Young is one of the most promising and startling new voices in teen fiction.


I received this audiobook from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any compensation for my review, and the views expressed herein are my own. 

This YA Dystopian debut by Canadian author, Moira Young, is pretty good. It won numerous literary awards, including: Sunburst Award Nominee for Young Adult (2012), Costa Book Award for Children's Book (2011), Cybils Award for Fantasy & Science Fiction (Young Adult) (2011), and Teen Buckeye Book Award Nominee (2012).

Saba and her twin brother, Lugh, are 18 years old. They are as close as siblings can be, and Saba lives and breathes for Lugh. For the most part, they have been raised by their father. Their mother died in childbirth when their younger sister, Emmi, was born when the twins were 10 years old. Saba is resentful of Emmy and blames her for causing their mother’s death. Lugh is the kinder one, and he does what he can to make Emmi happy.

Saba’s father, Willem, reads the stars. Lugh thinks it is nonsense, but Saba believes her father when he warns her to be strong and not give into fear because, one day, Lugh and Emmi and many others will need her. He makes her promise to never give up, and she assures him that she is not a quitter. Four horsemen come, and they take Lugh away. Willem is killed during the melee, and Saba promises Lugh that she will find him.

Saba and Emmi now only have each other. Willem always told Saba to go to Crosscreek and find Mercy, who was her mother’s friend, should anything happen. It is a three-day journey on foot. Saba explains what has happened and asks Mercy to look after Emmi while she goes off in search for Lugh. Mercy agrees, and Saba sets off. Saba gets captured and is taken to Hopetown, where her head is shaved and she is forced to engage in cage fights against other women. She earns the nickname of “The Angel of Death.” There, she meets a mysterious man named Jack who is another cage-fighter. Saba discovers that Lugh has been taken to place in the mountains called Freedom Fields and that the King intends to kill him on Midsummer’s Eve. Every six years, an 18 year-old boy who was born on Midwinter’s Eve is sacrificed because the King believes that his power will be renewed by the sacrificed boy’s spirit. Saba has to find Lugh before it is too late.

I thought that the premise of the story was great, but I really did not care for Saba. She is self-absorbed and selfish, and I loathed the way that she treated Emmi. I felt really sad for Emmi, having been brought into a world where no one really cared for her. Willem was never the same after his wife died, and Saba rebuffed Emmi because she was the reason why their mother died. If it wasn’t for Lugh, Emmi would have had a miserable existence. What is even more heart-breaking is that Emmi is used to the neglect and does not expect anything more from Saba! So sad. Saba does evolve during the course of the book, and she ends up a better person than she started out. I do like how Young showed Saba’s strength in the face of adversity.

Aside from having a hard time embracing the heroine of the story, Saba, I had a really hard time with the dialog in the story. Nearly every line of dialog ends with either “I says,” “he says,” or “she says.” It is so redundant, and there is no variation.

Heather Lind is a new-to-me narrator, and I had a hard time with her narration in the beginning. Her soft-spoken voice practically lulled me to sleep, and it took a while before I was able to get into the story. She was “just okay” for me. 

Overall, I like the book enough to want to read the next book in the series, Rebel Heart, which was released in October 2012. 


3 stars! It was good, and I enjoyed it. A big thanks to Simon Audio for the opportunity to review this audiobook!
This book qualifies as: 


  1. Awww, I really enjoyed this audiobook! Though, I agree it took me a while to get used to the dialog/voice. Great review!
    ~ Jen @ A Book and a Latte - 2013 YA Audiobook Challenge


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