Blood Red Road


Set in the far future Moira Young’s Blood Red Road is a captivating novel full of action and suspense. This dystopian novel tells the story of a young woman struggling to find herself.
It starts innocently with two teenagers Saba, Lugh and their kid sister Emmi. They are living in an isolated cottage with their slightly insane father Pa, who has been grieving his wife’s death for eight years and every day sits outside making circles with rocks and sticks “calling” on the rain. Saba and Emmi are oblivious to their fathers insanity, but Lugh isn’t. Lugh is convinced that he needs to leave or else he will go crazy like his father. They say be careful what you wish for… and Lugh is shortly kidnapped by a group of “Tontons” on a mission for “The King.” During this debacle the father gets shot and killed, which leaves Saba and Emmi leaderless and alone in a world they’ve only seen a tiny fraction of.
Lugh and Saba have this “connection” because they are twins, but they share nothing in common. Saba believes Lugh is everything she isn’t; handsome, intelligent, a leader. Constantly through the book she says Lugh leads and she follows. She doesn’t know who she is without Lugh and while finding him, she finds herself.
Saba meets Jack, a strong leader-like man about the same age as her. Sparks fly, so to speak, and that unmentionable attraction occurs. In denial, Saba ignores her feelings and decides to hate Jack instead. His stubborn, adolescent ways make him an easy target for that hatred. As Jack and Saba struggle with their feelings it causes turmoil inside the group traveling with them.
I find this very cliché and terribly boring. I picked up this book for the action and adventure, and instead I got yet another love story. But if that’s for you I highly recommend this book. The dialect in this book is sometimes hard to follow; dropping the g on ing endings, they become “‘em.” Been is “bin,” and there are a lot more. It adds to the voice but takes away from the story at times. The dialect can be distracting and cause one to have to go back and reread pieces.
There is a cage fighting scene in the book that is highly descriptive and epic. I loved how much emotion Young put into these fight scenes. Saba is conflicted while fighting these other girls because if they lose three times they die by an angry mob and she feels that she is the murderer. In the end she figures that she has to win for her and her sister to survive. She lets the “red hot” survival skill take over and emotions disappear, so she can beat these other girls. This works only for the fight itself, afterward she faces the regret and guilt she feels, and every night she sees the faces of her victims.
I found this book to be cliché but a good read nonetheless. If you are looking for a classic love hate story with some cage fights, giant worms and a dystopian setting Blood Red Road is a great book.