I wrote this a while back and posted it in Goodreads, but hadn’t got around to posting it here.
Three star and a half stars.
Blood Red Road is set in post apocalypse world where remnants of human civilization are buried beneath sands and dunes and where mother nature rules once more. They say this novel is dystopian. I say it’s a survivalist fantasy world devoid the comforts of fast transportation, cell phones, Ipads and Facebook. Perhaps it is dystopian – for a clueless reader removed from our present reality like say, Mongolian shepherds, slum dogs and human trafficking. Blood Red Road is ‘badass’ gritty to a less informed reader.
The pace launches early in the pages when the heroine’s brother was taken from her, prompting a selfless rescue mission spanning across harsh terrain. The unfolding of the story sees the main character, Saba fleshed out through the interactions and conflicts she has with her younger sibling who resonates her loss and ambition. The story has a solid focus, credible characters and dynamics. Family conflict gets the highlight here, aside from hackneyed romance with a handsome
man boy, and of course, the main character – Sabah.
Her dialect, with misspellings and many primer sentences, makes up the prose of the novel, as it’s read out through her POV. The story initially promises heightened tension but the momentum loses steam as contrivances surface mid-story. Saba becomes a formidable fighter that her background doesn’t support jumping into the fray already a force to be reckoned with. This unfortunately blunts believability. Perhaps, Young glosses over the small developing details to befit this as a novel for the young adults, or her editor’s word limit. YA novels always seem to be about love, and thoughts, and more thoughts. I have to say my partiality against first person POV is unfair to the novel but I give credit to Young for the distinct character in her POV. Back to the story, moulding a character that’s so good at something and without a strong antagonist to oppose it has made the story less thrilling even when the life of a family is at stake. Every complication is predictably surmountable and anti-climactic and this novel comes off as rather tame.
The verdict: Blood Red Road by Moira Young doesn’t grip me as much as other adult thriller novels, but it was sufficely evocative. You’ll love this, if you’ve never watched or read Waterworld, Mad Max, The Road, and Battle Royale.