Blood Red Road by Moira Young

The debut novel from Canadian author Moira Young turns the young adult dystopian fiction genre on its head with the story of Saba, stubborn, sometimes mean and often naïve, off to rescue her twin brother from the hands of the “King.”

Saba lives in a dry and dusty post-apocalyptic, barren world, destroyed by the previous “Wreckers” civilization. Her family is clinging to life on the shores of the dried up Silverlake, salvaging former Wrecker landfills for materials to repair their home. In the aftermath of a terrible sandstorm, their home is raided by cloaked men, her father killed and her twin brother kidnapped.

Determined to rescue him, Saba must cross the ‘Sandsea’ to Hopetown, and face the dangers waiting there. Though she is determined to leave her younger sister behind, Emmi will not be left. Saba and Emmi survive the desert, a kidnapping, cage fighting and raging fires on their way to a bloody showdown with the deranged and self acclaimed King, just in time to save their brother from execution and sacrifice.

Saba is strong and proud – often to a fault. She can be thoughtless and cruel, especially where Emmi is concerned. All her life, the only person she has ever really loved was Lugh. With him gone, Saba is forced to reach out to others for help, and discovers much about herself in the process. There is even a love story thrown in, but it never takes centre stage. It just isn’t that kind of book.

Other books have tried and come close, but this one truly succeeds in being a novel where the girls are strong enough to rescue the boys, but not too proud to accept help. Most of the time.

Hardcover: 464 pages

Publisher: Doubleday Canada (Jun 7 2011)

ISBN-10: 0385671830

ISBN-13: 978-0385671835

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