Culture Magazine

Blood Red Road

By Ciara Elizabeth @FangirlReviews

Blood Red Road
Blood Red Road

Blood Red Road (Dustlands: 1)
Moira Young
Pages: 464
Release Date: February 28th, 2012
Rating: 2/5
Synopsis: Saba lives in Silverlake, a wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms where her family scavenge from landfills left by the long-gone Wrecker civilization. After four cloaked horsemen kidnap her beloved twin brother Lugh, she teams up with daredevil Jack and the Free Hawks, a girl gang of Revolutionaries.
Saba learns that she is a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. And she has the power to take down a corrupt society from the inside. Saba and her new friends stage a showdown that change the course of her civilization
Review: So here's the story. I really WANTED to like this book, really, really wanted to. It was by a fellow Canadian author, a female one at that, and it was recommended to me by a representative at Chapters when I was shopping.
His exact words were 'If you like Hunger Games, you'll like this, it's way better'.
The tagline on the cover even said Better than The Hunger Games...this book will blow you away.
So I bought it, because come on? Better than The Hunger Games and by a Canadian Author? It seemed like a win-win.
Unfortunately. I didn't feel that way. It may be a really good story but as I read it I had the most difficult time. The way the characters spoke was one thing, it's okay for me, every now and again to have to read dialog of someone going '>Fer what?' 'Ornery' or 'Yer everywhere'.
But when the entire book reads that way because it's written in first person?
Blood Red Road
I couldn't handle it. I pushed myself to read on my I honestly felt like crying. I couldn't understand half the book to begin with because I felt like my brain was constantly trying to process what was being said, never mind the story that was going on around them.
I'm not exactly the queen of Grammar (I'll admit to using Funner and stand by it) but I think there are different ways the setting could have been portrayed without having to suffer through those shorthand phrases.
The Story:  Okay, so here's my issues with the story (aside from the dialog being incomprehensible to me). The Four Horsemen.... that seems self-explanatory, but here I go anyway. This is the most blatant placement of allusion without even trying to be clever. For those who might not know, The Four Horsemen of the apocalypse (War, Death, Pestilence and Famine). It could have been two horsemen, or one, or even an army, but there were four and considering this story is meant to be post-apocalyptic, it just seemed like an out of place but intentional reference.
The Dustlands - a whole Mad Max ripoff more or less in my honest opinion. This was not a unique concept in any way shape or form which can be fine, except that when reading you shouldn't be thinking 'Mad Max' the entire time (and this is from a girl who was raised post- original mad max era). Or if we're in keeping with the desert drought theme, how about Holes?
Fighting in a Colosseum, not an arena, not a pit, a cage, or a stage.... literally a Colosseum. Again blatant placement of what I can't even call allusion because it's just repetition. We all know it, Gladiator slaves were forced to fight in the Roman Colosseum for entertainment. Unlike in say...oh I don't know, The Hunger Games, there was no alteration or presentation of how these fighters were sent to their deaths.
In addition to the blatant placement. How the heck could Saba (the main character) be the champion. I get that they're threatening her with her little sister's life (I VOLUNTEER AS TRIBUTE!) but she has no real skills. She's a girl who grew up in a shanty in the desert hoping for rain. Yet suddenly she's Rhonda Rousey?
Recommendation: I always say I hate to be negative but in this case, I had to be honest. As much as I wanted to like this book, I did not, and it was only a few moments short of a one star review. The only reason I didn't give it one is because I can't help but wonder if the majority of the reason I didn't like this book was how difficult I found it to read.
Personally, I cannot recommend it because of the dialog but if you find you don't have difficulty with that, then certainly give it a shot.

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog