Blood Red Road – Moira Young

This dusty, gritty young adult dystopian novel is a fast 459 page read.  The pages flip very quickly because the story is told in short sentences as the thoughts of Saba, the tough twin of her brother Lugh.  Future Earth has become parched.  Twins Lugh and Saba live in isolation on a dried up lakebed with their young sister and father.  Riders appear out of the dust one day and steal Lugh, kill the father and leave Saba vowing to find him.  She is a natural born fighter, full of strength, adrenaline surges, and skill.  Those are good things because she is captured on her journey and sent to the cages as a fighter similar to a gladiator but hand to hand combat.  She earns the Angel of Death nickname in the fighting cages, makes some friends, meets a guy, escapes, has several brushes with death, survives, has fights with bad guys and these horrendous giant hellwurms, all on the journey to rescue her brother.  Saba has a rough almost southern drawl dialect that takes a few pages to get used to, but it soon reads naturally.  Saba is the star character here and so well drawn.  However, little sister Emmi, quite often steals the show as the fearless often annoying sidekick with spunk.  The author has written a fabulous debut novel, deserving all the accolades.  This is the first in the Dust Lands series with Rebel Heart to be published in October 2012.

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