REVIEW: Blood Red Rod by Moira Young

The Blurb: Saba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. The Wrecker civilization has long been destroyed, leaving only landfills for Saba and her family to scavenge from. That’s fine by her, as long as her beloved twin brother Lugh is around. But when a monster sandstorm arrives, along with four cloaked horsemen, Saba’s world is shattered. Lugh is captured, and Saba embarks on an epic quest to get him back.

Suddenly thrown into the lawless, ugly reality of the world outside of desolate Silverlake, Saba is lost without Lugh to guide her. So perhaps the most surprising thing of all is what Saba learns about herself: she’s a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. And she has the power to take down a corrupt society from the inside. Teamed up with a handsome daredevil named Jack and a gang of girl revolutionaries called the Free Hawks, Saba stages a showdown that will change the course of her own civilization.

The Short Stick: Gritty, brutal and full of passion.

The Goods: The grit was the best thing about this book. It worked its way into you and made me forget to use ings when talking to my kids for awhile. Excuse me while I act like a hick for a bit. The language that Moira used in her book was really effective, and the funny thing is, she didn’t write it that way to begin with. I’m almost certain that Moira chose which words to spell wrong and did it on purpose. You can do that on MS Word, hit CTRL F and find a word and change it. I’m almost certain that the writing style came later, with respect to maybe the “an” and the “yer” and other articles. There were these beautiful instances of prose inbetween all the “bad grammar” so don’t get the idea that this book isn’t “well written” because of the styling, the styling is actually brilliant.

The plot was exciting, my favorite line being “Yer timin sucks.” and then the relationship between Jack and Saba. Really, I have to look at this as a stylistic piece, Saba, the Angel of Death is what makes this different. The actual plot points are all fairly typical, but enjoyable indeed because of Saba’s interpretatin of it. This book is character driven, not plot driven and so you have to give her props for that.

Jack was by far my favorite character, my favorite moment for him was the waterfall moment, man, that guy tried so hard! I loved it!

The Not So Goods: The publishers really gave this one a big push it didn’t deserve over other books. Sure it’s a good book but it’s no Hunger Games. When I went to Chapters there had to be 30 of this book on the shelves, and then Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma, they stocked 2. So really, I loved Imaginary Girls more than Blood Red Road, but I don’t believe that one book should be favored over another in the market, let the fans decide on that, not the publishers and the bookstores. More copies can always be ordered later.

Getting back to the book itself, my only gripe is the explanation of the modern world. Moira runs the risk of being more of an epic fantasy (gasp!) because even if these places are described in English, we still have no idea of where the modern world falls, nor do we have a lot of evidence of it being around. We know this is Earth, we know there used to be Wreckers, but I couldn’t tell you if this was the middle east or the united states or siberia for that matter. That had me a little confused, and I realize that because the story is from Saba’s POV that we can lose that but I still believe it should have been explained somehow to her.

Rating: 5/5 (it really was that good even without the explanations and the unfair publisher push)

Recommendation: Go pick this one up! It deserves a spot on your TBR pile.