Review of Rebel Heart by Moira Young

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Saba thought her world would return to normal after they defeated the Tonton and rescued her kidnapped brother Lugh. The family head west for a better life and a longed-for reunion with Jack. But a formidable enemy is on the rise. What is the truth about Jack? And how far will Saba go to get what she wants? (From Goodreads)

 

**Spoilers ahead, you’ve been warned**

First, it’s recommended you read Blood Red Road before you jump into this one. It starts off a little later in the storyline but it’s best to get your background information so you can better understand the second one of the series.

I notice with the second book of almost every series I’ve read, they hit a bump in the plotline and it either goes very well, or sometimes it goes not so good, or terribly bad. In this case, it went a little lackluster. However it wasn’t the best, but it wasn’t the worst either. I suppose sometimes it’s hard to live up to the how high the bar is set when the first novel was written and released. As readers, we expect the same kind of emotional excitement.

So what I notice is a trend in the second book of the series as well, the main character always, (almost always) have their emo moments. This brings the plot down and establishes a lull and you’re left with this mopey character who’s on a complete pity trip while things are hitting the fan everyone around them. For crying out loud Saba. Seriously? I did not expect this from you. Sure, we’re all entitled our own moments but what ever happened to the pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off and carry on motto? We need more of that instead of ‘woe is me the world is against me, I can’t take this anymore’ sort of thinking. So I’d have to say this aspect of the novel, I didn’t like so much.

I wasn’t expecting Saba to meet DeMalo so soon in the series. But oh my goodness he’s bloody insane. His way of thinking of his purpose makes you want to slug him one but you understand given the circumstances and the living conditions of the setting, yeah. It’s enough to make you go completely batshit crazy and think of these things as a way of survival or a way of life in order to make things ‘better’. What baffles me is….she ends up sleeping with him and just wow….seriously? Sleeping with the enemy doesn’t give you any bonus points here Saba darling. So…why? Just why? Don’t give me this emotional fragility crap. That’s getting old and useless.

The pace of the plot is noticeably slower given that perhaps this second book is going to be geared towards character development. Lugh’s still a twit and he wasn’t that likable in the first place – plus you feel like asking what the heck his problem is because he’s just so filled with resentment and anger. Jack is hardly anywhere in the book. He disappears and doesn’t interact with Saba. Still a mystery character with no answers. Sort of made me wonder, then why was he mentioned so much in the first one, to have no place in this one? Frustrating considering he played a big part and his character was one of the most likable in the story.

So overall, it’s okay. Second books in series always go through ruts and patches. I’m reading through this series because I really did like the first one and I’ll finish this one hoping the ending will go with an awesome bang so I can forget Rebel Heart.

I give it an 7 out of 10.

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Blood Red Road by Moira Young

Blood Red Road

Blood Red Road

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. (From Goodreads)

I had trouble with finding a good book in the Dystopian genre that was on par with The Hunger Games. I thought to myself, nothing will be able to compare. I finally found its’ match. It’s this one. For sure. People who ask for other books like Hunger Games, I yell out Blood Red Road and nothing else.

Remember Mad Max? well the world is something like this. Dry, desert, hot. Blazing hot. The setting was so descriptive and rich you can feel the heat, the sweat, and the dryness. It sure seems like a very desolate lonely world, but the world building is wonderful and so rich and detailed. It’s a perfect setting for this type of novel and it’s extremely well done.

I loved Saba. She’s tough, she’s gritty, she’s not afraid to get dirty and to fight tooth and nail to get to Lugh. She treats her little sister like dirt, and yes I did find the little kid annoying, I would have hated to be in her shoes if she ever got Saba angry. But, you have to give credit to Emmi, she does talk back. As the story progresses, Emmi does grow on me and she’s definitely got the same strength Saba’s got. I love the bantering between Jack and Saba. There was chemistry there and with Saba’s bad temper it just made their interactions absolutely fun to read at times. The characters overall in this book were excellent. There was nothing to dislike! I also loved the Free Hawks. It was just awesome reading a girl gang who are able to survive on their own!

The action scenes are also really good (there’s worm like creatures! it’s like the sandworms from Dune except evil and really really aggressive!!! I squeed when I read this part!) the entire plot of this book was engaging, interesting and could not stop you from reading. It was literally, a page turner.

The only thing I had an issue with is Saba’s narration. It’s different, and took me a few tries to follow but you do get used to it as you read through the story.

Other than that, fans of the Hunger Games would LOVE THIS! and SHOULD READ THIS! drop everything else and give this one a try. It’s one of the best dystopian books I’ve read that definitely should share the pedestal that the Hunger Games is on.

I give it a 10 out of 10