I'm an audiobook addict and blog about books at The Reading Date. My favorite genres are YA, New Adult, Fiction & Memoirs.
I read the book Blood Red Road upon its release last year and liked it a lot. It has a different vibe than the other YA dystopians on the shelf and it’s one I recommend frequently. The author’s distinctive writing style translates well to audio, and I think I enjoyed listening to the book even more than reading it. The story holds up well and is as action packed and intense as ever.
Blood Red Road is the story of a girl named Saba whose life falls apart when four cloaked horsemen kidnap her twin brother Lugh. She sets out to rescue him, and much to her dismay her little sister is along for the ride. Saba and her family have lived in isolation in the sandstorm-stricken Silverlake, and now she has to venture into the scary unknown to try to keep her promise to her brother. On her journey she finds out what she’s really made of as her character faces several dangerous challenges.
Saba ‘s strength and determination made me root for her. She rises to every challenge and doesn’t back down from her chosen path – a true survivor. She’s not perfect, and she still has a lot to learn, but I liked seeing her come into her own and grow throughout the book.
Along the way Saba meets several characters on her journey, some more helpful than others. The secondary characters fill in some of the missing details in Saba’s knowledge about the politics of their world. Some of the characters are fairly mysterious and I hope to find out more about them in the sequel. I also liked the dynamic between Saba and her love interest Jack and am curious to see how that progresses.
One thing that tripped me up a little when I read it the first time is the writing style. Saba’s character can’t read or write and her character’s dialogue is written phonetically. I found it a bit of a challenge to get through initially, but eventually I was caught up in the story and appreciated the style choice. With the audiobook, Heather Lind narrates with an accent and makes it easier to get immersed in the story. She gives a distinct voice to all the characters and brings them to life. Lind does a nice job portraying Saba in her different emotional states, and also Jack sounds just about how I’d imagine he’d sound. In this case, I think the audiobook experience improves upon the book and I can’t recommend it highly enough.
Though I like all the action and adventure of the entire book, the first half sticks with me more. Listening to it again helped me to fill in some of the holes in my memory from the second half, getting me up to speed for the sequel. Being the first book of a trilogy, there are a lot of mysteries left unsolved, though the book is still pretty satisfying on it’s own. I’m looking forward to the rest of this series, and think Blood Red Road has the potential to be a very cool movie.
Not creative or different enough.
Saba is on a journey to find and free her kidnaped brother Lugh. As she travels she meets bad people and creatures that try to harm her.
This might be appropriate for teenagers who are not looking for the creativity and specialness that I want. Conversations were ordinary. Events were predictable. Things have been done before. For example, Saba and her sister Em meet bad lady Mrs. P. Mrs. P prepares food with a sleeping drug and serves it to Saba and Em. When her husband asks for food, Mrs. P says that’s not for you. (A little too obvious to the reader?) That should have been a clue to Saba. But no, Saba eats it and falls asleep. There are better ways to drug Saba without telling the husband in front of Saba “that food is not for you.”
Parents, if you’re looking for books for your teens, this might not be your first choice. Words are intentionally misspelled using phonetic spellings. And the grammar is off. The entire book is first person Saba. Her speech makes me think of an illiterate hillbilly. Examples: He lays hisself back down. He don’t know. He cain’t believe. Ain’t. My eyes is gritty. I says. Why’d ya do that fer? Some reviewers have said it was mentally taxing to read an entire book of phonetic spellings, but the audiobook avoids that problem.
Saba’s personality didn’t do anything for me. Several times she insists on things that are wrong or jumps to conclusions that are wrong. She is mean to her sister. I don’t have to love every heroine. But Saba’s flaws were not done in a way that entertained me.
The cage fighting scenes are not shown. I’m reminded of Ender’s Game where I was so impressed at what Ender did to win each conflict. Here we don’t see what Saba does in her fights. We are told she wins. The main detail is “the red hot” takes over, her rage.
The narrator Heather Lind was good.
Genre: young adult dystopia
I enjoyed Jack's character but hated how Heather made him sound the same throughout the entire book, as if his only personality was sly and/or flirty.
Her southern charm.
The cave scene between Saba and Jack, when he threw the torch down (you'll know what I'm talking about when you get there).
As mentioned before, Heather's interpretation of Jack was very annoying. As if he were flirting 24/7, even when they were fighting creatures or yelling. I think his voice would have sounded much differently to me had I read it myself. I also don't like how the main character acted so childish and got so offended, by everything, all the time. And her 'lust' for her brother made me think of Cersei and Jaime Lannister from Game of Thrones. Overall, though, the story was good, and I plan on reading (listening) to the next book in this series.
The story was slow and never caught me up in it at all
I read a lot of similar books - and usually enjoy them even if it takes a little while - but this book was bad from start to finish.
There was no reason for the "attraction" between the two main characters - and the relationship with her brother bordered on creepy
This book has such a rich world it just sucked me right in and the story was great I would recommend this book. I wish there was more, I was quite sad to see the end of this book. The only thing that I didn't like was the was all the "He said" "She said". I'm not sure if it was the way the narrator said it or if the author needs to switch it up and use something other than he and she. But over all a great read and I would defiantly recommend it!
Rarely do I come across a book that I find very little in it that I liked. Blood Red Road is an exception. There were so few elements to it that I found enjoyable that I still can not believe I made it to the end. Especially, without the loss of hair or my sanity.
I'll start with the writing style. Blood Red Road is a futuristic dystopian, yet everyone talks like it takes place in the 1800's. I was espectin (yes, that is how they would say expecting) some toothless gold miner's to come rushing into the story. It's a lot of fer (for), yer (you're), babbies (babies), britches (pants), afeared (afraid, scared)... I'm sure you get the point.
Now, I understand that Saba and her siblings are raised in a remote setting with the lack of any sort of education or influence. Therefore, it is understandable that they would have some lazy way of speaking. However, almost everyone in this world speaks this way. It was worthy of some pretty major teeth grinding on my part. It felt too contrived, too forced and really unnecessary. I don't think it needed to be such a big part of the book and I felt it took away from the story.
Saba is horrid at first and by the end only slightly better. She's stubborn in the most awful ways, she's rude to damn near everyone, she is plainly the biggest bitch ever to her little nine year old sister and is entirely too obsessed with her twin brother. She would, quite literally, abandon her sister Emmi to get her brother back from his kidnappers. I spent about 75% of the book disliking her, the other 25% scratching my head.
She, somehow, manages to rally up quite the cast of helpers. I'm still confused by what they saw in her at first. But, the gang that helps her out are pretty remarkable characters and I enjoyed them quite a bit. The girl gang who go by Free Hawks were quite fun and I would like to read more about them - assuming they learn how to speak in somewhat proper English.
The villain was not a villain, he was a joke. I don't know where the hell the idea of him came from but I did not get it what so ever. I won't say what is so clown-like about him because I like to be spoiler free, but - wow, just wow, really? He didn't even seem like a threat. I don't know, I'm starting to ramble here. I'll stop now.
As far as the audio goes, if the narrator was directed to make every character sound dull and slow-witted; job well done.
I feel like this is a about as harsh of a review as I ever post and though I am not alone in my feelings on Blood Red Road, I am in the minority.
The fighting... girl power...
Yes, a movie.
To be honest. I was extreamly excited about getting this book and I was soooooooo sad when I began to hear the audio book. I did not understand the language they spoke. It was serious Hill Billy/ Europeans with a deep southern drawl. Huh? Yes, that was my reaction when the dialogues changed. I'm suprised I finished the audio book. I'm glad that the author explained the background more than once throughout the book, so I was able to catch and understand a few things here and there. Again, the story wasn't bad, I just wish I could have understood the Language the main characters spoke.
Here is a little relief... it did get better to understand as the story moved along.
Yes. I really enjoyed the story.
Saba - obviously. This is kind of a one girl show.
I just found her voice and some of her enunciations too juvenile. It took me a while to get used to her voice, which is not necessarily pleasing to listen to.
Miss The Hunger Games? Get ready for Saba.
I would have loved this book but constantly using God's name in vain ruined it for me. This is considered suitable for teens? I won't read another book from this author. Too bad, she has talent.