Lately I have started way too many audio books and not been able to finish any of them. This one however hooked me right away and didn't let go.
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The voice of the main character, Saba, is fresh and unique. The language is minimalistic, at times broken, and seems to be taken right out of the wild west. Though from the hints dropped by the author it seems the story is set in the future after civilization as we know it is no more. This is the first book in a series and while the main storyline wraps up nicely, I was still left with many lingering questions I'm hoping will be answered in forthcoming installments.
One of my favorite things about this novel was how the author made me care about the characters. They were fleshed out, completely three dimensional and utterly human. You see rather than being told how Saba and other character grow throughout the hardships they face. As an animal lover, I also loved the bond between Saba and her crow Nero.
The book is action packed and I didn't find any spots where the story really dragged. I really liked the immediacy created by the first person, present tense narration. I felt like I was right there with the characters experiencing everything they did.
Now for the romance. The romance was sweet and totally appropriate for teens. I can see how the author plans to build on the relationships developed in the first book and I'm hoping she delves deeper into other characters...like the mysterious Demalo. Jack, the love interest in the book challenges Saba and it's nice to see her fight against her feelings and finally, finally give into them. Overall this was an exceptional debut novel. It was unique, surprising, and a whole lot of fun! The narration was spot on as well and I'm hoping they stick with Ms. Lind for upcoming books in this series.
This is the second book in the Dust Lands series by Young. I absolutely adored Blood Red Road and was so excited to read this book. To be honest thi..Show More »s book was a bit of a disappointment. Gone is the fierce Saba from Blood Red Road, she’s been replaced by a whiny emotional wreck of a young woman.
I listened to this on an audiobook. The audiobook was very well done. The narrator does an excellent job of capturing the stark language and slang used throughout the novel.
We hear briefly from Jack a bit in the beginning. The rest of the story is with Saba and her siblings as they journey across the Waste to the west. Saba is seeing shadows that are slowly driving her insane; she seeks help from a spiritual healer in a nearby town. This part of the story was a bit odd and I don’t understand why it was included here...but whatever.
Then when Maeve stumbles into town she brings word from Jack. Saba and crew abandon their quest to go West and turn back to travel to the Storm Belt to meet up with Jack.
Gone are the awesome action scenes and kick-butt Saba from the first book. In her place we have a selfish, wreck of a girl that's a shadow of herself. Saba doesn’t come off as tough but more of an emotional wreck whose world is slowly falling to pieces. Seriously Saba is so overly emotional about everything, sometimes following her mercurial changes in temperament just plain wore me out.
Saba continually makes rash emotional decisions that end up hurting the group. She never seems to learn from her mistakes. I understand that Saba's ability to feel emotions so keenly is special in this stark wasteland; but by the end of the book I wanted to smack her.
For some reason it seems like Saba is defining her whole existence by the men in her life. Her actions are driven by her brother, Jack, and even her enemy the Pathfinder and her emotions about them. It’s so different from the tough and pragmatic Saba in Blood Red Road.
Saba’s brother Lugh is just plain creepy throughout the book; he is controlling and a bit evil. His manipulation of Saba and his possessiveness gave me the creeps.
The best characters in this book are Em, Saba’s younger sister, whose incredible wisdom and cheerfulness add a lot to the bleak story. Also Saba and crew steal a cart from a medicine man named Slim; Slim ends up accompanying them on their journey to the Storm Belt. Slim is an awesome character; he adds some humor and seems to genuinely care about this group of wandering kids.
I still enjoyed the stark language and dusty, dank post-apocalyptic setting. I also enjoyed the glimpses back into the old Wrecker culture that made this horrible bleak world what it was.
Overall didn't like this book as much as the first one. I continue to enjoy the dank dusty world and stark language used to tell this story. I did not enjoy the emotional wrecked and selfish Saba that we deal with in this book. I didn’t understand the why behind the whole first half of the this book and hope that somehow it ties in with the third book and makes sense. Hopefully the final book in the series will be better and make some of the things that happened in the second book more meaningful. I will definitely read the final book in this series just because I did love Blood Red Road so much and I do love this world. Still, this definitely wasn’t a strong continuation of the series.