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review 2016-04-19 02:36
Review: Rebel Heart (The Dust Lands Trilogy #2) by Moira Young
Rebel Heart - Moira Young

Quick review for a quick read. I read "Rebel Heart" in full quite a few years after reading "Blood Red Road", so I had to refresh my memory on a few things that happened in the first book before tackling this one. My final reaction upon finishing it (and meditating over all of its events) was "Oh Saba."

Parts of this book I really liked, and others I didn't for some parts of it that didn't really feel in-character, particularly for the heroine. I tried thinking about how I felt about the two books and ultimately - I think I liked "Blood Red Road" more than this (not to say this was a bad book, but just...not on the same wavelength as the first). "Rebel Heart" is a decent book for action sequences when they're present, but Saba's character makes a fair number of infuriating decisions after several misunderstandings arise. I definitely liked the intro with Jack's POV, because it set up a nice set of tension to begin the book. Saba takes over following that point, and there's a lot that happens between the time that Saba and Jack are able to reunite.

The dystopian worldbuilding in this book is very well done, like the first book. I felt immersed in the interactions of the characters and the threat of the Tonton. Loved the pacing of the conflicts and how readable this book was - like the first book.

But the more I thought about Saba's decisions in this book - the more I was like "I remember her being reckless in the first book, but in a good way that made me identify with her and see her motivations to an extent. This book seems like she's being far more careless with her relationships and her missteps reduced down to misunderstandings, including one that's huge revolving around Jack and a pretty messed-up interlude with DeMalo (who's definitely twisted). Saba's blunt dismissal of Tammo was disappointing as well (though that dialogue seemed to come out of nowhere). I did like seeing Saba struggle with her inner demons in places, though - and there are palpable points of tension that ramp up the intrigue in this book.

I'm definitely looking forward to seeing where things go in the last book in this series. I was sitting on the fence between rating this either a 3 or 3.5, but considering the intrigue of "Blood Red Road", this didn't quite match the dynamic, so it's a 3 star read for me.

Overall score: 3/5 stars.

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review 2011-10-01 00:00
Dustlands Trilogy 1. Blood Red Road
Blood Red Road (Dust Lands, #1) - Moira Young Incredible! This book just really blew me away. Let me tell you how far Blood Red Road got me badly hooked: On the 1st night that I read this since I usually read by sundown, when it was time for me to get some sleep, I placed the book on my shelf, laid on my bed and pulled my blanket up to my chin. And guess what, I couldn’t sleep. My mind was playing over the events I’ve read on Blood Red Road. I was imagining how Silverlake looked like; Saba and Emmi’s journey; Saba’s Cage fights (I stopped before getting to Hopetown One Month Later chapter). My mind was really musing over everything. It took me about 2-3 hours before I finally dozed off. Yup… That bad.There are just so many elements that I found to love in Blood Red Road. I found the plot unique and the settings very vivid. Saba’s journey to and from Hopetown in finding her brother was an adventure I’d like to read over again and never get tired of. I do wish that I’d have more Cage-fight scenes, I love fighting scenes so I felt that it was too short and not as descriptive as I want, but totally forgivable. I also love the surprises I got over reading this, and just when I thought I had enough, here comes another one, more shocking than the other.The characters, I found them beautifully created. I have to admit that I didn’t like Saba from the beginning, but as she grew throughout the book, dislike turned to respect and I eventually learned to love her. She may’ve been shallow and stubborn in the beginning, but as she came across more people, I’d gotten to know a better side of her. Jack, oh-so-cocky Jack, is someone that I really loved in this book. What is it with fictional, arrogant, good-looking guys that make readers like me so giddy and find them fascinating? If it were in real life, I know we’d be dissing guys like that but why do we find those in the book so attractive? Seriously?Moving on, I kind of pity Emmi. She’s just a kid who has lived a life that her young age shouldn’t have yet and I admire her for that, but sometimes she can be way too stubborn and careless. Sometimes I hate it, other times I just know it can’t be helped. I’m totally curious about DeMalo. He’s so mysterious and I really want to know more about him, I feel that he’ll be the villain on the next book after what happened to the King. Speaking of the King, oh seriously! Couldn’t help addressing his self as THE KING, Ugh! And yet he was a very distinct character. Of course, it’s not perfect. I have to say that I don’t buy the whole written in the stars thing and the heartstone. Even without those, Saba’s father could’ve still told her to be strong for others and the events that occurred with Lugh would still have happened; and Jack would still be justified as Saba’s heart’s desire without the hint of heat from the heartstone. I also feel a bit disturbed by Saba’s “determination” in finding Lugh. Yes, I get that he’s her brother and she loved him but if I hadn’t known they were siblings, I would’ve thought they were lovers. Or maybe I just don’t have the same relationship with my brother the way she has with Lugh.With how Blood Red Road, I know we’ll have another farfetched journey ahead and I can’t wait to know more about Saba’s world.For more of my reviews, please visit my blog: The Blair Book Project @ www.theblairbookproject.blogspot.com
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