Bringing The Nice Slow SWOON!

Book Review: Blood Red Road by Moira Young

I didn’t instantly click with Blood Red Road by Moira Young. I was initially put off by the writing style as it’s written in dialect. Yet the early buzz reviews said Blood Red Road is awesome. You know, I am SO glad I stuck with it, because before I realized it, Blood Red Road sunk it’s claws into me and I became emotionally invested in this book.

Blood Red Road, Book Cover, Moira Young

Blood Red Road

Blood Red Road has high stakes.  Opening with a high action scene, Saba an older teenage girl, witnesses the murder of her father and the abduction of her brother Lugh by this KGB-esque group known as the Ton-ton. Saba and her little sister Emmi who she isn’t too keen on then begin a journey to save Lugh with various characters joining their rag tag group along the way.

Moira Young completely nailed the worldbulding in this book. Saba’s world is completely believable. We the readers can see the effect of the chaal, which is a mind-altering drug common to Saba’s world. The scenery pretty much plays a role as the desert impacts much of Saba’s choices. Of course, the world these characters live in was not always this way, in fact it’s our world after all of our technology fails and becomes known as wrecker technology. However, it is never overtly said what happen, the book merely hints at how society fell. The worldbuilding is intricately detailed, with reasonable and believable influnece on everything from social constructs to the sort of language the characters speak with, which is informal and well, you’ll see why when you read the book.

I connect with books because of characters. I know it might be different for you, dear reader, but I need a character in order for me to just click with the book. Saba could totally be my home girl. You know, because I rock 1990s language like a G. She’s this kickass girl with a little thing I like to call bloodlust. Not vampire blood lust, but the need to survive at all costs bloodlust. She’s loyal to death, putting her life on the line for those she loves. Also, ah she’s one of my favorite types of leader characters, the reluctant leader. Saba isn’t down for everything, but she rises up and does what she has to do. However, she has her faults as well. I mean, she’s really not nice to her sister Emmi at all, resenting Emmi for the death of her mother. However, this provides a bit of a catalyst for Saba to change and a relationship for her to examine, and well, of course we see that relationship develop and evolve and it’s awesome to see a family dynamic change play out for a change.

Although, if we are speaking about relationship dynamics, I think I would do you a disservice if I never mentioned Jack during this review. Ya’ll he brings the nice slow swoon that creeps up on you. It’s definitely been brought. Also, can I just say I never ever thought a song about Cruel Annie would be sigh-inducing, but oh it definitely is and it made this little heart of mine beat beat BEAT. They have a slow developing relationship, which is very nice to see although the whole seriousness of everything does help to bring them together. However, AH, I just loved the whole development of the relationship and felt it was an awesome bonus.

OH OH, I can’t believe I have typed this far without mentioning the ultimate bird pet: NERO. Guys, I hate birds. I think they are the stupidest pet out there, right up with fish. So, I’m like yeah okay whatever a bird. THEN Nero just brought the noise and acted more like a loyal flying dog and I’m like dudes, Nero, he can be in my clique. Seriously, I’ve never felt so pumped over a goddamn bird until NERO.  Best.bird.ever.

I think Blood Red Road brings something new to the dystopian/post-apocalyptic genre. Now, I don’t play that whole semantics game and do conflate dystopia and post-apocalyptic but I just loved that this had a desert like setting. I loved that the characters spoke in dialect. I mean, sure this is the classic hero journey archetype as the brilliant Anna said in a convo. But, it’s so easy for me to connect with the themes of freedom, love, and loyalty. I was completely transported to another world, lost in my ereader. I felt the gamut of emotions while reading this and I highly recommend it for you when the doctor orders a healthy dose of escapism.

Disclosure: Review copy received via Galley Grab.

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About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. Blood Red Road was awesome, no doubt there. The ending was really nice too, and I’m not entirely sure what the second book will hold!
    Hafsah recently posted..REVIEW- Blood Red Road by Moira YoungMy Profile

  2. I actually just got the audio book yesterday for review. I’ve listened to the first two chapters so far and really enjoyed it. Planning on listening to the rest over the next day or two. Glad to know you like it so much!
    Julie recently posted..Back When You Were Easier to Love by Emily Wing SmithMy Profile

  3. Awesome review April! I love that you mention Nero and Jack! I was going to in mine, but review was super crazy long… 😛
    But I totally agree with your review! So true! So true! It’s an awesome book that people need to read.
    Ashley recently posted..I wasnt going to do this BUTMy Profile

  4. omg! this book. i LOVED it. i loved saba, jack and nero, the dialect, the world-building, the relationships, the plot.

    yep, pretty much everything! this review was awesome.

    also, this book has been getting quite a bit of buzz lately! and rightly so, IMO.

  5. Kara Malinczak says

    I love this review! I adored this book. This is an amazing series. Guys if you haven’t read it yet, what are you waiting for? The language will throw you off at first. It’s done that to everybody. It’s so worth it though. Nero, Jack, and Saba. Wow April, this review brought it all back for me. Blood Red Road is def. one of my favorite reads for the year so far.

  6. I second everything you said! I’m usually a plot-driven reader and I loved this book too. I think it would have been one of my top books of the year if not for my slight annoyance with the accent (I see why it was used, and in context it’s ok, but it took a while to get used to) and the fact that one tiny thing wasn’t explained as well as I wanted it to be.
    Savs recently posted..Review- WitherMy Profile

  7. I love this review because I feel the exact same way about this book! (Which I loved and am very glad you reviewed!) It took me a while to get into it too, and I was hesitant at first because of Saba’s dialect (especially as I had just finished Patrick Ness and was thinking I might have ODed on ‘ain’t’ and ‘afeared’ and what not). In fact if a woman at Waterstone’s hadn’t forced into my hands with the instruction “One word. Jack. Just trust me.” I wouldn’t have given the writing style a chance. And I’m SO SO SO glad I did.

    And the setting! You’re so right! The setting is what really drew me in because it was so Mad Max/post apocalyptic old west/Tatooine! And while it took a while for that to settle in I felt, as soon as Saba got into the desert I was sold! And when Hopetown was described as the place the scum of the earth wash up I knew this was a place I had to go! The setting definitely sucked me in initially and then “They call me the Angel of Death” totally sealed the deal.


  1. […] Good Books and Good Wine: “The worldbuilding is intricately detailed, with reasonable and believable influnece on everything from social constructs to the sort of language the characters speak with, which is informal and well, you’ll see why when you read the book.” […]

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