Tuesday, October 23, 2012

REVIEW: Dustlands: Blood Red Road and Rebel Heart

I'd like to apologize for how extremely long it took me to post this. I went on vacation with my family and immediately contracted a head cold right after so I've been out of the action for a little while!
But I'm feeling better now and ready to jump back in to the game!

Don't forget to enter the giveaway that will open THIS THURSDAY. (the 25th.)

When I read the quote on the front that said "Better than the Hunger Games!" I was like 'yeah right. NOTHING is better than the Hunger Games!" My opinion is now somewhat changed. I feel like they are both such rich and marvelous pieces of work and that they are really too different to compare.

This book is amazing. So amazing that I read it in a day... So amazing that I wish I could give it six stars...  I've been reading a lot of young adult books lately, and most of them have been only enjoyable or fine. But honestly this book blew me out of the water and reminded me why I love this genre so much.

Blood Red Road is breathtaking, exciting, and best of all: realistic. I'm so tired of perfect characters and unrealistic drama. Our protagonist, Saba, is now one of my favorite heroines of all time. She is so very flawed but so very strong. She has so much darkness in her, as we all do, but also has so much light. She makes mistakes, has regrets, and honestly does some pretty terrible things. But all she really wants is to do what she feels like is right. She is brave, impulsive and damaged and I love it.

This book has such fabulous change. I really feel like a series has accomplished something when the main characters themselves go through an emotional journey. I don't like books where the main character stays the same and changes everybody else. Saba goes through such turmoil and learns so much. At the beginning, she really hates her sister, but throughout this book they really develop such a deep relationship. Saba begins the book as such a naive girl but slowly becomes weathered and strong.

I love the two sides of the characters here. In the real world, there are no perfectly good and perfectly bad people. This book really brings this world to life in the dimension that these characters have. Jack, Lugh, Saba, the free hawks, everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses, their own past ghosts that haunt them. Life is ugly. This world is ugly. People do really bad things. This book definitely does not try to hide it.

Yes, the format is strange. It's written entirely from Saba's point of view, so there are purposeful spelling errors, grammar errors, etc. At first it took some adjusting, but now that I'm finished, I've decided that I loved it and I really feel like it added to the overall feel.

I rarely give books five stars, but this one deserves it. I will recommend this book to all of my friends and I really hope that it becomes big! Absolutely fantastic!

I was happily surprised to receive an Advance Readers Copy of this book! I'll admit, I was a little worried to read it, though, as I was afraid that the sequel wouldn't be as good as the first book and that would ruin it for me.

I am happy to report that is not the case. This book was also marvelous, definitely just as good as the first and even better in some ways.

In the first book, Saba was portrayed as stubborn, strong, and ruthless. In this book, she really starts to show a lot of damage and repercussions for all the trauma that she lived through in the first book. I absolutely love this. I love that this author did such a good job of depicting how it is possible for humans to be strong and still feel pain and have serious struggles. Saba spends this novel desperately trying to pull herself together. She is so vulnerable and yet still so determined to do the right thing and to protect the people she loves.

I love the journey the character Lugh goes through in this book, as well. In the first book, we didn't get to see much of Lugh except to hear of him through Saba, and she was prone to placing him on a golden pedestal. All we heard about was his perfection. In this book it is clear that he is seriously struggling and that he went through a lot of hardship while in captivity. He seriously pissed me off a few times, and I loved it. Lugh and Saba have to work hard to repair their life-long relationship that was torn apart.

Man! The Villian in this book (won't give any spoilers here) is so amazing and rich. I wasn't a fan of the villians in the last book very much, but here is a real plot twister. I am so impressed with the build of this character, how he can have so much passion and believe so much that he is doing the right thing and saving the world, and be doing so much evil. It really shows how in our world, there are so many people that we believe to be 'bad people' who really are just trying to get by and do what they think is right and/or necessary.

Another five star novel. The only thing I am sad about is the fact that I have to wait so dang long for the next one! I would sell my left arm to get an ARC of that one as well!

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