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Saba is an eighteen year old girl, who lives with her twin brother, younger sister, and father in a shed that’s in the middle of a desert. Even though they live a lake, it is slowly dying up from the lack of rain. They have almost no food left and very little water. Their world is post-apocalyptic: there is no law, no technology, and it’s every man for himself.

One day, men come to kidnap Saba’s twin brother, Lugh. His­ father tries to stop them, but they kill him. Saba vows to find Lugh, because she has a deep and strong relationship with her brother. This is in a complete contrast to her relationship with her sister: Saba resents Emmi and resents her for her mother’s death giving birth to Emmi.

Along their journey to find Lugh, they are kidnapped themselves by a couple travelling in a “desert boat,” a raft with a sail and wheels. They force Saba to become a fighter, or as the book refers to “gladiator.”

She of course escapes with a wild band of rebels and they help her on her way to the “Freedom Fields,” where she learns her brother is being held. She also learns her brother was kidnapped because he was born under a midsummer’s moon and as part of a gruesome sacrifice to the gods, he will be killed by the “King” (whom turns out is a replica of King Louis XIV, the Son King).

And if the book didn’t sound a bit strange to you at all, imagine when Saba and the group she is travelling with come across a salt flat that turns out to house mutant worms that have claws! (As I’ve been told, worms are a big thing in science fiction, but I must also mention I have read little sci-fi.)

As much as this book is calling itself the “next Hunger Games,” I have to thoroughly disagree. The writing was completely in Saba’s point of view, complete with slang – basically written as a Southern person was talking. I imagine the author did this to immerse the reader more into the story, but to me, it felt like a cheap way to be lazy with the story.

It seemed as soon as all the good ideas ran out, she threw in some more outrageous and unbelievable. I understand Blood Red Road is more fantasy/western, than dystopian young adult, but come on! A King Louis XIV imitator in the middle of this western, post-apocalyptic world that likes to sacrifice people like the Aztecs, oh and don’t forgot the heartstone – it heats up next to something you really want! In Saba’s case, a boy named Jack, but she only thinks of him in a physical way.

Saba herself is no way near Katniss Everdeen. She is a vicious, selfish, vindictive person who only cares her brother and no one else. She only wants her brother back for her own selfish reasons, because she doesn’t want to deal with her sister. Of course, she learns to love her sister, but not after she’s done some pretty nasty things to her.

I am extremely disappointed in this novel – it was marketed to people like me who loved the “Hunger Games,” but it turned out I was hoodwinked. The story is also very weak, and as much as some of the characters could be redeemed in the following books, I will not be reading those books. I just couldn’t suspend my disbelief for this story. Most of the aspects were taken from history, but were only put into the story for shock effect.

I want to tell everyone to stay far away from Blood Red Road. DO NOT READ THIS BOOK. I have read some pretty bad books in my time, and this is definitely one of the worst.

Rating:

{x} Pretty bad
{  } Tolerable
{  } All right
{  } Exciting
{  } Enthralling

Book 37 out of 60