If nothing else, Blood Red Road is incredibly unique and unlike anything that I can think of reading before. Fortunately, there’s more to it. But, gosh, it’s DIFFERENT. The inside of the jacket flap calls Moira Young’s writing style ‘poetic… minimal’. I whole-hearted-ly agree. It’s poetic. It’s unglorious in that it’s simple, and very glorious in the way it flows. Which is like water. In a really smooth pipe? Wow. That was lame. Anyway, the point is, the pace is crazy fast and at times I wanted it to slow a bit so that I could soak it in and try to register what just happened– but at the same time I was hungry for more and I didn’t want it to slow down I just wanted to read it until it was over. At first, the writing style is startling. It’s hard to get used to. There’s no quotation words for talking, all of the speech and descriptions are crazy informal, it’s improper, Sabba talks weird… but then all of a sudden that all falls away and you can see the story play out vividly and the writing begins to feel down home and informal but in the way that it’s as if Sabba is sitting with you, recounting the story– laying emphasize on parts that she felt important and glossing over some of the details, recounting like, ‘and then he says’, you know. That kind of feeling.
Beyond the voice of the book, it was brilliant as well. It’s post-apocalyptic. While most post-apocalyptic line up well with dystopias because the fact that it’s post-apocalypse creates a world that IS a dystopia, I’d struggle to call Blood Red Road a dystopia, and if I did call it a dystopia, I’d envision all of the normal dystopias that seem like they’re dystopias sitting in a room looking normal and Blood Red Road wearing striped pajamas and singing or doing something else to stand out. Anyway, the world that Moira Young creates is very interesting. It’s clearly sometime in the future, the characters often point out things that are ‘post-wrecker’ and from what they describe we’re left to assume they’re talking about the current world, now. Yet, the world seems old. The horses, the lack of electronics, the deserts, and the wildnerness; they all yield the impression that you’re reading something about the ancient times.
The characters were complex. I didn’t like Sabba at first and for her, Blood Red Road is rather a coming of age novel, she grows so much. The other characters were very interesting as well, although we don’t see much of most of them and sometimes I wished I could get to know them all more.
So, overall, Moira Young is a creative genius. If you want a post-apocalyptic novel that wears striped pajamas and sings when it hangs out with the dystopian crowd; with complex characters, a brilliantly weaved world, and writing like nothing you’ve read, pick up Blood Red Road.
Thank you S&S for giving me the opportunity to review this book. Readers: As always, I promise receiving books for review in no way alters my opinion, and my reviews are honest (sometimes brutally). 🙂