Google+ Reading Teen: Audiobook Review: Blood Red Road by Moira Young

Friday, June 24, 2011

Audiobook Review: Blood Red Road by Moira Young

Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 464 pages
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry (June 7, 2011)
Audio CD
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio; Unabridged edition (June 7, 2011)

Buy the book:  Hardcover, Audio

A girl goes on an epic journey through a bleak landscape in the first book of this post-Apocalyptic trilogy.

Saba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. The Wrecker civilization has long been destroyed, leaving only landfills for Saba and her family to scavenge from. That’s fine by her, as long as her beloved twin brother Lugh is around. But when a monster sandstorm arrives, along with four cloaked horsemen, Saba’s world is shattered. Lugh is captured, and Saba embarks on a quest to get him back.

Suddenly thrown into the lawless, ugly reality of the world outside of desolate Silverlake, Saba is lost without Lugh to guide her. So perhaps the most surprising thing of all is what Saba learns about herself: she is a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. She has the power to take down a corrupt society from the inside. Teamed up with a handsome daredevil named Jack and a gang of girl revolutionaries called the Free Hawks, Saba stages a showdown that will change the course of her own civilization.

The Audio:

If there was ever a book that should be listened to, I think Blood Red Road is it!  I’ve heard from different people that sometimes reading this book was difficult because of the heavy southern, choppy dialect that is used, but the reader did a fantastic job.  I didn’t have any trouble following.  I really liked her voice a lot for Saba.  It was kind of low and husky, which I thought fit her perfectly.  The slow southern drawl that she used for Jack was good also.  There were times when I thought she made him sound a little too arrogant and indifferent, but it didn’t bother me too much, and it may have been exactly what the author had in mind.  Overall, the reader did an amazing job and I would definitely opt for listening to Blood Red Road on Audio!

The Book:

Wow, this was one interesting book.  Moira Young certainly doesn’t follow the mold, that’s for sure.  I haven’t read a lot of adult fiction, but as far as YA fiction goes, this book is different than anything I’ve ever read.  It has a different feel, different characters, different setting and different style.  While reading Blood Red Road, I kept having flashes back to a movie called Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.  Ok, one-third of you are nodding your heads and smiling, one-third are wondering what on earth I’m talking about, and one-third are questioning my sanity.  Yes, Mad Max, I did watch that movie, and I actually liked it quite a bit, but yes, it was weird.  I would say the same thing about this book. 

Blood Red Road is set in a future post-apocalyptic world.  My one complaint about it is that we have no idea what happened to make the world like this, and never find out.  I want to know why the world was destroyed, why Saba and her family are hiding from the rest of the population, why the “King” came into power, why his mother was such a cowering idiot, why he believed what he did about Saba’s brother, there just weren’t enough answers for me.   Maybe they will be answered in book 2, but the thing I loved about this book was that it could totally be a stand-alone, which I really appreciate. 

However, as far as the story goes, I really loved it.  I love post-apocalyptic stories.  Some of my favorite books and movies are this genre.  I love Waterworld and The Book of Eli, and of course Mad Max, all of which had similar feels to them as Blood Red Road.  I also thought that it had kind of a Western feel to it.  I couldn’t help but picture them on their horses wearing cowboy hats…even though they weren’t.  Maybe it was the barren landscape and the southern dialect.  Then there were elements of magic, and even sci-fi.  The magical elements were always in the background, hinted at but never confirmed.  I wonder if this will be further explored in book 2.

All the characters were really well developed.  I loved Saba……and she drove me absolutely crazy!  She was na├»ve, hateful, prideful, stubborn, and self-absorbed, while at the same time, smart, selfless, totally kick-butt, and fiercely loyal.  I don’t think I’ve ever been as frustrated with a character as I was with her.  I seriously wanted to shake her and say, “Get the freaking chip off your shoulder!”  But she would have just asked me what in blazes “freaking” meant and told me to mind my own business.  From her never-wavering love and devotion to her brother, to her absolutely hateful treatment of her little sister, she was one complicated character.  Jack was fantastic.  I don’t know how on earth he put up with Saba, but he had the patience of a saint.  Their relationship was full of snark and tension and frustration, and I was just dying for Saba to wake up and see what was right in front of her.  I especially loved the relationship development between Saba and her sister, Emmi.  Saba’s treatment of Emmi was seriously hard to stomach, and there were times when I wanted to throttle her, but Jack was really good for them, making her see just what she was doing and how cruel she was.  It was really well done.

And if you're looking for some serious girl-power, this book is LOADED with it!  Basically every girl in this book was hard-core!  From Saba's quest to be the rescuer, to Emmi's determination to do whatever she can to help, to the cage matches, and battle-scenes, this book was chock-full of action and strength.  The great thing about it was that it didn't come off "in your face," and the girls were still feminine, they just had hard lives and adjusted accordingly.  It was really great to read.

I seriously liked this book a lot.  I’m not saying that there weren’t things that bothered me.  Some things were wrapped up too easily, and there was a little too much “luck” involved, but I really don’t read a book to critique it, I read it to hopefully enjoy it, and I really enjoyed listening to this one.  I'm excited to see where the story goes next!



  • Sexual Content:  Mild
  • Profanity:  Moderate/Heavy (depending on your views)
  • Violence:  Heavy
  • Other Notables:  Some drinking/drunkenness (doesn't seem illegal in this setting)

For more details, check out Blood Red Road on Parental Book Reviews.


  1. Oh my goodness, I absolutely LOVED this book! The characters indeed rocked! I loved how differently this book was written and I would LOVE to be able to listen to this one someday on audiobook.

  2. This does sound so good. I'm with you about listening to the accents over reading them...I've often wondered if the Bloody Jack series is hard to read with the accent...listening to it was great.

  3. I do really enjoy listening to dystopians. It really helps deliver me into their world. I've definitely had this on my wishlist.

  4. I haven't read Blood Red Road yet but I am really looking forward to it!

  5. I got this book last week and can't wait to read it, although judging from your review, I wonder if the audio is the way to go. Sometimes books with dialects are better on audio because, with the right reader, they come to life better (I felt that way about The Help). Thanks for a fab review!

    (Oh, and I hope you'll delete that dumbass coward above me...)

  6. I love all three of those movies, so this book just popped to the top of my "Need to buy NOW!" list.

    Great review as always. I love that you give s such a great overview without spoiling anything! Excited to know that there's a second book coming out!


    TEli to the nth

  7. I ordered the audio for my library and after reading your review, I can't wait until it comes in so I can listen to it. I have heard so many great things about this book.

  8. I love audio books where the reader uses accents (when they are done well). It really enhances the reading experience. I'll have to look for this one at the library. :)

  9. I really want to listen (not read) this one! hopefully I'll buy it soon (:

  10. I usually have more trouble listening to things/people with a heavy accent, but have absolutely no problem reading books like that. Regardless of that, Blood Red Road sounds like something that would be more enjoyable listened to rather than read. :)

    The HAunting of Orchid Forsythia

  11. I'm wanting this audio SO BAD! Great review!

  12. I LOVED this book. The dialect was a struggle at first, but once I got used to it I could not stop reading! I will be adding the audio to my library's collection too. Thanks for the review

  13. I have heard a lot of great things on this book, and trusted your blog so I found this review and I will def pick it up!


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