I read in a blog a recommendation of Blood Read Road for those who liked Grave Mercy. Why, I wonder? These two books have nothing in common.
In Blood Red Road there’s no quotation marks (“ “) to distinguish dialogue which makes it a little difficult to follow but it is something that you can quickly get used to once you get the hang of it.
Seba is the twin sister of Lugh and he means the world to her. They live with their father and little sister Emmi in a deserted land where the nearest neighbor is four leagues away.
Their father can read the future in the stars but, what is this gift good for if he cannot do anything to change what he sees coming?
One day, riders show up in the middle of a sand storm to take Lugh away. Why? All that is clear is that they want him because he was born in midwinter. Of course, Seba being his twin was born in midwinter too, but they are not interested in her. Again, why? - you find out later in the story :-) So the riders take Lugh, kill their father and leave Seba and Emmi behind.
Of course Seba sets out to find Lugh… and here start the similarities with Arena One (The Survival Trilogy) by Morgan Rice.
In fact, Blood Red Road is so much like Arena One that I had to go back to the cover and title to make sure what book I was actually reading.
Seba is taken prisoner for cage fighting in a coliseum. Of course she wins all the fights and soon becomes to be known as the Angel of Death because she kills anyone who fights against her. How can Saba, a girl who was raised in a shelter win every cage fight? When, and I mean on what page of the book, did she develop the skills to make her a winner? And for someone who had never been among people other than her immediate family, she sure is not afraid of strangers! Aren’t you even a bit shy when facing a crowd? Well, all I can say is that Seba is an apocalyptic future Xena: the warrior princes!
How can a book that started with so much promise become another girl-fight novel escapes me…
What I liked: the dialect. It reminds me of the series Chaos Walking. Both Young and Ness create a unique world with their own dialect that if not easily followed at first but it definitely distinguishes the book and makes it different. And yes, once you get into it, it becomes totally enjoyable.
How does Seba escape her prisoners? What happens to little Emmi? Does she find Lugh?
All this is revealed in a book that lost its appeal to me. But if you are a fan Arena One and that type of books you are going to love Blood Red Road.
Note: and why is this book even compared to Hunger Games? It seems to me that every book with a badass girl that fights it's being compared to Katniss. No, no and no. This has nothing like Hunger Games in it…
Different views here and here.