Thursday, November 8, 2012

Rebel Heart, by Moira Young- Review

From Goodreads:
It seemed so simple: Defeat the Tonton, rescue her kidnapped brother, Lugh, and then order would be restored to Saba’s world. Simplicity, however, has proved to be elusive. Now, Saba and her family travel west, headed for a better life and a longed-for reunion with Jack. But the fight for Lugh’s freedom has unleashed a new power in the dust lands, and a formidable new enemy is on the rise.

What is the truth about Jack? And how far will Saba go to get what she wants? In this much-anticipated follow-up to the riveting Blood Red Road, a fierce heroine finds herself at the crossroads of danger and destiny, betrayal and passion

Moira Young has skills.  Honestly, there's no other way to describe it.  She rolled me through this intense, hard fought, first book and straight into it's very different sequel.  Yet she kept me fabulously happy and grew beloved characters into complex relationships without leaving me feeling cheated.  Rebel Heart was none of the things I expected, and yet everything I could have hoped for, if I had been canny enough to think of the surprising path she took me down.

The many shifts in relationships, be it Lugh and Saba, or Saba and Emmi, or Sabba and Jack, or Lugh and Maeve etc., made for a second book focused on people instead of action, though there's no shortage of that as well.  I felt like Young really started to get to the bottom of what made each of these characters tick, filling the reader with insights into not only why they do things but what made them into the fighters they are.  And even though I felt Saba was the most straight forward of all of them, and the one I understood without question, it turns out she's developing nuances I didn't see coming.  And I love her more because of them.

Speaking of loving people more, um Jack? Yeah, impressive.  This is quickly turning into one of my favorite YA romances.
I cross my arms over my chest.  Stare down at my bare feet, turnin blue with cold.  Would you be like that? I says.  If I'd...bin with another man?
Hey. C'mere.  He comes to me.  Wraps me in his arms an kisses the top of my head. This is me yer talkin to.  I've racketed all over the place.  I'm hardly in a position to judge anybody.
The DeMalo, rebellion and Lugh issues are shaping this story into something just as intense as Blood Red Road, but in a more philosophical way.  Saba's struggle with changing from a blunt instrument of survival to a leader is every bit as gripping as her cage fighting.  And this is where I think Young has surpassed Collins, her heroine is far more complex than Katniss, who is almost solely capable of survival.  Saba doesn't walk away from DeMalo on site, she doesn't deny his appeal, she's aware of her pull on Tommo, she uses all of these relationships to her advantage when necessary, but not without regrets.  Katniss is always team Katniss, but Saba is constantly changing her mind about what team she's on, she constantly weighing pros and con's.

Refreshing, kick-ass and full of heart, Rebel Heart was a fantastic second book in the Dust Lands series. More please!
Make sure to join me tomorrow for my stop on the Rebel Heart Blog Tour, when Moira Young stops by to talk World Building.  And while you're at it, make sure to pop in to the other stops as well:

Rebel Heart, by Moira Young
Published by Doubleday, October 30th, 2012
My copy kindly provided by the publisher
Buy Rebel Heart on Amazon

1 comment:

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