November 23, 2013

Book review: Rebel Heart by Moira Young

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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.

Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)

Blood Red Road was one of my favorite reads of 2012, and I can't believe it took me so long to read the sequel. In hindsight, I didn't need to rush. Rebel Heart wasn't bad, but it didn't nearly live up to the great book that Blood Red Road was.

After the events of the first book, Saba is haunted by her deeds. As a result, she spends much of Rebel Heart acting guilty, angry, confused, stubborn, and just plain annoying. The book spent way too much time inside her head, in my humble opinion, rather than focusing on the action, which was what made Blood Red Road so awesome. It didn't help that Lugh, Saba's objective in the first book, wasn't a very likeable character either.

Ironically, my biggest complaint about Blood Red Road, the writing style, was Rebel Heart's saving grace. Knowing what to expect this time around, I appreciated the way that the author told the story. The narrative is as fluid in this book as in the first, and I felt like I was there with the characters.

Rebel Heart wasn't a bad book by any means. I still think it's good, even better than the average YA dystopian story. I just wish it was more like the first book. There is supposed to be a third book coming out in the beginning of 2014. Despite what I thought of Rebel Heart, it was still good enough that I plan to follow the series to its conclusion.

I read this book as part of the Authors A to Z reading challenge. Next up: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.

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