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Sunday, May 11, 2014

Review: Rebel Heart (Dust Lands #2) by Moira Young

Publisher: Random House Canada
Published: October 30, 2012
Pages: 432
Source: Bought
Rating: 4 Stars

Saba has rescued her kidnapped brother and defeated the fanatical Tonton. But the price to be paid for her violent victory is terrible. Jack has disappeared--and can no longer be trusted. A new and formidable enemy is on the rise in the dustlands. No one is safe. And Saba must confront the terrible secret hidden in the darkest depths of her soul.

In short: Though Rebel Heart was not quite as engrossing as its predecessor, it was still a solid and emotional sequel buoyed by Moira Young's most excellent writing.
You may recall how CRAZY IN LOVE I was with Blood Red Road; I was utterly engrossed through the entire read. I loved every aspect of it: the stubborn but FIERCE heroine, the totally swoony romance, the intense action scenes, and of course, the powerful and unique writing style. Well, I finally found the time to read the sequel - just in time for the third and final book to be released - and I am happy to say that the aforementioned elements were also present in Rebel Heart, if maybe not to the same extent and intensity as in Blood Red Road.

Moira Young's characteristic writing remains my favourite part of reading this series. It just brings the story to LIFE. The sparse prose and stream of consciousness writing style add so much personality and atmosphere to the novel. What's more, though I struggled initially with the dialect in Blood Red Road, I settled into it very quickly in Rebel Heart, which shows just how easy it is to become accustomed to it. Rebel Heart was, if possible, an even more emotional read than Blood Red Road and the writing did the story a credit here enabling the reader to truly FEEL what Saba is going through.

I will say that I wasn't quite as enamoured with the story in Rebel Heart as I was in Blood Red Road as the intensity was knocked down a few notches. Blood Red Road was one harrowing scene after the other: sandstorms, cage fighting, giant killer worms, gun fights - you name it! Rebel Heart tones down the action and replaces it with a healthy dose of angst, which is understandably not as gripping as cage fighting and giant killer worms. Saba has always been an incredibly flawed and realistic character, but in Rebel Heart she ended up frustrating me a bit more than she did in Blood Red Road. I think I definitely could have done with less emotional turmoil and more action.

Overall, Rebel Heart was a solid sequel to one of my favourite books, Blood Red Road. I do feel like Rebel Heart could have done with an injection of some of that engrossing action from Blood Red Road, but all in all I really enjoyed it. I love these memorable and flawed characters, I love the gang of animal companions that Saba has acquired, and most of all I love love LOVE Moira Young's writing! And hopefully I will get a chance to tell her so and not get too tongue-tied when I meet her on her upcoming tour! Eeek, can't wait!!

Previously, my review of Blood Red Road.

Other Reviews:
Escaping With Books
Realm of Fiction
Xpresso Reads

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  1. Lol, yeah I'd take action over angst any day too. I'm glad you enjoyed this one, Aylee, and hope that you love the final book even more. Have fun seeing Moira (this week, right?)!

  2. Sorry it wasn't as packed full of action....but that's good you still enjoyed the book overall and you still love the author's writing! Those are always positives.

    And that's cool you're meeting the author tonight. Have fun!


  3. Aw, amazing review sweetie :D I'm glad you enjoyed this book. <3 I have yet to be brave enough to read it. SO damn pissed about the triangle shit :( I will never forgive it. Sniffs. But I am interested in the plot :D And I do love the characters. Sigh. Thank you for sharing. <3
    Thank you so much for commenting on my blog a while ago. <3
    Love, Carina @ Carina's Books

  4. I'm glad it was good even though it does sound like it hit a few slumps - I think it's rare a middle book that it doesn't.

    Hope you had a lot of fun seeing the author. :D

  5. I really need to start this series. I have Blood Red Road sitting on my shelf waiting for me!

  6. My feelings exactly! I enjoyed Blood Red Road so much, and I think it was better than its sequel. I feel like I always have these problems with the middle book. I'm excited for the third book though, and I'm eager to see how this trilogy ends. Great review, Aylee!

  7. I've been meaning to read this series. I guess this one wasn't quite as exciting - no giant killer worms??!! but still sounds pretty good.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

  8. I felt the smae about this one - this series overall, too. I freaking LOVE the writing so much it really brings the narrator to life and the whole world. I also found myself frustrated with Saba in this one. The mood was very broody in this one too which could be a bit much so I didn'T like it as much as the first, but I still love the series and can't wait to read the final one! :D

  9. Eeeep, I need to move to T.O. ALL the authors drop by there and I'm over here tucked away in the outskirts crying. Seriously though, I hope you have a BLAST meeting Moira Young and that you escape the dreaded tongue-tied curse hehe. I *STILL* need to read my copy of Blood Red Road but I clearly remember your review making me go out and pick up a copy. I'm happy you enjoyed it overall though I'm a little bummed for you that this one didn't quite live up to it's predecessor. Hopefully book 3 will turn things around so the series goes out with a bang! I'm very curious about the writing style and the characters in this one so I must get into it soon. Wonderful review as always hun ^^

  10. I still need to get caught up on this series! I'm glad to hear you enjoyed this even if it wasn't quite as awesome sauce as the first book. So excited for you that you get to meet her! I saw her once in San Francisco and she was such a delight—very funny and nice! Hope you enjoy the next book!