Home       About Me       Review Archive

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Review: Raging Star (Dust Lands #3) by Moira Young

Publisher: Random House Canada
Published: May 13, 2014
Pages: 448
Source: Bought
Rating: 4 Stars

Saba is ready to seize her destiny and defeat DeMalo and the Tonton...until she meets him and he confounds all her expectations with his seductive vision of a healed earth, a New Eden. DeMalo wants Saba to join him, in life and work, to create and build a healthy, stable, sustainable world…for the chosen few. The few who can pay.
Jack’s choice is clear: to fight DeMalo and try to stop New Eden. Still uncertain, her connection with DeMalo a secret, Saba commits herself to the fight. Joined by her brother, Lugh, anxious for the land in New Eden, Saba leads an inexperienced guerilla band against the powerfully charismatic DeMalo, in command of his settlers and the Tonton militia. What chance do they have? Saba must act. And be willing to pay the price.

This review is spoiler-free

In short: Though Raging Star gets off to a bit of a slow start, the thrilling and emotionally-intense finale makes up for it and ensures a satisfying ending worthy of the Dust Lands Trilogy.
This is it. The end has come for one of my favourite series and it's always sad to say goodbye. I first fell in love with Moira Young's characteristic writing style and her incredibly flawed but fierce protagonist, Saba, in Blood Red Road. It left such a huge impression on me at the time and consumed my thoughts so completely that I knew immediately that it would forever be considered part of my all-time favourites. So yes, it's sad to say goodbye. But it's all the more gratifying when the author delivers a satisfying ending worthy of the series. And I am so relieved and pleased to say that, YES, Raging Star delivered on the intense finale I had been hoping for and the sense of closure that I had been craving.

But before we get to the ending of Raging Star, I must that the first three quarters of the book were much less engrossing. Oh, Moira Young's eclectic writing style was still there in all its glory, bringing the characters and story to life in a way that few authors can, but the whole beginning was missing that intensity and absorbing quality that the previous books had and that I would expect to see in abundance in the last book of a trilogy. There was a lot of TALK of action, but little in the way of it, which was a disappointing because I KNOW that Moira Young knows how to write some thrilling, heart-pounding action scenes.

We do finally get that thrilling and emotionally-intense showdown at the end that every great finale NEEDS to be satisfying though, and it mostly made up for the slow pacing at the beginning. In fact, I would even say that the last quarter or so of Raging Star will go down as one of the MOST memorable series finales for me! There is a twist so shocking and so astoundingly disquieting that it felt a bit like a punch in the gut. It does not make for a rosy ending, but this series couldn't ever have come equipped with a happily ever after ending. All I know is I loved it for what it was and I appreciated it and was impressed by it, which seems to happen rarely with me and endings.

So yes, while Raging Star did get off to a bit of a disappointing start, the ending made up for it and I am SO pleased that Moira Young did right by her characters and the story that I have felt so passionately about since I read Blood Red Road a few years ago and just knew that this was the book for me. It's sad to say goodbye, especially to my favourite flawed protagonist, Saba, who has come SO far and grown SO much over the course of the trilogy under Moira Young's expert characterization, and of course to her faithful pet crow, Nero. I really cannot wait to see what Moira Young writes next!

Previously, my reviews of Blood Red Road and Rebel Heart.

Author Link:


  1. I'm probably one of the only people left who hasn't read Blood Red Road! In my defence, I did try it like a year ago -- bought the book and everything, sat down and tried to get into it, but for some reason, it never really caught my attention so I gave up and gave the book away to a friend. Um, yeah, kinda regretting that now! I should've given it another go T_T

    But I'm glad to see that you enjoyed the final book and that it delivered. One of my pet peeves is when you wait so frickin long for the end of the series and it doesn't live up to your expectations... which is what happened when I read Requiem, and what seems to be happening with Allegiant. But eh, with the slightly boring first part of the book I'm not so sure. I mean, it's nice that the end delivered, and holy crap, that twist sounds amazing, but I don't know if I'd be able to get that far in, knowing my bad reading habits. :P

    But what am I babbling about, I haven't even read the first book yet! What I wanted to say is that: so happy Raging Star continued to impress you. I might give Blood Red Road another go, but probably not anytime soon, heh. Lovely review as always, Aylee!

    1. Oh, I'm sure you're far from the only person left to read BRR. And to be fair, I really don't think it's the book for everyone. I can think of a few people who have picked it up, tried to get into the writing, and just couldn't handle it. For me, the writing was my favourite part, but I can understand why it might put some people off! I would still recommend giving it another go sometime :) And I totally know what you mean about series endings!

  2. Well seeing as I STILL NEED to read Blood Red Road, your reviews for the trilogy are my flagpole as far as wanting to get into the series and just knowing I'll be as much of a fan as you are. So I simply had to see how the conclusion held up in your mind compared to the rest of the series. Though I am sorry for you that the first 3/4 of this was slower than you would have liked, I am thrilled that that break-neck finale more than made up for it! You've made me increasingly curious about this world and it's characters so I'll be moving book 1 up my TBR shelf so I can finally join in on the thrill ride!

    As usual, your words perfectly sum up everything i could want to know about a story! Fantastic review Aylee ^^ xxxx

    1. THIS MAKES ME SOOO HAPPY :D:D Eek can't wait can't wait for you to read this and I hope BRR hits you as hard as it did me. Man, did I ever love that book! Can't wait to hear what you think!!

  3. Yayyyy! I am so happy to see that you enjoyed this one! I have to say I'm a little nervous about finishing up this series. I'm so scared I won't like the ending and I'll be disappointed. But your review gives me hope! And now I'm just dying to know what this twist is! Even if the whole first 3/4 of the book is slow for me too, at least I'll know that an epic ending is waiting for me. It will just be so sad to say goodbye to this series! Wonderful review, Aylee :D P.S. I also need to finish The Monstrumologist series. Another ending I'm putting off cause I just don't want that series to be over! :(

    1. Omigawd, I really can't wait for you to read it, if only because it will mean that I will have someone else to discuss the ending with! And I REALLy hope you like it. I don't even know what the general feeling out there is about what people think because I don't know anyone else who has read it, all I know is I was satisfied with it. And I still have to read The Final Descent, too!

  4. I'm glad it ended up on a powerful note, even if the beginning wasn't that engrossing.
    I just love these covers! Makes me want to print them big and hang them up like movie posters :D

  5. Oh, this is really wonderful to hear you've followed and loved the whole series and the ending really (well, for the last third specifically) lived up to it. I'm interested that you call the MC fierce but flawed- often that would be a combination I just would not enjoy, because I've read characters who are so brave and stand up for what's right, but they're needlessly reckless or just do ridiculous things, but it sounds like, in this book, it's not so much of a problem.
    Lovely review- I'm really happy you loved all of the books in this series.x

    1. It is interesting... for me personally, I actually prefer slightly flawed characters because that's what makes them REAL, you know? I don't want no Mary Sue character. Saba's stubbornness brings her alive, as does her fierce love for her family. I just love her ^^

  6. I guess i need to read this series soon! thanks for the awesome review!