Once again, the characters are superb. I loved every one of them. It was amazing how quickly they all came back to me. Often, I have trouble remembering what happened to each person when it was more than a year since the first book, but in this case, Blood Red Road was so memorable, that I fell right back into the Dust Lands world.
I, unlike some readers, absolutely love Young's use of dialect. I think it adds so much atmosphere to the setting and characters. I don't think it would be the same book without that feature.
The main adventure is Saba and Jack trying to get back to each other, and of course nothing is straight forward -- nothing goes as planned. There is a new, more sophisticated enemy, and of course the forces of nature do not help their journey.
Rebel Heart is really action packed and I had difficulty putting it down. When I did have to pause, I found myself thinking about their predicament. Fortunately ;) I didn't feel well on Sunday, so I was able to spend much of the day finishing the book.
There is a romantic situation towards the end (trying not to spoil anything) that was a pretty big surprise. I didn't expect the plot to go that way, and I didn't like it -- but I do like it. I mean, it's clever, and I'm anxious to see where this love triangle goes. And there is even a third person who may be in the mix in the next book. Given the last page, I have a feeling this character is going to muck things up a bit in book #3.
I only have one very small criticism. When the shaman is "banishing the dead" from Saba, she gets interrupted in the middle. Auriel is very concerned because she says Saba is "dangerously open" because they didn't get to finish. It seemed like such a big deal, and I was sure this would come back to haunt Saba, but it didn't. Maybe there will be some consequences in the next book, but I thought there should have been at least some small effects in Rebel Heart, otherwise, why make it sound like such a big deal.
The ending is heartbreaking and satisfying. There isn't an uncomfortable cliff hanger, but plenty left to solve. I do wish the next book was coming sooner! I would (and do) recommend this series to anyone, young or old, who enjoys a great adventure, dystopian, or apocalyptic story. This series just can't be beat.
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books, October 30, 2012
Copy obtained from the library
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