RELEASE DATE: 2nd August 2012
FORMAT: Paperback, 393 pages
GENRE: Dystopian, Young Adult
Danger. Betrayal. Destiny. Passion. The superb sequel to Blood Red Road, the most exciting YA debut of 2011 Saba has rescued her kidnapped brother and defeated the fanatical Tonton. But the price to be paid for her violent victory is terible. 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. (Goodreads)
After reading Blood Red Road, I couldn’t wait to pick up REBEL HEART. Like Blood Red Road it is narrated in Saba dialect, it took me a while to get used to this style of writing but after a few pages you become accustomed and immerse into the Dust Lands world.
After Blood Red Road, Jack and Saba part ways with a promise to meet again. Saba, Lugh, Emmi and Tommo travel west towards the stories of freedom, big waters and lush landscape, as Jack travels to tell Molly the news about Ike’s death.
Saba is haunted by her past and the deaths that she feels responsible for, Epona’s death especially. Saba is slowly going crazy with dreams, memories and ghosts following her around, then Tracker, a tame wild dog who belonged to Mercy, comes to Saba’s rescue and leads Saba, Lugh, Emmi and Tommo to a camp at the side of Snake River.
At Snake River the Sky Speaker, Auriel is a shaman and walks Saba through her dreams so that she can put the memories and ghosts to rest and find her true path, just as Saba’s dream comes to an end and Auriel is about to bring her to the closure Saba requires, Lugh bursts in with some news.
This news changes Saba’s course and she goes in search of Jack. As she wants to travel alone she sneaks off only to run into some headhunters. Killing one, Saba quickly gets on her way before the rest of the tribe find her, crossing a rope bridge and hearing the chase, Saba makes a hasty decision that could cost her family their lives.
Safely across, her family and friends rejoin. They need transport so decide to hijack a passing cart. The driver of the cart, Slim, is made to take them to the tavern Molly owns but he was on his way there anyway. On their journey the group see what the Tonton are up to and get to know Slim, they begin to realise there is more to Slim than he is letting on.
The Tonton have changed tactics and have become more orderly. Now at the head is DeMalo who is trying to produce a new society called New Eden, where the young and the strong are given the land to work and told to produce babies. The old, weak and feeble are pushed out or killed off. DeMalo tries to convince Saba of his vision.
Who are the best stewards of the earth? He says. The old and weak? The sick? Or the young and the strong? Whose children will best serve the earth? Those born to the scum of Hopetown? Weak children born to the weak? Or the children of these people?
I dunno, I says. I ain’t never thought about it before.
Resources are precious, he says rare. There isn’t enough clean water or good land to go around.
The Tonton have left a trail of destruction which causes Saba and her group to keep changing their plans. With the problems they face, the journey becomes a tale of self-discovery for all who are in the group, each making decisions that could have a detrimental effect on another and Saba finally realising that her chase of Jack could be the biggest mistake she has ever made.
Nobody’s like I thought they was. Nuthin’s like I figgered it. Nuthin’s like I thought it would be.
There are many twists in REBEL HEART that are just a total surprise and overall I really enjoyed it. It’s not as good as Blood Red Road but it is still a very good read. A story about self-discovery and understanding your full potential.
I’m afeared, Jack, I says. Everthin I thought I knew, pretty much all of it turns out to be wrong. Some of the things I seen of late…that I felt, I…I ain’t the same as I was. I dunno who I am no more.
We don’t choose the times we’re born in, he says. That’s the business of the stars. The only choice we got is what we do while we’re here. To make it mean somethin.
If you are a fan of Blood Red Road then REBEL HEART is a good addition to the series although it has less action than Blood Red Road, and doesn’t quite reach the same high standard. However, REBEL HEART is full of unpredictable twists, heartbreak, deceit and betrayal. Saba is unsure of her path and herself, which makes REBEL HEART ultimately a book about self-discovery and realising one’s potential. Despite the book being written in the unusual dialect, I still enjoyed it and with a few romances along the way and a great ending, yet again Moira Young has left me wanting more.
BOOKS IN SERIES ORDER
- Blood Red Road
- Rebel Heart
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