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Well well well. Here I am, finally done the much anticipated sequel to Blood Red Road, and I have to say, when is the next book coming out?
First of all, oh Saba. I feel like in this book she was less cool and badass, but that made her more realistic. Humans have flaws, and so does Saba. It is hard to defend against creeping doubts. Not only that but the ghosts of people she's killed kind of haunt her too. Also, she refuses to confide in her friends, bearing her burden alone. She doesn't want to trouble them (because they have problems of their own), but it's like really Saba? You need help (an intervention). To that extent she is also very brave and determined, but too rash in some of her decisions. I did do a facepalm (or two) concerning some of her not so bright ideas. She had her ups and her downs, but I think I liked her better in the first book (she was so much cooler).
For Rebel Heart, I almost enjoyed the development of other characters more than I enjoyed reading about Saba (especially when she annoyed me). I really liked how the characters of Tommo and DeMalo progressed (and throw in plot twists), and I just loved Emmi (she's so sweet and concerned about Saba, what a great sister). Poor Tommo, I feel like Saba should have been more honest with him and not have used his feelings to her advantage. It is hard to face some one and tell them some thing like that, but Saba should have done the right thing (she let me down).
Also, for the most part, Lugh annoyed me. I get that he has scars, and that there is a new distance between him and Saba, but that is no reason for him to take her for crazy (she just like him is going through emotional times). He also intervenes at times when he should just shut up and go with the flow. Still, I found his subplot with Maev to be beautiful yet tragic.
Ok, so I can't give too much away, but basically everyone's opinions about Jack do a complete 180. Admittedly, Lugh was always suspicious of Jack (after all he is the new most important guy in Saba's life, jealousy anyone?), but I was disappointed in everyone else. Especially Saba. She should have known better and trusted herself; she shouldn't have let her fears and doubts take over (yet I have to say there was some pretty damning evidence against Jack). It was kind of cliche.
One thing that I really liked was Young's writing style. It was the same as in Blood Red Road, and by this time around, I was definitely more used to it and could get into it quicker. The language and writing easily makes this series stand out. One of the best parts was the ending. It was so sweet, yet so sinister. I am genuinely scared for Saba. Young did not disappoint, and the ending is a total cliffhanger. How will Saba's actions come back to haunt her?
Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a good dystopian (it's a bit more unique than others). However, I would strongly suggest reading the first book in the series, Blood Red Road, first, as to understand much of the ideas and struggles in this book that originate in the first one. Happy reading.
- ~M @ YA Novelties