Friday, May 16, 2014

Title: Raging Star
Author: Moira Young
Narrator(s): Heather Lind
Series: Dust Lands, book #3
Length: 11 hrs 7 mins
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Publication Date: May 13, 2014
Source: purchased
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

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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.

Blood Red Road was a very strong debut. Rebel Heart was an epic sequel. And Raging Star was...well, it was beyond my wildest dreams. Moira Young certainly didn't pull any punches with the ending to the Dust Lands trilogy, that's for damn sure. Makes it worth that extra-long wait between the second and third books. ;) But I'm going to keep this as succinct as possible, just to give you a feel for the novel without spoiling anything.

What I loved best about this series finale was the fact that it was just so unpredictable. I had certain expectations going into this final book -- and they were met, boy howdy, were they met! -- but I still didn't see half of what this book was throwin' at me until it hit me square in the face. And I'm usually one to figure out the twists way before I'm meant to and then I hate myself for making so many educated guesses in the first place and ruining the book for myself. So, yeah, the surprises in this story were pleasant, indeed. Well, on one level, anyway.

Saba and crew are still on their mission to free the people of New Eden, though if you'll remember, they're short a few. Tensions are running high in this group, and not everyone's on board with Saba's new plan. In-fighting, treachery, and betrayal are high on Saba's list of problems. If you thought you knew these characters, you thought wrong. As we discover more about each character and what they're capable of, they're all learning more about each other and themselves. And it ain't all rainbows and pixie dust. I thought what Saba suffered in Rebel Heart was pretty trying, but that was nothing compared to what she's facing in this final installment.

And despite everything, DeMalo still wants to claim her as his own. But there is no love triangle. I repeat, there is no love triangle. So if you were one of those who were worried about this series for that reason, let me assuage your doubts now. I think it's pretty clear from the first book with whom Saba's heart lies, but there were some major hiccups along the way. Saba's known all along that she's been making mistakes left and right: with Emmi, with Jack, even with Tommo. And in this book, she's making amends as best she can, but there are some things she just can't change. Some matters of the heart can't be taken back, but they can be moved past with some effort.

Suffering, sacrifice, and betrayal...all aspects that come together to make this story this series heartbreaking yet hopeful. And definitely worthy of many re-reads. I purchased the hardcover to finish up my set, but I also downloaded the audio so that I could get to the story that much sooner. That's also after (re)listening to the first two audiobooks in anticipation of this final book. And I still maintain that Heather Lind is the perfect narrator for this series. I can't imagine anyone else providing the voice for Saba and everyone else, and after seeing her as Anna Strong in Turn, I can see why. She is great in the role as the strong-willed, outspoken spy, which plays right into the characterization of Saba. Seriously, I'll listen to anything she narrates.

And I'll gladly read anything Moira Young writes. I can still remember how hesitant I was to start this series because of the writing style and the fact that it's written in the vernacular. But I'm glad I gave it a's become one of my very favorite series, and that's saying a lot because I don't rank very many dystopian/post-apocalyptic novels very highly these days. But this one is epic, and this final installment was pretty phenomenal.

GIF it to me straight:

Yep. Pretty much. But I loved it, and I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat.

About the author:

Moira Young has been by turns an actress, dancer, and opera singer, but her first loves are books and writing. A native Canadian, she now lives in the UK with her husband. Blood Red Road is her first novel.

Find Moira:

Website | Twitter | Goodreads


  1. I need to start this series! I wanted to get it this month but I haven't even started it so I figured I should d that first. I have heard nothing but good things about these books.

  2. Great review, Jen. I'm a huge fan of this series, so I'm glad it's ended well. I'm a little anxious, though! Eeep.


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