Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Review: Rebel Heart by Moira Young

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 with 12 comments
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Title:  Rebel Heart
Author:  Moira Young
Series:  Dust Lands, Book #2
Publisher:  Margaret K. McElderry
Publication Date:  October 30, 2012
Source:  ARC from publisher
Purchase:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Nothing is certain and no one is safe in the second book in the highly praised Dust Lands trilogy, which MTV’s Hollywood Crush blog called “better than The Hunger Games.”

It seemed so simple: Defeat the Tonton, rescue her kidnapped brother, Lugh, and then order would be restored to Saba’s world. Simplicity, however, has proved to be elusive. Now, Saba and her family travel west, headed for a better life and a longed-for reunion with Jack. But the fight for Lugh’s freedom has unleashed a new power in the dust lands, and a formidable new enemy is on the rise.

What is the truth about Jack? And how far will Saba go to get what she wants? In this much-anticipated follow-up to the riveting Blood Red Road, a fierce heroine finds herself at the crossroads of danger and destiny, betrayal and passion.


Those are the last three words of this book, but they sum up the whole of this novel beautifully.  Those same words appear over and over in the novel, and the characters feel them time and again.  I think every reader will come to know them as truth by the end, as well.  (I know I felt gutted by the time I finished, anyway.)

If Blood Red Road was a strong debut, then Rebel Heart is an epic sequel.  Remember all the crazy from BRR?  The cage-fighting?  The giant sand worms a la Beetlejuice?  The epic battle for freedom?  Young does not disappoint with her follow-up novel.  In fact, I may have enjoyed Rebel Heart even more than Blood Red Road, if that's even possible.  It was an emotional crazy, in addition to all of the other epic craziness.

I truly love books centered around a quest...especially quests to find loved ones.  That's why I loved BRR in the first place.  But Saba's on a new quest now.  And she's truly finding herself along the way, even if the path is a little bumpy.  Okay, A LOT bumpy.  Saba is a truly flawed character:  she's gutsy but impetuous and she often causes trouble for herself and her companions because of that combination.  She's grown even more as a character in Rebel Heart, but that girl has a lot of growing yet to do.  And boy does Lugh like to remind her of that.  As if he'd have had the fortitude to rescue her had she been the one taken instead.

By the end of the book, everything that's happened becomes Saba's fault.  Maybe she did set everything that's happening in motion, but she's plagued by ghosts of her own.  Lugh's got a serious chip on his shoulder throughout this book, and there were times when I wanted to grab him by the collar of his shirt and give him a few good shakes.  Does he not remember that he'd possibly maybe probably be dead if it weren't for his sister?

Another thing I loved about this sequel is that the secondary cast of characters gets a lot of attention, even that stubborn, pig-headed Lugh.  Oh, oh, oh...also, DeMalo.  Yep.  You didn't think we'd seen the last of him, did you?  His character, although a bit player in the first book, intrigued me to no end.  That intense look he shared with Saba...what was that all about?  Maybe you'll find out in Rebel Heart and maybe you won't...you'll just have to read it to find out.  :P  There are some new characters that I took a real shine, too, as well, including a large man wearing a frilly pink dress.  (The story on that one was quite entertaining.)

Rebel Heart might have been a bit slow-going in the very beginning with only sporadic action sequences, but once that pony sets her pace, she is off on a gallop and you won't know what hit you!  This novel was engaging and humorous and ruthless and tragic, and I cannot believe I have to wait another year for the next installment.  Also, I still can't tell you for sure if that's Jack on the cover.  That would be my best guess since Lugh has long hair when we meet him, but we all know that the cover models don't always mirror the description in the text of the book.  At any rate, the new covers have grown on me, much as the dialect and rugged nature of the books did.  These are some of my favorite books to see sitting on my shelves.

Favorite quotes:

"If restless spirits ride the Wraithway, they ain't Wreckers.  They're nature spirits.  The spirits of earth an water.  Of air an plants an creatures.  With every right to ride vengeance on men."

"An all the time, Lugh's goin, Yer the boss, Maev.  Yer the daddy.  Maev knows what she's doin, Lugh.  Hijackin an horse stealin's her business.  Newsflash, girls.  This ain't no horse.  It's a gawdamn camel!"

"Fleas plague you, she says.  Swamp skitters can kill you, an a little thorn--so small you hardly notice--it can work its way unner the skin an after a bit, yer hand's infected.  Maybe you lose a couple of fingers, maybe the whole hand.  Maybe yer blood goes bad an you die.  Tiny things can cause plenty of trouble.  Cheer up, people!"

Rating:  Photobucket


  1. Another series I am dying to start and have had the chance to.

    1. I heard the audio was pretty good...hint, hint. :P

  2. Happy that you loved this. I have not read the first book, but hoping to give it a try soon!

    1. I LOVE this series. Hope you get a chance to read it soon!

  3. I'm so glad you loved it! I really liked the first book, but I still haven't gotten around to reading this yet. I'm glad it's not a disappointment.

    1. It's more of an emotional journey this time around but still sososo good!

  4. Replies
    1. Aw, thanks...that is exactly what I was going for! :D

  5. I skimmed this b/c I still need to read book one. I can't wait. Glad you loved it!

    1. Probably best...it's best to go into this series not knowing anything. :)

  6. I totally wanted to knife Lugh almost every time he spoke or did anything. The only times I didn't want to stab him were the times he was being sweet on Maev. I kept hoping Nero would peck his eyes or something. But I love Saba. And now Tommo. And of course Jack. And whoever that is on the cover is hothothot. I'm gonna have to buy it in HC just to stare at it from time to time. So much crazy in Rebel Heart! Ugh, I NEED book 3!

  7. Yep, they did nicely with the new covers. :P Oh, Lugh. He and I are going to have problems in the next book, I can already tell. I didn't care for him at all in Rebel heart, even with the sweet interactions with Maev because he was jerking her around, too. I think he's poisoned and he's working on poisoning every one else, too.


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