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Dust Lands #2

Rebel Heart

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Saba thought her world would return to normal after they defeated the Tonton and rescued her kidnapped brother Lugh. The family head west for a better life and a longed-for reunion with Jack. But a formidable enemy is on the rise. What is the truth about Jack? And how far will Saba go to get what she wants?

424 pages, Hardcover

First published October 30, 2012

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About the author

Moira Young

10 books2,231 followers
Moira Young is from Vancouver, BC and now lives in the UK. A former actor and opera singer, her debut novel, Blood Red Road, first in the Dustlands trilogy, was published in 2011 to international acclaim. It won a host of prizes including the Costa Children’s Book Award, the British Columbia Book Prize for Children’s Literature and France's Le Prix des Incorruptibles. In the USA it won a Cybils Award for Fantasy and Science Fiction and was an ALA-YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults book. It is being developed for film by Ridley Scott. The second Dustlands book, Rebel Heart, was a finalist in Canada for the Sunburst Prize, BC Stellar Award and Monica Hughes Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy. The last part of the Dustlands trilogy, Raging Star, was published in May 2014. The Dustlands books are published in 30 countries.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,047 reviews
Profile Image for Kenia.
3 reviews
November 4, 2012
UPDATE 9/3/12 guise. oh. my. jesus. bale. que? I just read a spoiler and I just..

UPDATE 9/2/12 Giveaway? ... well don't mind if I do

UPDATE 2/4/12 OCTOBER 30TH?! i need to cut someone

UPDATE 1/12/12 A COVER?! IS THAT JACK? -someone needs to slap this grin off my face-


Profile Image for Meredith Holley.
Author 2 books2,272 followers
August 14, 2012
YA writing often lives on surfaces: the girl with the blue eyes fights with the dude with the grey eyes, car chase, change of clothes, somebody dies, blue eyes and grey eyes kiss, to be continued. I find some storytellers exceptionally good at that type of writing. For example, Kristin Cashore knocked it out of the park with Graceling; Veronica Roth hit it with Divergent; and, of course, Suzanne Collins took that story, shook it all up, turned it upside down and used it as a mirror for the brokenness of humanity in Hunger Games. All of those authors talk in surfaces, but they still convey something I love. The prose does not stand alone, but the action does. As with anything, that seems to be a specific skill, and I’m sad to say that I think Moira Young is out of her element in that type of story but has decided to turn Saba’s adventure into that anyway.

To be fair, there was some thoughtful subtlety of relationship plot in this that I appreciated. It is so common to see male protagonists get seduced by a femme fatale and then go back to kicking ass, but you don’t really see that with female protagonists. You don’t see female protagonists . I have a lot of respect for Young’s introduction of more nuanced and complicated choices on Saba’s part. At the same time, though, I think there is a reason we don’t see female protagonists like that – because it is as douchey to listen to a girl talk about being seduced by a homme fatale as it is to listen to a man being seduced by a femme fatale. And I don’t really care if the douchiness is induced by a Discovery Channel orgasm – still douchey. .

Digression about douchiness: it is really fun to watch TV shows in which douchey people get punched in the face a lot. For example, one of the best things about How I Met Your Mother is how you get to see Barney Stinson, the douchiest guy on the planet, get punched in the face all the time. Likewise, Vampire Diaries is fun because you get to see the Dawson’s Creek characters get eaten by vampires. I struggle with watching characters I love become douchey, though. While, in real life, we probably all have our douchey moments, and maybe a slice of douchiness adds some realism to a story, I do not go to YA fantasy for realism. I would rather see stories with male protagonists lose the douchiness (or save it for the characters getting punched in the face and eaten by vampires) than see stories with female protagonists pick up the douchiness. I know you can make a good argument about it validating girls making mistakes, and that’s fair, but I just don’t find it very entertaining in either male or female protagonists. And here I am now, entertain me.

Even though Saba was an asshole in the first book, I could get behind that. My friend has this rule that if you are more funny than you are mean, you are okay. For me, too, if your amount of badassery outweighs your assholiness, you are okay. And, in the first book, Saba’s badassery was crazy high, while her assholiness was moderate. In this book, she has very little badassery, and her assholiness was gone but replaced with douchiness. In the roshambo of unfortunate character traits, douchiness can only be dominated by a punch in the face. Sorry, Saba, but I would stand in line to deck you or smash you with a cream pie. I would put a banana peel outside of your tent just to watch you slip on it. For your own good.

My point is that I think I figured out why the first half of Blood Red Road was so beautiful, and the second half fell so flat. The first half lived in cracks and dwelt on Saba. Saba did things: she discovered the land and people around her and defended herself, but it still had a good balance of dwelling in moments. It was magic to me. It was not in the typical style of surface-action YA, and there was only loose plot, but I loved that about it. I think the ability to pause and consider and dig deep into a character is more valuable than the ability to plot, though I do appreciate both. So, when Young captured that in the first part of BRR, it really knocked me out more than YA typically does.

Once BRR stopped digging into Saba and her surroundings and started skimming the surface, though, it got boring and kind of lame. This second book continued with the skimming, and that is not Young’s talent in my estimation. She doesn’t pull it off as solidly as Cashore, Roth, or Collins. Even in this book, for the brief moment when Saba dropped the other characters, the story got really interesting. For the most part, though, it was scattered and the plotting seemed simplistic, while at the same time it made very little sense. There were loose ends, dangling characters, and fuzzy motivation. I’ll always have a special place in my heart for the first part of Blood Red Road, but Rebel Heart is not the series I married anymore.

Also, I want to kick Lugh so hard in the balls that he sees stars until this whole series is over.
The publisher provided me with a copy of this book. Also, fun fact: it took me exactly the time of my flight (with one stop) from Portland to Chicago last week to read this book. I started reading when the first plane took off, and I finished when the second plane prepared for landing. High five on that, book.
Profile Image for Maja (The Nocturnal Library).
1,013 reviews1,919 followers
August 7, 2012
3.5 stars

I have a small confession to make, though it’s hardly a secret since my review is here for all to see: I wasn’t really a fan of Blood Red Road. In fact, I was so disappointed by it that I never intended to read Rebel Heart. That said, I’m happy it showed up on my doorstep completely unexpectedly. Painful as it may be, I like the direction the story is taking.

Rather than focusing on giant killer worms, Moira Young decided to explore the extent of human cruelty and willingness to survive. The pacing is noticeably slower, but Rebel Heart undoubtedly offers more than its predecessor – at least to a reader with my preferences. It is emotionally intense, grim and layered – I could actually feel the dust on my skin for the first time, and it was a most welcome feeling, one that told me Young has finally done it right.

If there’s one thing I admire about Young (other than the language, of course), it’s that she’s more than capable of surprising me. This is what sets her apart from most Young Adult writers: she goes where the story leads her, regardless of what it might mean for her, and even when it’s not easy for her characters and, ultimately, her readers.

Whatever objections I had to Saba’s character in Blood Red Road (and I had quite a few) no longer apply. It’s almost like she was still a work in progress then, and now she’s finally completed, damaged but consistent, well-rounded and perfectly clear. I didn’t necessarily approve of her actions or even like her most of the time, but I understood her and everything she did made sense to me.

After what she’s been through in Blood Red Road, Saba simply had to change one way or the other. I’m glad Young chose not to ignore the emotional trauma she would have suffered. Instead, all her decisions have repercussions that could have been foreseen, but in no way avoided. Spirits of the people she’s lost follow Saba’s every step. She is terrified and broken, afraid to touch her bow, and desperate to hide it from Lugh, who is in no better shape himself. Whatever the Tonton did to him left him bitter and furious – at Saba, at their father and especially Jack. It is so hard for Saba to admit that their relationship has changed, that they’re no longer the inseparable twins they used to be and that Lugh can no longer offer the same sense of security and warmth.
Here. Now. Alone. With none but my own heart fer witness, I’ll say it. Without Lugh, I’m able to breathe.
He smothers me. Chokes me. Pens me in. Tethers me to him with his worry and anger and sorrow and fear.

For most of this book, Saba and Jack are nowhere near each other, and yet he is always with her, every second of every day. I’m very uncomfortable with some of the events in Rebel Heart, but I accept them as proof of good writing and I can’t help but appreciate the risks Young decided to take. At this point, I can’t even imagine a happy ending for these characters.

But I’ll end this review on a more positive note. Here’s some candy for fellow Jack fans:
I think about Jack. Of how it’ll be when I see him agin. When he’s holdin me tight an I’m holdin him tighter an the heartstone’s burnin my skin.
I think of what we might say. Him to me. Me to him. I ain’t no soft girl. I don’t know no soft words.
Be with me, Jack. That’s what I’ll say. Burn with me. Shine with me.

Also posted at The Nocturnal Library
2 reviews2 followers
August 28, 2012
When i found out the sequel was coming out this year


When i found out it was coming out in October..


Profile Image for Pickle Rick.
185 reviews47 followers
December 25, 2012
If DeMalo is not in this book, I will flip shits. What would have been the point of all those sexual tensions from the previous book? And he saved her life. Umm, yeah, that's a pretty big deal.
Profile Image for Brigid ✩.
581 reviews1,817 followers
February 8, 2013
I read Rebel Heart several weeks ago by now, and I still can't decide how I feel about it. Let's just say, I had a lot of mixed feelings about it. While I enjoyed it, there were several things in it that infuriated me. And over all, I thought it was kind of a disappointing follow-up to Blood Red Road.

I was in love with the first book. It was like someone had taken The Knife of Never Letting Go and The House of the Scorpion and combined them into one crazy story. Not to mention, it had a kickass female lead and an awesome love interest. I thought it was really exciting and well-developed. When I got to the end, I was kind of surprised to find out that there was going to be a sequel. I thought Moira Young could have possibly just tied it up at the end somehow. But, of course I was still going to read the sequel.

Going into book two, I wasn't sure what to expect. I didn't really know where Young was going to pick up the plot or what was supposed to happen in this one. So, I was excited, but I was a little bit skeptical. When a series really starts out with a bang, sometimes it's difficult to follow up. And I feel like that was kind of an issue here.

But I'll get to my problems with it later. I'll start with what I did like.

A lot of things I liked about the first book were still present in the sequel.

First of all, it's a very atmospheric series. The world Moira Young creates is very intriguing and easy to picture. It was easy for me to get lost in the story and imagine myself there along with the characters.

Secondly, I like the writing style (for the most part). There are times when it gets a little annoying. And it does remind me a lot of Patrick Ness's style in the Chaos Walking series which makes me wonder if that's somehow intentional ... But it's still an interesting style and gives the book an extra something.

I like that the plot moves fast. It just keeps running and doesn't slow down. Even if there were things in the book that bothered me, at least I was never bored with it. There's always something going on and Young keeps the readers guessing about what will happen next. So, I appreciate that.

I also liked the addition and/or development of certain characters. I had hoped that Lugh would become a more prevalent character in this book, and he was. He was not really in much of the first book, so I was glad to see more of him in this book, and I thought his relationship with Maev was sweet. Although, honestly, I thought he was kind of being a jerk for most of the book. But I found him to be an intriguing character, anyway. I also really liked Molly and Jack's history with her; at first it weirded me out a little, but it was also really sad and I thought it felt believable. So, I found their relationship to be a compelling aspect of the story.

However, as I've mentioned a few times by now, there were some major things in this book that bothered me. SPOILERS AHEAD.

I still loved Jack, but the whole thing with him supposedly "betraying" everyone was kind of clichéd and predictable. I mean, it was pretty clear from the start that it was going to turn out he hadn't really turned evil. Like, he had no reason to do that at all. And yet most of the characters gave up on him pretty much right away. They were just like, "Well, even though Jack has no reason at all to betray us, we've all instantly lost faith in him. He's evil now. Too bad, I guess." So when it turned out that it was all a misunderstanding and everything it was like, HMM YOU DON'T SAY.

But probably the biggest thing was that I had some big problems with Saba in this book. I loved her in the first book and thought she was a super cool heroine. In Rebel Heart, I lost quite a bit of respect for her. Sure, she was still pretty kickass and tough and all, but she made some pretty damn stupid decisions.

MAJOR SPOILER: So, there's this part where she sees Jack kidnap Emmi. And at that point, she goes totally nuts and runs off on her own and jumps off a cliff Bella Swan style. I mean, she's going after Nero, but still. It's a bit dramatic. She then runs into the villain, DeMalo. They end up spending some time together and he shows her this trippy place where they hallucinate about flying over daisy fields or something. And then ... they have sex.

So yeah. For some reason Saba decides not to go save her kidnapped sister, but to be a whiney brat and run away, jump off a cliff, and have sex with the villain for virtually no reason. (I mean, I kind of get the feeling there's some weird kind of mind-control type thing going on, or some other thing that Saba can't control. But, it was still really weird.) And I mean like, why would you ever sleep with someone whose name like literally means "Of Evil"? (Not very subtle, Moira Young.)

So yeah, that one thing really threw me off.

I also didn't like the way Saba treated Tommo. Poor dude. I wish Saba had just been honest with him rather than being manipulative and seriously using his feelings for her against him at one point. It just seemed super bitchy of her.

Basically, I thought Saba was awesome in the first book, but in this book she did a lot of things that really got on my nerves.

Anyway ... I did like the ending. The last scene between Jack and Saba was really cute and I still think they're a great couple.

In conclusion ... I liked this book. I just didn't like it as much as I liked the first book. It was exciting and fast-paced, and the world and the characters are interesting. I was disappointed in Saba by the end, though. However, I still plan on reading the third book and finding out what happens.
Profile Image for Trudi.
615 reviews1,455 followers
February 3, 2013
I don't know, maybe I'm just getting too old and curmudgeonly for these types of stories. Too much angst and melodrama, this time around, not nearly enough of that spectacle and heart-stopping action found in Blood Red Road. Even the excruciating dialect and lack of punctuation bothered me, when I barely noticed it last time, so engrossed was I in the story.

Hardly any Jack. I wanted more of his part of the story, and not just his absence and Saba's brooding over possible deceits and betrayals. Her episodes of "acting out" grated on my last nerve through most of the story too. After everything she's been through, seen, survived, I expected a maturity that just didn't manifest itself.

...and hints of a love triangle....WHYYYYYYYYYY!!!??? ::pulls out hair in aggravation::

Not enough forward development of the plot either, a horrible sin that most sequels of a trilogy can't seem to avoid committing. I was so impressed with Young's execution of Blood Red Road however, I really expected her to pull it out of the fire and separate herself from the pack. Sigh. She did not.

I'm still enjoying the role of Nero the crow and Tracker the wolf. Reminds me of what I loved about the movie The Beastmaster when I was a kid. This pang of nostalgia fondly remembering a B flick from 1982 will not be enough to salvage this series if I don't get more -- much more -- meat on the bone in the final book.
Profile Image for Maureen.
574 reviews4,185 followers
January 14, 2018
I’m really really enjoying this series. There’s so much happening and so much foreshadowing and things coming full circle and I just...I really like it.
Also yes plz protect the earth let’s not become the Wreckers okay? Okay.
Profile Image for Giselle.
990 reviews6,356 followers
October 28, 2012
The long anticipated sequel to Blood Red Road is finally here! Rebel Heart reacquaints us with our stubborn and fierce protagonist, Saba, after she found her brother, after Jack left her, after everything has become so complicated. And the fact that she is seeing things, things that aren't there, is not making it easier.

What I enjoyed the most from the first book is what has been the most polarized; you either love the writing style, or you hate it. Myself, I looked forward to being propelled inside this vivid, desolate world again by a writing style that truly makes it come alive. As much as some may find it hard to get into, I find it powerfully characteristic. It gives the book a very tangible atmosphere. You are not reading a story, you are being told a story. It still remains the most unique and best aspect of this series.

In this sequel, the characters we have come to know are back, but they aren't quite the same. Saba herself was turned from a strong, unstoppable character to this emotional mess. Yes she has gone through a huge ordeal and I'm glad that Moira didn't turn away from the emotional circumstances, but she has to stop thinking only of Jack for 5 seconds so she can realize how much she is crippling herself, and bringing her friends down with her. She was never a loveable character --what with her attitude towards her sister in book one--but she was a character I gladly rooted for. All she made me root for in this sequel, was for someone to smack her upside the head. Nonetheless, I like her, I do. She is flawed and real, no matter how frustrated she made me. As far as the side characters go, some of them definitely have grown--Tommo for one--but it wouldn't have hurt to get a little more character breakthroughs. I'm still waiting to see what Lugh's problem is; what made him so bitter. Basically, I love all the side characters so much that I'm dying to get more face time with them. I need their stories! I'm even drawn to the mysterious villain with which we make fascinating plot progress.

As Blood Red Road is in action, Rebel Heart is in emotion. There are not many intense scenes and dramatic situations such as we saw in high numbers in Blood Red Road. No cage fighting, no crossings filled with killer worms, sadly, nothing of the sort. We do get oodles of emotional distraught, hormone filled angst, and love. Lots and lots of love. No love triangle though, more like a love… waiting list? Saba is plenty busy with them boys. As much as I enjoyed all these emotions running amok, it turned the book--which I was expecting to be fun and action packed like the first--a lot more broody, and much more slower pace. For this reason, I didn't enjoy it quite as much as I was hoping.

It isn't a bad book, by any means, proven by my 4 stars, and actually by itself I would have loved it. It's raw, gritty and emotionally intense, slowly filling its space with cruelty and trauma. But when I sit there and compare it to the first, when I go in expecting a sequel on a par with its predecessor that stifled me with exhaustion, end after end, and made me feel the never ending longing for something other than…. nothingness, it has nothing on it.

An advance copy was provided by the publisher for review.

For more of my reviews, visit my blog at Xpresso Reads
Profile Image for Reynje.
272 reviews962 followers
September 28, 2012
A friend and I were recently discussing what we call the Plot Slap: when it feels exactly like a book leaps out of your hands, smacks you in the face, and crows ’Bet you didn’t see that coming, did you?’

That’s what reading Rebel Heart felt like. Repeatedly.

In general, I’m a fan of novels with plots that evolve in surprising, unpredictable ways. But rather than just throwing up a couple of twists, Rebel Heart feels like a sudden, sharp turn from Blood Red Road, bolting away in a completely unexpected direction.

Sure, Blood Red Road had a slightly absurd plot and a story that stretched a little thin in places, but there was a lot I loved about that book. Besides the hellwurms, (come on, who doesn’t like giant mutant worms that explode out of the ground?) Moira Young’s characterisation was excellent. And while occasionally a little heavy-handed with the themes, I think the book overall had really interesting things to say about self-sacrifice vs the survival instinct, fate and free will, and the question of whether one person’s life is more valuable than another.

I think maybe I unconsciously expected Rebel Heart to be Blood Red Road II. But it isn’t, and that’s a good thing.

I mentioned Young’s character development before, and that remains my favourite thing about this series. While maintaining the strong voices of Saba and the supporting cast, she pushes them harder than I expected. No one gets an easy time of it , especially Saba. This novel reads like her deconstruction, then her gradual re-assembly. It’s a story full of conflict in a physical sense (explosions! Headhunters! Sibling standoffs!), but the most compelling conflict is that which occurs internally, in Saba’s own head.

It would be easy to put Saba in a box - (not literally, she’d probably kick you in the face); filed away under Kickass Heroines, Subcategory: Post-Apocalyptic. And there’s no denying she’s one of a crop of recent warrior-woman styled protagonists who’s handy with a bow and doesn’t suffer fools or romantic claptrap. But Young develops Saba further than this, forcing her to deal with the consequences of her actions, to question herself, to realise her flaws and strengths. From the opening chapters, where Saba is likely suffering PTSD after the events of BRR, to the finale of Rebel Heart, her emotional arc is pretty gruelling. And she feels real because of it. She’s not a character that always does the right thing (none of them are, really). But she’s raw and compelling and strong – not just physically –because she is made vulnerable in many ways, and she finds a way to survive. Truthfully, I love this girl. I want to high-five her. I occasionally want to slap her. I want to give her a hug. Basically, I'm invested in her as a character. I want to know what the future holds for her.

Characters grow in Rebel Heart, and relationships are tested. Saba and Lugh have to face the fact that they have changed, and so has their dynamic. The scenes between these two are realistic and painful, fraught with tension, resentment and frustration. While occasionally unpleasant to read, I applaud Young for taking their story in the direction it did, because it felt true to the characters and what they had been through. Their inability to return to their former relationship, and their tendency to both occasionally act like complete jerks, made sense given the context of their individual journeys and growth.

If there’s an element to this book that I really found hard to come to grips with, it’s

There’s also the fact that every one wants to go to Saba’s Pants Party. (Don’t get me wrong, I can understand the appeal.) But Rebel Heart really ups the fixation and the Angel of Death apparently leaves a trail of lust-ridden in her wake.

That said, I think this is a strong second book in a trilogy that remains interesting and fresh in the current overcrowding of dysto-mance and post-apocalyptic YA. Young sidesteps the obvious tropes, or at least puts a unique spin on them, and writes strong characters with agency and engaging conflict. While I was willing to chalk my fondness for Blood Red Road up to the fact that it was fun, I’ve come around to the idea that I also like these books because Young’s character development is brilliant, she has a flair for voice and writes engaging relationships.

But mostly, if I'm honest: NERO!
Profile Image for Keertana.
1,127 reviews2,173 followers
October 8, 2012
Rating: 3.5 Stars

I think we're all aware, and familiar with, the concept of the second novel in a trilogy being the weakest link of the series. Rebel Heart, however, for all its flaws, is actually a much stronger novel than Blood Red Road ever was. If we think back to Blood Red Road, it was nothing more than an engaging, fast-paced, and page-flipping dystopian novel. Yet, Rebel Heart, despite its page-flipping action, is also a much slower, deeper, and intoxicating tale. Yes, there were moments when I felt like pulling my hair out and crying into my pillow. Yes, there were characters I wanted to shoot down and plot threads I wanted to burn. Yet, this book was perfect. I can't think of any other way this story could have gone and when you step back and really think about this novel, disregarding your own conflicted emotions, you will come to see that Moira Young is an unbelievable author, for she lets her characters lead the story and that truly does make all the difference.

Rebel Heart starts out with Saba, Lugh, Emmi, and Tommo on their way to a new, and better, life in the west. Saba, however, is tormented by dreams of Epona and she feels as if the spirits of the dead are walking with her. Thus, when she stumbles upon a small village with a woman who claims she can help, she takes her chances with the strange magic this woman claims to be able to control. Yet, before Saba can fully be cured, she receives a message – from Jack. Thus begins, yet again, a thrilling and tortuous journey to The Lost Cause, an inn in the north where Saba is set to meet Jack. Along the way however, Saba will be forced to confront her inner demons, her strained relationship with Lugh, and most dangerous of all, her own heart.

I think what prevented Rebel Heart from being a 5 Star read were just a few plot threads that went haywire. For one, I found that the beginning of the novel, with Saba’s grief and guilt over the death of Epona, were remarkably well-written, but it was solved rather strangely, not to mention abruptly. In addition to that, Lugh, Saba’s brother, seems to be the ultimate downfall of this novel. It is evident that Lugh has undergone a terrible experience during his time with the Tonton, but we are never told what actually happens to him. Instead, we can simply watch as his relationship with Saba wilts away and while these sibling dynamics were brilliant, Lugh’s angst, rudeness, and constant anger simply wasn’t. If anything, he became an extremely annoying character and I felt like smacking him every time he opened his mouth. Lugh never undergoes any type of character growth throughout this novel and ultimately, he winds up remaining a flat character which was rather disappointing.

Those qualms aside, I loved Rebel Heart. Moira Young’s conscious decision to make this a slower and more brooding novel was definitely the right choice as we are able to see some of the after-effects that the events in Blood Red Road have wrought upon Saba. Furthermore, we are privy to a whole new side of Saba, which only goes to further give her more depth than she already had. While Rebel Heart had its fair share of incredible action, I feel as if it was Saba more than the plot that drove this novel forward. Yet, I thoroughly enjoyed the crew of new characters we got to meet as well as the turn in relationships that we were able to witness with some of the older characters. It is hard to imagine just how firmly these fictional beings worm their way into your heart, but they really make a home there, immersing you, the reader, even more fully into this tale. In addition, there were plenty of jaw-dropping plot twists, unexpected reactions, and betrayals to keep this plot moving wonderfully, so fans of Blood Red Road will not be disappointed on that front either.

Now that I have discussed my issues with this tale, as well as the change of pace, new characters, and the heart-pounding plot line, it’s time to turn our attention to the one aspect of this book I am sure everyone is eagerly waiting to hear more about – the romance. I know there are rumors floating around of a love triangle in this novel, but there isn't one! Yes, we do have another guy creep into Saba's thoughts, but this only happens during the last quarter of the novel. Furthermore, I hardly see this as a love triangle. In my opinion, a love triangle is a situation where the MC is torn between two guys, but Saba is not torn. Saba loves Jack, end of story. Does she make some terrible decisions in this book? Yes, she does. Is she conflicted over another man? Yes, she is, but not in a romantic sense. I may just be in extreme denial, but from my perspective, what occurs with the other man in this novel is a combination of many things and love is not one of them. So, while there isn't a love triangle in this, there is another prominent male figure during the last 25% of this novel which definitely makes this difficult to read and worrisome for the sequel.

In all honesty though, I wouldn’t worry. Moira Young, more than just being a wonderful author, has proved with Rebel Heart that she knows what she’s doing. I found her characters and their reactions to every situation to be spot-on and while I didn’t particularly like the direction the last quarter of this novel headed and while I am worried beyond anything for the sequel, that doesn’t mean I don’t see the necessity and truth behind it. I think many authors would have steered away from the path that Young took, but I’m glad she took the more difficult – and frankly speaking, controversial – route. Yet, I must reiterate this, that when you step back and look at this novel without allowing your emotions to distort your perception of it, you can see that everything is just perfect. Yes, even the romance because although Jack and Saba aren’t together for the large majority of this novel, they always remain in each others thoughts and their love only grows stronger with their separation.

Overall, Rebel Heart is a novel I wound up enjoying much more than its predecessor, despite the fact that my rating for this is slightly lower than that for Blood Red Road. While I doubt I’ll be re-reading this installment as much as I will Blood Red Road, there’s no doubt about which book is the stronger one and it is refreshing to see such an original take on this plot line. I will warn you though that plenty of plate-smashing is there in the future of this story and once you finish this, you will spend a countless number of sleepless nights waiting for – and worrying about – the sequel, but it is so worth it. Rebel Heart is yet another wonderful installment from Moira Young and has made me a much bigger fan of hers than I ever was before. I doubt everyone will love this novel like I have, but I truly believe that if you look into the heart of Rebel Heart, you will only find something to love.

You can read this review and more on my blog, Ivy Book Bindings.

Pre-Review Discussion...


I just wanted to run some theories by those of you who have read this one, so if you could comment and we could discuss that would be great! :)
Profile Image for AJ.
2,933 reviews958 followers
September 7, 2012
*sigh* It was ok, but I was hoping for so much more!

This book suffered from ‘middle book syndrome’. I felt like the entire book was a set up for the next and final book of the trilogy. We met some new characters and a couple of important things happened, but it was really drawn out. I actually considered putting the book down at one stage, but the promise of Saba’s reunion with Jack kept me going. .

It started out promisingly enough, and I found it easy to slip back into the language and the post-apocalyptic world set up so well in Blood Red Road. It starts with Jack’s POV when he arrives to see Molly at The Lost Cause. Seriously, this was my favourite part of the whole book – and it only lasts 26 pages!

All the time I’ve knowed you, Jack, you kept the door to that heart of yers locked up tight an the key hid away. Looks like she found it.
He says nothing. Molly waits. Then:
Keys ain’t her style, he says. She kicked the door down.

From then on we’re back to Saba’s POV. I liked Saba a lot more in this one. She is a little annoying when we first see her as she is pining for Jack, emotionally lost and having weird ‘I see dead people’ moments (but following a very strange intervention with the ‘Sky Speaker’ that whole storyline disappears, seeming to have served little to no purpose at all – however I will withhold final judgement until I read the next book). But when Saba discovers that something has happened to Jack, her entire focus shifts into finding him and saving him. Bringing back the Saba we saw in book 1, her determination takes her and her companions on a journey into dangerous territory, meeting a new set of characters, reuniting with some old, and uncovering a resistance to the new order that is taking over the territory. All the while looking for Jack who may, or may not, be who he seems.

I missed Jack *sigh*. He hardly appears at all in this book, and I missed him, not only because he is so awesome, but because his wittiness and bantering that lightened the first book wasn’t there, and the whole book felt moodier because of it. Creed helped to fill this gap (loved him, and am excited to see more of that storyline), but his presence was oh-so-brief. To add to the darker mood, Lugh was such a whiny little bitch for the majority of the book I actually wondered why Saba bothered saving him at all! The other side characters were all really strong though and added a lot to the story – Emmi, Tommo, Molly, Slim, Maev and even DeMalo were all great.

But it was the twist at the end of the book that completely threw me! Thinking she's been betrayed, all of a sudden Saba starts acting all stupid and irrational, culminating in a scene that comes up completely out of the blue and had me shaking my head and screeching ‘WTF??’ Holy love triangles, not again!!! I’m really unhappy about this little addition to the story, and all of its potential ramifications. Particularly as at the end we’re given a teaser about another problem brewing. Do you call it a love square… diamond… trapezoid? I don’t know, but it’s looking mighty dangerous!

The finale had a bit of excitement, but the action from the first book is missing (making way for all of the emotional turmoil, I’m sure). But with a rebellion brewing, I’m hoping for a lot more from the third and final instalment in the trilogy.
Profile Image for Stacia (the 2010 club).
1,045 reviews3,982 followers
November 3, 2012
What is up lately with me and books that almost made it to the DNF pile, only to be yanked back at the last second, when a scene all of a sudden grabs me by the throat and forces me to keep reading?

Yes, I completely meant that. Certain books are pulling a master/slave act on me, telling me that I will like them...or else. I can feel the books almost glaring at me, daring me to push them, else I feel their punishing wrath.

WHY BOOKS, WHY?!? I want my reading experiences to be black and white - either I like you from page 1 or I quit out. Don't pull this confusing wtf-ery on me. Please.

This is another one of those times when I feel like the things that I really want to say are things that I can't. Because if I tried, then I'd have to spoiler tag the entire review and I really hate doing this.

So what can I say? Uh, there was a moment which reminded me of a scene from The Sound of Music. Yes, I can pull comparisons from just about anywhere. (very) Mini spoiler ahead - quick, jump to the next paragraph if you are afraid! Without giving away who the traitor was, I had a brief flashback when Mr./Ms. X turned on a member of Saba's crew, just like the little squealing nazi-in-training did to the Von Trapps when they were hiding in the abbey. Btw, did you know that the famous hiding scene from that movie was inspired by a cemetery? I just found this out now. Random, but I really want to go to Austria on a Sound of Music lovers tour. Does such a thing exist?

What else? If you're looking for lots and lots of Jack time, sorry. Oh, he's there. And he's awesome, of course. But I felt like a fangirl standing outside of Michael Jackson's balcony back when he was still alive, hoping to catch a glimpse of some baby-dangling. By the time I finished the book, I'd felt like I'd been camping out for days, unwashed and grumpy - and the baby dangling was not worth the reward.

If you were a big fan of book 1, then Rebel Heart is probably worth the read. Even though it took me a while to warm up to the plot, eventually I did get there. If you were on the fence about book 1, I'd say go ahead and skip this because any struggling that you might have had with the first book will be echoed in the second.

Profile Image for Anna (Enchanted by YA).
360 reviews349 followers
July 12, 2015
What. The. Hell. Did. I. Just. Read?

After relatively enjoying Blood Red Road I thought there were high chances this book could bring me out of my latest reading slump, but little did I know it would destroy these hopes… Completely and utterly. After a slow start things went from bad, to worse, to throw book into the pond terrible. And all for 2 reasons:

1) Saba is an idiot. The bad-ass fighter from book 1 is gone, replaced with a girl haunted by the ghosts of her decisions (incredibly interesting actually) UNTIL her problems seemingly disappear into thin air because of some heat lodge ritual. Pur-lease *rolls eyes*. After that her character is unrecognizable, choosing paths that don’t make sense and bouncing between boys.

Which brings me to reason 2) The plot relies on the idea Saba is irresistible, otherwise there would be no plot! Introduce a love triangle and I’m anxious, introduce a love square and you have lost me as a reader. Introduce a love interest with insta-love (of which I shudder at the word) and I can no longer take any of the writing seriously. I’ll be fair though and let’s consider for one second that boys do naturally flock to her - yet the story still makes just about no sense.

Now there are many other reasons I disliked this book so much – unrelateable characters, boring dystopian plot etc etc. What it boils down to is the fact that I no longer care about what happens. So no I will not be reading the next book, and no I cannot recommend the series.


Posted on: http://enchantedbyya.blogspot.co.uk/
October 17, 2012
18-Oct-12: Ok, I'm puttin this back up to 2 stars. When I finished, I was thinking of rating it three, but I was so annoyed I rated it two. Then I kept talking about it & thinking about it, & I got so angry that rated it one. I deserves more than one though, so while I can't bring myself to rate it three, I will give it two. Barely.

1-Oct-12: I originally rated this two stars, but I've decided to rate it one. I'm just so mad. And when I look back to see what things I liked? I remember next to nothing.

[Note: The original review was better written. Say thanks to my Internet for disconnecting, and to Goodreads for not saving it.]

I have NEVER read a book 1, loved it like I loved Blood Red Road (BRR), then read book 2 and hated it like I hate Rebel Heart (RH). My expectations were so high, and this was so disappointing. The whole time I was expecting it to start getting awesome, but no. Rebel Heart made me angrier, more frustrated & disappointed than almost any book ever. And on top of it all, it was just so pointless.
Here are 10 things I hated:
1- Lugh. He was one of the things that in BRR, I said was one of the best things. I always love twin brothers. But in RH? He is one of the worst things. He's always so angry, never giving Saba freedom, acting like the boss or something. (Loved it when Merve told him off for it)

2- Saba. Again, one of the best things in BRR. One of my new favourite MC's. She used to be smart, independant, kickass, & she had flaws but was awesome. Now she's just a stupid, dependant, weak, reckless teenager, who also plays with guys feelings to get her way & IS FREAKING .

3- Saba, again. Remember in BRR, how she had to shoot that Free Hawk? Yeah, now she can't use a crossbow anymore. She freezes. Annoyed the hell outta me. Ok, you regret it, a lot, but when a freaking wolf is about to have you for lunch, & you can't use your bow for that? Not acceptable.

4- The love SQUARE. Here I was, desperately wishing that DeMalo wouldn't create a love triangle, so Tommo thought, hey since DeMalo is so desperately in love with Saba and wont grant Jasmine's wish, I'll join in too, that way it'll be a love square not love triangle! Turns out the whole word-your-wishes-perfectly-and-be-careful-of-loopholes thingy from fairy stories is true.

5- Free Hawks. Awesome group. Another of the best things in BRR. How many were there, again? Around 40? Ok, so, in RH: Big fight. And how many survivors? Lets see.. 3 or 4. And then lets not forget there's plenty of the book left. So there's MAX 4 left. I wont say if any more died.

6- Jack. Yet another of the best things in BRR. And he wasn't even in RH. He was only in the end for a bit, and in the 1st chapter which if in his POV. And what the hell was with what he told Saba to do? It made the book COMPLETELY POINTLESS.

7- Wait for it.... Ghosts. I mean what the hell? In BRR, would you have guessed GHOSTS would be a part of the story? And their not even, like, in the whole story.. It's like their in half the book, then suddenly their not there. Not even mentioned.

8- Light witch girl. She's warning Saba, telling her she's in GREAT DANGER (sound familiar?) because Lugh interrupted the close-your-self-off-to-ghosts ritual thing so she's exposed and unsafe. Saba, of course, being who she is now, runs off anyway. Then we don't see anything indicating she's in great danger in that way for the rest of the book. Like it never happened.

9- The whole stories in the stars crap is going no where, and it's so very vague. Only causes trouble.

10- WHERE DID THE AWESOME ACCENT GO?! It added spice to the book. Now its like salad without dressing. Though considering the above 9 points, I'd hardly call it salad at all.

And that's just 10 points. This booked is mined with a lot more.

Y'know what? Go back to BRR, rewrite the last bit so that that big guy (his name starts with I) doesn't die and Jack stays with Saba, and the story would have been PERFECT right there.

I'll read book 3 just cuz I can't leave the story hanging with only one book left, and because I hope that maybe it'll be better than this, though I'm not at all expecting it to be awesome.
Right After Finishing: ARRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WTH JUST HAPPENED?! And A FREAKING LOVE SQUARE?! Between Saba, Jack, DeMalo & Tommo?! NO NO NO NOOOOO!!!!!!
Proper review to come

Profile Image for Kilikina.
676 reviews261 followers
October 24, 2012
Hurt. Betrayed. Deceived.


I literally cannot even think straight. I can't..I wasn't expecting this book to be so emotionally draining. I never in a million years would have thought the book would have played out like this. I couldn't have asked for a better sequel.

The ending though...I can't get over it. Even with heartbreak all around there is no other way I would have wanted this to go.
I'm honestly not even going to take any guesses about book 3. My heart can't take much more! And it certainly won't be able to handle this agonizing wait....

before reading:
Profile Image for Alaina.
6,423 reviews215 followers
April 10, 2018
Rebel Heart is a pretty good sequel book for this series. It's not the best of the best or better than the first book.. but it was pretty decent to read.

The characters were okay, I shipped a couple of people together.. but knowing my luck that ship will probably be burned down to the bottom of the sea. I'm terrible at picking ships people! But hey, if Saba and Demalo could find a way to be together just to prove me wrong.. then I will give them a slow clap and all the props to them. Speaking of these characters, they did seem to have grown up a little bit more or change their douchiness from the first one. Again, props to them.

Overall, it was a pretty good book. It was highly interesting and entertaining.. just with a lot of boring parts. I still love the characters and I can't wait to dive into the next book. I need more of them ASAP. I also just kind of want to see if my "ship" will last or not..
Profile Image for Masako Lin.
260 reviews47 followers
October 8, 2012
I feel that this book really needs a warning, that this isn't really the sequel to Blood Red Road. I mean on the surface it is because it takes place right after the events of BRR but in terms of essence, characterization and definitely writing style Rebel Heart is no way a direct sequel to BRR.

Now the main problem is that I had just skimmed through Blood Red Road prior to reading Rebel Heart (just to refresh my memory) and I couldn't help feel how jarring the differences between the two books are. They are so stylistically different that I almost felt cheated in some ways because well when you're writing a trilogy, you kind of expect the books to be stylistically similar because there were certain things you liked about the first book that you're hoping to see in the 2nd.

Rebel Heart is the grown up version of Blood Red Road but not necessarily as fun. It is definitely more emotional as Saba sorts through her feelings of missing Jack. Than there's Lugh who is broken by the traumatic experience of getting captured by the Tonton and we're also dealing with the grief of some familiar characters from before. Oh and Tommo is no longer a kid but a teen boy with raging hormones. While the action is still there, it's taken a dramatic back seat to give way for emotional tension and development.

The sweet almost naive romance in Blood Red Road is absent and instead has turn into the typical raging hormone teen romance. Well I suppose it was only a matter of time but I do miss that sweet romance in book 1. Now the romance turns into a giant mess involving several people and calling it a love triangle is just simplifying things.

I think I would have liked Rebel Heart a lot more if it was a stand alone book and if RH happened a couple of years later. As a sequel to Blood Red Road, I don't like it as much because everything I liked about Blood Red Road was absent in Rebel Heart. I like how juvenile Blood Red Road is and how simple it was. I liked the fact that it was mostly action and it didn't bother me that there wasn't much in terms of an emotional connection.

Now the differences between the two books is almost like comparing Harry Potter book 1 and Harry Potter book 5. One may argue that the characters and the writer have matured but I think the difference is way too great in too short a time (considering the fact that it did take JK Rowling 4 books in between HP 1 and HP 5).

The plot twist also further drive the differences between the two books as the plot turns in Rebel Heart seem to come out from no where! Old characters are reintroduced but there's no hint of foreshadowing in Blood Red Road that alludes to their bigger role in Rebel heart. I really dislike it when writer's do this because it seems as if the writer had no idea what was going to happen in book 2 and didn't foreshadow these items in book 1. I prefer if my trilogy books plot lines and themes flow one from the other. This just seems jarring and out of place.

It's really hard for me to rate Rebel Heart objectively. As a stand alone book it's not bad actually, I would probably rate it around 3 stars I guess but as a sequel it's quite weak.

So for fans who were expecting all the fun of Blood Red Road may be in for a disappointment. I do applaud the writer's effort in trying to mature her book but I think it just happened a little too sudden and too fast.
Profile Image for Maria.
796 reviews100 followers
September 4, 2012
I like Rebel Heart.


Have you read Insurgent by Veronica Roth? If yes, ever thought that Tris was annoying and mind-numbingly useless? Well, she's got a twin. In the form of Saba.

For a moment, I thought about giving Rebel Heart a 4. But I realized I had a few issues that kept bothering me.

1. What happened to Lugh in the hands of the Tonton that made him such a prick to Saba?
2. The "destiny" and "all in the stars" crap that Saba's father told her were as vague as ever.
3. The story behind Jack's life was as frustratingly thin.
4. Rebel Heart was too long to only deal and talk about Saba's emotional downfall.
5. If a love triangle's not enough, Moira Young made it into a love square. Three guys vying for Saba's heart, can you believe it? Ha.
6. Moira threw in a mix of scandals that i believed did little to contribute to the characters' depth.

I hated Saba here. as in hated. Whatever you thought of Saba in Blood Red Road, forget it. The Angel of Death is dead. For Dustland's sake, get your act together and fight! But all that's left is a whiny, crippling Saba who can't tell who her heart's desire was between two guys. Please, spare me.

And Jack. I thought I'd see more of him here. :( So sad and infuriating to expect more Jack-Saba moments in the sequel. Alas, it was not so. But he's as charming and compelling as ever.

Forget Saba. Hail to Jack's POV! to Auriel! to Maev's awesomeness! to Molly's and Creed's flirty bantering! to Slim and Moses! to DeMalo! Man, it rarely happened to me - that I like a villain so much as I like DeMalo. So mysterious yet more open than Jack ever really was to Saba.

I still like the ending. And that last POV? So intriguing ang deviously brilliant. Another betrayal in the making, people!

Rebel Heart will not be for every BRR fan. So little action but heavy with emotions, it barely made it to my liking. but it did. and even if it was 3 star rating, I still can't help but be disappointed.


Saba Maev rocks.
Jack Creed.
Lugh? i hated him.
DeMalo? i really like him.

I want more of Jack!!! Saba can die for all i care.
Profile Image for Paul.
2,309 reviews20 followers
March 16, 2018
I enjoyed this middle chapter of the trilogy more than the first one. While the first book was a decent dystopian quest but nothing really special, this one had some moments that really got to me. There was one section that actually gave me the serious wim-wams... I'm looking forward to the third part even more now.
Profile Image for Eden.
239 reviews154 followers
Want to read
January 12, 2012
So, not only is this title probably one of the lamest things ever (really? After Blood Red Road you come up with REBEL HEART? Why not title the next one Wild Fierce Passion?), the cover. is. boring. I think that's the worst insult I can come up with.
And guess what? It ONLY MATCHES THE FIRST NOVEL'S PAPERBACK. Aren't we all a little too damn sick of this incongruity? (Also: is a stick coming out of Hunky McHunkerson's butt?)

(Guys, look at that. This awful cover made me swear online. *glares at S&S*)
Profile Image for Red_Queen_Lover.
164 reviews41 followers
March 20, 2020
second read:
I totally forgot that I had read this before-
First read:
This book was actually pretty decent. The first book was better, but this book left a cliffhanger at the end that made me want to read more.It started out super slow, so the only interesting parts were the last three chapters of the book. I'm hoping the third book is better.
Profile Image for starryeyedjen.
1,664 reviews1,231 followers
May 19, 2015
Epic. Crazy. Even better than the first book, and seeing how BRR was one of my favorite reads last year, that's major.



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!"

Thanks to Simon & Schuster for providing an ARC for review!

This review can also be found at The Starry-Eyed Revue.
Profile Image for Kevin.
175 reviews31 followers
October 31, 2012
Oh Saba...what will I ever do with you....

Even though Rebel Heart for the majority has the same cast and problems based on Blood Red Road, this is a completely different novel, and not quite up to the high standards of the first. For one, Saba has changed immensely. In the first book of the Dustlands series, she is named the "Angel of Death" and with good reason, she has to be one of the fiercest female heroines in all the young adult books that I've read. She is that girl that I would step aside and let her do the battling, cause frankly, she would do a much better job.

Especially in the beginning of this book, Saba is not that character. She reminded me a lot of Tris in Insurgent, which is not a good thing. Saba was a little whiny and far from the warrior princess I had come to love. The whole part of the book where ghosts of her past were literally traveling with her and causing her difficulties (but not really there) was unneeded and a distracting side story. I understand she is a flawed character but some of the hasty or non-decisions she makes was a little much for me to handle.

While the first time around I felt the language was whatever, I really enjoyed and appreciated it this time. I often found myself talking out loud like the writing style after long spells of reading. My friends were confused but I always knew Saba to be the culprit.

In Blood Red Road, Saba was constantly thinking about Lugh, and always no matter what had his rescue on her mind. In Rebel Heart, I felt Saba had too much going on in that head of hers. There were more concerns then she was able to handle, and it was more than a bit overwhelming for her. Her and Lugh have a realistic brother and sister relationship in this one, and when they fight I feel like the emotion is real and really hurting them both. They continue to intrigue me moving forward.

For the most part I don't care terribly when books don't have an element of romance. But I adored Saba and Jack in Blood Red Road, and there was simply not enough of them in this one! Based on whatever was going on in both their lives, there simply wasn't enough interaction for them to expand their relationship or give any swoon worthy moments. In general, everyone was overly concerned about relationships in this one, something that Saba never really noticed in the first book.

I adore the use of kick ass animals in these books. I'm one of those weak willed people that can't handle the death of animals in general, so to have these strong able-minded pets of Saba following her around, and constantly in danger, put me on edge. Of course, Nero is back to his cawing ways. Anytime Saba brought up that he was laughing, killed me just picturing it. A wolf Dog named Tracker, briefly mentioned in first book, plays a more prominent role and I love the fact that cannibals are riding ostriches and that the one camel they meet not only is champion racer camel, but also has a horribly terrific attitude.

The last of the book, other than a creppy spoilery scene mentioned below, was by far my favorite. I felt the old Saba started to emerge and the issues were thrown back into the fore front. I'm really interested to see where the third book goes from here, and if we can focus on killing the bad guys instead of...(Check that spoiler below)

So not quite as good as the first, but still pretty enjoyable and this series remains among the better young adult dystopians out there.

MAJOR SPOILER ALERT (the creepy part I mentioned above) You have been warned!

If anyone else felt this was just bizarre..I think I need some counseling from that part alone. We can start a support group if need be...

Book was provided by EdelWeiss. Read on!
Profile Image for Maria (highinthebooksky).
325 reviews43 followers
May 20, 2015
i was constantly thinking : where is jack???
apart from that the story was really gripping and cool as the first one ... I had my issues with saba towards the end but overall she was a great heroine! :-)
Profile Image for Lucia.
735 reviews815 followers
February 8, 2017
Book 1: Blood Red Road- 4 STARS
Book 2: Rebel Heart - 2 STARS
Book 3: Raging Star - 2.5 STARS

This is the most conflicted I have ever felt about book series. I adored some parts of this trilogy and hated the others. Let's see what are pluses and minuses of Dust Lands trilogy.

Saba, the narrator and heroine of this trilogy, is bold, rude, vicious and very determined. On the top of that she is selfish and stubborn. Surprisingly, instead of being annoyed with Saba, these character traits made her look more human in my eyes (not some idealized unrealistic saint).

Sibling relationships play a big role in this series and author introduced very interesting take on it. Either it is between Saba and her twin brother or between Saba and her younger sister, author masterfully shows us how shaky such relationships can be and how much they change over the time.

Do you know what I like the most about dystopian genre? I love how it focuses on humanity, on its worst and best parts, showing the depths to which people would go to survive. The constant struggle, the constant fight between morals and selfish will to survive in wicked world so different from ours, that is what I like the most about dystopian novels. And Dust Lands series is full of it. You can feel it from every page (especially in Blood Red Road). I love this kind of intensity because it gives me big feels. And emotional reads always stay with me for the longest.

There was so much chemistry between Saba and Jack in Blood Red Road. Just the two of them talking together was sparkling. What a shame it doesn't reach next books in trilogy.

Made up slang, no proper grammar, no quotation marks, etc. I admit that I found it interesting and unique at the beginning. But later on it was very distracting and discouraging.

Surely, you are wondering what possessed me to rate sequels so poorly after liking first book in series so much. Answer is simple. Everything that I liked about characters and storyline in Blood Red Road was missing in sequel. Thrilling fights for survival - gone. Smart heroine - gone. Potent chemistry - gone. Addictive plot - gone. I was so disappointed that I even contemplated to forget that I ever read sequel and to pretend that Blood Red Road was a standalone. Rebel Heart turned into something I hate - almost every important male character had romantic feelings for Saba. I hate this trope in all kinds of genres. It's huge pet peeve of mine and if it wasn't for great first and last chapter, I would give Rebel Heart only one star. But curious creature that I am, I had to pick the third book up as well. Even though Raging Star was slightly better than Rebel Heart, it still didn't live up to my expectations I had after falling in love with first book.

I am not fan of The Darkling Syndrome and unfortunately, this series suffers from it. (Those of you who are not familiar with Grisha Trilogy, The Darkling Syndrome is what I call a situation in books when heroine develops some kind of feelings/connection to villain and this connection disables her to fight villain properly.) It drove me crazy. So even though storytelling in this series is great, I didn't like at all how story developed. It had negative effect on my emotional investment in the story and sadly, I wasn't rooting for the heroine in books #2 and #3. But it is only my personal feeling. I do think that first book is worth reading. And who knows, maybe you would feel differently about the story development that I did.

MORE REVIEWS ON MY BLOG Reading Is My Breathing
Profile Image for Giselle.
1,057 reviews907 followers
January 18, 2020

A finished unsolicited copy was provided by the publisher for review.

I heard so many great things about this series. Check out that blurb on the cover from MTV’s Hollywood Crush.. BETTER than the Hunger Games? That drew me in, so when I was invited for this blog tour by the wonderful team at Random House Canada, I jumped at the chance. I own the first book, and haven’t even cracked it open yet. So imagine to my disorganization and craziness that is called life, I completely forgot that my blog tour day was moved. I ended up diving into Rebel Heart without reading the first book. *GASP* But anyway, on to the review!

At first glance, you can understand that Moira writes in a completely different writing style. It sounds like someone is narrating it to you. So imagine to my surprise as to how much I enjoyed it. It’s sooo different and so unexpected! Diving into book two definitely makes my head spin because I have no idea who half the characters are, and what they have been through. I quickly made assumptions and even pieced some of the puzzle pieces myself. The storyline developed slowly, but I found myself reading it at a faster pace than most books. Maybe this unique style helped that. I found it odd to see a book without any double quotes in them, but aside from that, the spelling mistakes drove me crazy. I couldn’t stand it. It drove me batty, but after a couple of chapters in, I got used to it.

Saba is a fierce character. She’s not called the Angel of Death for nothing. I would have been afraid to battle her in the Gauntlet. She’s tough, reasonable, determined, and logical. But she’s also a girl and has her vulnerable side. Then there’s Jack, who loves Molly, and Saba..I loved the beginning where it was his viewpoint. Always love the dual viewpoints in books. I wanted more from him though.

Nonetheless, I must go back and read Blood Red Road. I want to know everything that happened. Saba’s journey to find Lugh, her meeting with Jack, how her father died..etc. Kudos Moria Young! Please come to Canada, so we Canadian fans can come meet you in person and tell you how amazing your book(s) really are!
Profile Image for Kinga.
479 reviews2,252 followers
August 21, 2013
Why did they abandon the beautiful cover illustration of the book one and redesigned the whole series to look like a video game?

Obviously a rhetorical question, since we all know the reason.

'Rebel Heart' - a great title for a great book. The writing is still superb, the characters vivid, endearing and so full of personalities. This is book two in the series so inevitably a love triangle is formed – it seems to be a rule in all those YA series but I’m ok with the formula. After all, the love story from book one will need some impetus to go on. Therefore enters DeMalo – a love interest and a complex villain in one. Some reviewers complained about the cartoonish characteristics of the villain in the first book of Dustlands but I think it was all part of the plan. Vicar Pinch was supposed to be a ridiculous figure, and a puppet really for darker and stronger characters lurking in the shadows. Saba should’ve known that killing him would solve nothing. Behind every crazed dictator there is an army, and in each army there is that one general with a Machiavellian plan. It doesn’t help that said general also seems to have some sensual power over our heroine and how long can Saba resist it, especially since Jack seems to have betrayed her?

Now, I make it seem as if the love story is the main focus of the book, which is definitely not the case. The focus, just like in the first part, is on adventure with an added bonus of ethical issues which come with the new world order introduced by DeMalo. While he makes a good case for eugenics, Saba is no fool and while her grasp on English grammar might be a lot poorer than DeMalo’s, her sense of justice is impeccable. Additionally, Saba also extends her petting zoo – she now has got not only a crow but also a wolfdog. That’s always a good thing.

It's also still very feminist in what the heroine is allowed to do, the mistakes she is allowed to make and the liberties she can take without worrying about her literary reputation. Also let's note that it is her twin brother who wants to just find a nice place and live there happily every after, while our heroine suffers from a terminal wanderlust. Saba is the most refreshing heroine I've read about in a while.

So when is the next book in the series coming out? What? April 2014? Maybe I’ll just hibernate until then.
Profile Image for Sophie.
701 reviews139 followers
November 9, 2012
This review can also be found on The Dreaming Reader.

We ain't got time fer you to yell at me or fer me to tell you everythin that's happened, so I'm jest gonna cover the main points real quick an then I'm gonna kiss you, he says.

I think this book should've been titled LACK OF JACK instead of Rebel Heart. Just sayin'. For the second book in a series, it can be argued as a pretty darned good one. I still think the first was better (probably because there was more Jack), but this one is still pretty good. The old elements are there: the writing style that keeps the pace fast, the high adventure on the dustlands, and old characters like DeMalo and Maev, in addition to new ones like Molly and Slim, this crazy quack doctor guy who traffics weapons. Yup.

Young has definitely got a lot in her bag of tricks. The book started off slightly slow, but by the halfway point, I was flipping pages with fury. Last time, in Blood Red Road, the scene with the giant worms is what stays in my mind. This time, it's the river of snakes and the headhunters. Very intense. It was a bummer that Jack didn't come in until the last twenty-so pages, but I'm not disappointed at all with the direction of the book. There were always new problems arising, and it kept my mind off of Saba's failed long-distance relationship.

The men who do have big roles in this book are DeMalo and Lugh. One is a loon, and the other is a dickhead. That's just how it is. I share the sentiments of many of my fellow reviewers in that I think Lugh is a stuck-up, stubborn douche. From start to finish, I had no idea why Saba loves him as much as she does. He does nothing except complain and throw a block into their plans, then sulk because people don't trust him enough to do what he wants to, since he was rotting in a room for the longest time. And then he treats Maev like trash, then refuses to tell her he loves her, and finally blames Saba for everything. There is literally nothing redeeming about him. Speaking of Maev, though, I didn't understand why they would love each other. There was no indication of any budding relationship besides a mutual attraction because they were both hot-blooded, male and female, and not related. Not good ingredients for a relationship. DeMalo, in contrast, is this cold-hearted bastard, which doesn't really surprise me. What he convinced Saba to do, however, did.

I was pretty disappointed in Saba throughout the book. Although she has the same skill with weapons and fighting, she shows it less and spends more of her time being confused by all the men in her life and obsessing over Jack. She seemed less independent, I guess, and I didn't like that she always had a whole team of people backing her up, especially because she took responsibility for so many of their deaths. She made a lot of bad decisions in this book, and some of them were unwarranted, which is why I don't really like her in this book.

Jack does come back, and I think Young gives him and Saba a satisfactory ending. He seems better than he was in the last book, but there's not much for me to fully gauge his personality. But I do hope that he stays in the next book. Anyway, Rebel Heart didn't disappoint. It had all the elements of BRR, though it still lacks that strong characterization that I would like. Hopefully, Young also clears up the confusion about the Wrecker civilization and is able to solve this big problem that she's created in the first place. But she's awesome, and I have complete confidence in her.

I'm looking forward to this book, though the first one seemed to have a pretty good ending. But the blurb is just. Oh, goodness. They sure know how to insert the right amount of information. WHAT HAPPENS TO JACK? I must know. So I must get my grubby little hands on this book.

What the hell is with the quote on the cover, though? Since when was writing about comparing books? And who would trust MTV's opinion, for God's sake? The birthplace of 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom (no pun intended)?

While I do not have issues with a sexy man being on the cover, I do not like the fact that one of his arms seems shorter than the other, or that there is an unidentifiable object behind his butt.
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