‘Children’ must be a very broad category for this award, as judging from reviews and the book trailer, this book is definitely for the upper end of that category for which the Costa Book Awards, which “recognises some of the most enjoyable books of the year by writers based in the UK and Ireland” has chosen Blood Red Road by Moira Young.
“It’s astonishing how, in her first novel, Moira Young has so successfully bound believable characters into a heart-stopping adventure. She kept us reading, and left us hungry for more. A really special book.” (link)
Originally from B.C. and now living in the U.K., Moira Young has trained as an actor, a dancer and, according to the Costa Book Awards, has now proven herself as a writer with this first novel in the Dust Lands trilogy. (source)
Blood Red Road, published by Simon & Schuster in June 2011 and already a movie in the making, is a dystopian thriller set in post-apocalyptic Silverlake, “a dried up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms”. When the heroine, Saba, looses her brother to cloaked horsemen, she embarks on a quest to rescue him.
“At its best the novel mashes together McCarthy’s intensity with a laconic narrative style taken from the literature of the American west…At its worst it is a risible collection of clichés strung together by a barely coherent plot.” From The Guardian, which article concludes, “My nine-year-old daughter got hold of my review copy and was so entranced that I had to machete it into sections so we could both carry on reading it. Yes, this is the perfect apocalypse for pre-teens.”
Quill & Quire calls the dialogue, “quirky, folksy dialect that smacks of the Old West, with all its “yers” and “ain’ts”, and sums up with, “the magic of Blood Red Road is not that it is particularly original. Instead, Young has taken familiar pieces of everything from Gladiator to Lord of the Rings and put them in the hands of a spunky, moody heroine who breaths new life into old motifs.”
Audio book excerpt:
A selection of other reviews (there are many):