Thursday, November 8, 2012

Review: Rebel Heart by Moira Young

Rebel Heart (Dust Lands, #2)Book: Rebel Heart
Author: Moira Young
Series: Dust Lands
Publication Date: October 30th, 2012
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Rating: 4 Stars
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.
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.

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