Thursday, 25 October 2012
Book on Trial #38: Rebel Heart
Note: Random House Canada did not pay me to endorse or review this book.
SPOILERS TO BE HAD.
Title: Rebel Heart
Author: Young, Moira
Keywords: Deserts, rebels, government, Tonton, opium, chaal, Saba, YA, teen, wreckers, post-apocalyptic, western, adventure, romance, awesome, Canadian, sexual maturation, abuse, hurt, deceit, betrayal, mysticism, prophets, tattoos, brands, New Eden, attempting dystopian, Near and Middle Eastern lifestyle, horrible spelling and grammar.
Recommended For: 14+, Firefly, Westerns, Middle Eastern–style dystopia fans.
Sentence: I sentence Lugh to a six-month journey through the Wraithway, that ungrateful, chaal-snorting lout. (I couldn’t be bothered to sentence Moira Young as I was far too fixated on Lugh.)
As far as middle books go, this one was pretty standard. A separation of young lovers; too much travelling without a consistent destination; and an overview of the “bigger picture”.
That being said, the bigger picture is not much to look at in this book. On the one hand, you see a little more of DeMalo; and on the other, readers are only getting to skim the surface of New Eden and the cleansing of the lands. It seems like a pretty vague allusion to Hitler and eugenics, but without a real motivation other than these “visions” of the past (us, Wreckers) and the future (the “purebred”). I liked the bigger picture when it was about drugs, gangs and Western-style fighting. It didn’t really need all this extra…whatever it is.
Anyway, for those who just want a brief summary of what to expect in this book, do not wait for a femme fatale level of badassery. In fact, just do not expect much action from our protagonist at all. Let’s just say this once-upon-a-time badass, Angel of Death (who is, fittingly, dead to the world), is no longer open for business. She’s a simpering, lovesick and mentally disturbed teenager. Not that I’m saying she should not be mentally unstable after everything she has done, but this whole flip-side thing does not suit her. She’s too sad and open to betrayal. It makes me really feel for her, sure, but I’m also rolling my eyes as I read about her inability to cope.
This installment is all about finding Jack and “saving” him. Really it’s about how Saba can’t seem to live without him for more than two months until she finally believes he has betrayed her, and sleeps with the first man she stumbles across (thank you Lugh for planting the doubt from the get-go). Okay, okay. He’s not just ANY man. He is THE man. The Pathfinder. All that sexual tension finally sort of messing up everything! And, honestly, I was glad for it. I know it’s not the exciting thrill of action readers get from Blood Red Road, but goddamn it’s some kind of action. And I’d probably respond no different. A sexy, powerful man that has just saved you from drowning yourself and then shows you a better world in front of all his creepy human-breeding-farm-people? Okay, so maybe I wouldn’t be so quick to jump in the sack, but still…she’s human. And that’s one of the greatest things that drew me to Saba in the first book. Despite being an asshole that can kick ass, she has all the faults I enjoy seeing in characters. She’s a fuck up. She is selfish (and sometimes she’s self-sacrificing). She’s also confused and self-doubting. I can deal with that. I just want to grab her face and stare right into her eyes and say “Gurddammit Saba. You bin gittin into a whole lotta trubbel fer a gerl yore aij. But I kan unnerstand it. I kan git behind yooz an try’ta givya sum gud advice. I ain’t gunna maik ‘em decisions for ya, but I’mma try’ta guide yoo.”
Okay, so I just spent like twenty minutes on that. I need to stop or I’ll revert back to my NOLA accent (I miss that beautiful-weird city so much—okay, just the French Quarter).
Also, she keeps ending up in different colour dresses. How is no one pressing her (harder) on that situation? If I were Maev I’d be on that like redheads on the Doctor.
Don’t even get me started on the stupidity of Lugh. He was so not worth saving. Actually, I don’t know what he’s been through, but if it’s worse than Molly, Saba and Emmi combined, I’d be willing to understand why he is such a dick.
The entire plot was not as slow as I had initially expected it to be, but there were a few pointless mini adventures and random psychic, lightning-witch/seer moments. Seriously, where were we going with that if Saba’s having little prophetic dreams without Auriel’s help?
Basically, I have determined this series is wrought with too many YA elements, if that makes sense. Its got the drug trafficking, Western adventure, mysticism, twins, twin fallout, attempts at a Utopian society, rebellion, and fantastical creatures (see giant worms). I can’t even begin to pinpoint the genre of this series and not in a good way. As soon as a new element or previous element is brought in, the others are forgotten. I wouldn’t be surprised if by the third book it’s all steampunk and we’ve forgotten about star-reading and seers.
I still liked this book despite all of the complaints I have. It’s solid writing and I’m already pretty attached to the characters. I just can’t get enough of them.
FINALLY, I know the Tonton are people that work for the Pathfinder, but how can anyone not picture people dressed as tauntauns? I just want to slice one open and sleep in his/her entrails.
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