Title: Rebel Heart by Moira Young
Published: October 30th, 2012 by Margaret K. McElderry
Format: Audio book, narrated by Heather Lind
Group age: Young adult
Challenge(s): 2013 Dystopian, 2013 Books in a Series
Grade rate: B+
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.
I enjoyed Blood Red Road (see my review here) and I was eager to know what happened after Saba finds Lugh and here we have our answers.
Let me start by saying that I liked Rebel Heart better than its predecessor. Overall, I liked the story and the world building. The story starts where BRR ended. Okay, here we go…
Saba is a puzzle to me. On the one had side she is ferocious, like and warrior; on the other hand, she is a big mess of impulsiveness, whining, superstition and lack of common sense. What on earth happened to her in the beginning? It reminds me of Katniss at the end of Mockingjay, she kind of lost it! Luckily it only took a session with a ‘seer’, Auriel, to get magically cured (*sarcasm indented*). She has a blind faith in Jack, but then something happens (see spoiler below if you want to) that sucks out all common sense and she turns into a B*%#! Sorry Saba, but I just don’t understand what happened to you.
One of the things that I loved the most from BRR was Saba and Jack’s relationship, and that is missing for almost the entire book :( However, Jack is as infuriating as always with his own brand of layback mocking intensity. I love the first part of the book from his POV. There must be a shortage of woman, because not only is there a love triangle, but a square, and let me tell you that Saba IS NOT a lovable person, like AT ALL!
DeMalo, is the bad guy and leader of the Tonton, BUT he is a very different type of ‘bad guy’. He is so kind and sweet to Saba, even if he is a bit condescending and presumptuous. Of course, like many antagonists, he deeply believes that he is doing the right thing (and in part he is), but going about it in the most appalling way possible.
I know that Saba went through a lot of trouble to save her twin, Lugh, but honestly, I can’t stand him! He is critical, annoying, an impossible know-it-all an unreasonable need to hurt others. We don’t know yet what happened to Lugh while he was in captivity, but it seems like it affected him deeply. In spite of that, instead of being grateful to Saba for saving him, he didn’t care that she had to kill for him and treated her very badly. Emmi is as sweet as ever, she is gentle and good natured and tries to balance the darkness of Saba and now Lugh. We see a host of characters, new and old. My favorites of the new are Molly and Slim and the old are Mauve, Creed and Ash. I did enjoy the big part that all the animals play in the story as well.
The writing, in the dialect of the time, didn’t bother me as I was listening to the book and by now I’m familiar with it. The plot was slow at the beginning, but picked up quickly, even if it was all over the place!
Spoiler (highlight to see it): I typically don't do this, but I can't help it!
What the heck happened to Saba? Emmi is kidnapped so she decides to act like a toddler with a tantrum, take her life, and ends in bed with DeMalo willingly! The only think I can think of is that she was still ‘too open’ like the Auriel kept saying over and over and couldn’t resist DeMalo’s power of suggestion and charisma. And then the very next day she does the same with Jack. She has lied to EVERYONE! Poor Tommo! This cannot end well!
End spoiler. (and end of venting!)
Overall, Rebel Heart is a good addition to the series, and I will definitely read Raging Star, the last book of the series, due to be published in April of next year.
Some quotes for you:
“What happens to you changes you. Fer good or ill, yer changed ferever. There ain't no goin back. No matter how many tears you cry.” – Saba
“He’ll banish the shadows. He’ll silence the whispers. An the wounds of my soul will heal.” - Saba
“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.” – Jack and Molly
About the cover – I liked original cover for BRB better, but this one is nice too. I guess this is Lugh, surrounded by light, just as Saba sees him.