Series Review- Dustlands Trilogy

Wednesday, 3 September 2014
Books in the series: Blood Red Road, Rebel Heart, Raging Star
Author: Moira Young
Genre: Dystopian, YA
Rating: 3/5

This is a series review, it does contain some spoilers for the series!! You have been warned :)

Blood Red Road was one of my top reads of 2013, I thought it was one of the best YA dystopian novels I had read in a long time. However, having reached the end of the trilogy I have to admit that I was deeply disappointed by this trilogy. The trilogy seemed to get worse and worse as I read. By the third book, Raging Star, I had to force my way to the end.
The plot in Blood Red Road was good, it had purpose and a reasonable plot line. After the the 1st book many plot points seemed to disappear e.g. the whole Angel of Death idea became fairly redundant through the rest of the series. The plot became weaker through the last two books. Blood Red Road was full of action and fighting and was very fast paced. However in the third book especially, the action stopped and instead the focus turned to drama, between different characters, which was a disappointing change.
One of my biggest issues with these novels, especially the third one was the pacing of the novel. Raging Star was so slow, I had to force myself to keep reading, for a series that is described as the next "Hunger Games style read", it didn't have any of the pace or action of The Hunger Games. All the action in Raging Star seemed to occur in the last 50 or so pages of the novel. This led to a very rushed resolution to the novel and the trilogy, as everything was crammed in. It was so rushed in fact, that I struggled to actually take in everything that was occurring, which meant I didn't feel very connected to the conclusion, which I'm sure was supposed to make the reader cry!
I still didn't really like Saba, she was cold and harsh and lacked emotion and empathy in my opinion. She didn't really improve through the trilogy, in fact I thought she got more dislikable as the trilogy progressed. The choices she made were so frustrating to read, and left me unable to really connect with the main character.
I also thought a lot of the other characters were lacking development, a lot of the characters had interesting back stories that were hinted at but never fully explained. Also the development with Emmi was really interesting, its a shame it never got expanded upon!
I was most disappointed with the final book in the trilogy for a number of reasons, one of which was the predictability of the story. The twists and reveals throughout the novel felt useless and underwhelming at times. It felt like they had been placed there only to "shock" the reader, very few actually enhanced or furthered the plot very much. Also the betrayal that happens at the end was so obvious that I had it figured out very early on, meaning the big reveal felt very anti climatic.
Overall I was very disappointed by this trilogy. It started off with so much promise, but by the third book it had slowed to a crawl, and felt like it was trudging miserably to it's predictable conclusion.


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