Rebel Heart (Dust Lands #2) by Moira Young

Title: Rebel Heart
Series: Dust Lands, #2
Author: Moira Young
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Release Date: 10/30/12
Pages: 432, Hardcover
Rating: 3.5stars

Summary from Goodreads
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.

Rebel Heart is the much anticipated sequel to Blood Red Road, the dystopian/post-apocolyptic YA fiction where we were first introduced to the headstrong Saba on a mission to save her brother Lugh.

In comparison to the first book, this book was agreeably, not as good. In the first book, Saba is ruthless, selfish, resilient, etc. but for all her flaws, she is still endearing because in the first book we needed that kick-ass, determined, Saba. In the second book, she is more of an emotional wreck and now her narrow-mindedness is taking a toll on those around her. In other words, Saba is not so awesome this time around. Furthermore, her brother Lugh is a total debbie-downer and we never really get his story or an explanation why. As for the plot and direction of this book, it was disappointingly disorganized. The progression of this book relies on sub-plots that are left somewhat underdeveloped and for a while I didn't know what Moira Young hoped to achieve with this book. Not to mention that I was left completely dissatisfied with the reunion between Saba and Jack that was built up but came far too late. On a side note, I found myself warming to he-who-shall-not-be-named against my better judgement and am excited to see how that story will develop in the third book.

LEST IT BE KNOWN that this is still a good book if viewed without all the expectations stemmed from the first. The world, characters, and story are still endearing and I think the writing is above average (if you can stand the broken English that this book is well known for).  If you enjoyed Blood Red Road I recommend reading this book and the third book still holds much promise!
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