Rebel Heart by Moira Young
Rating: 3.5/5 Stars
Release Date: October 30th, 2012
Nothing is certain and no one is safe in the second book in the highly praised Dust Lands trilogy.
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 was a complete mess after I finished this book. And not exactly in the good way. I couldn’t even process what I had read until a few days after finishing, and it took me a few weeks to even get my thoughts into a semi-coherent order so I could actually write a review. Rebel Heart is full of ups and downs, but I can say that it was indeed a good sequel in the end.
The world-building in this book took my breath away, again. In Blood Red Road, we got a few tidbits about how the world had gotten to the position it was in, but we spent most of the time trying to even get the barest understanding of what the world actually was. At least, that’s what I was trying to do. During this book, after knowing a little bit about the world before starting, I think I was fully appreciate the intricacy of the world Young has set up. It’s so deep and meticulous, and I loved seeing more of it. We also get to learn so much more about it, which made me love it even more. The world-building alone is one of the best things about this series thus far.
Also, I really did enjoy the beginning of this book, especially with Saba. Saba is going through a lot, and it was great to see her try to handle everything, while being as stubborn as ever. It took me such a long time to finally warm up to Saba in the first book, but by this one she really captured me. I was fully rooting for her throughout everything during the first part of this book. I loved seeing her change, given the circumstances.
However, that being said, for the last portion of the book, all I wanted to do was slap Saba. Hard. She made some seriously stupid decisions that anger me now just thinking about them. This is where the root of my frustration lies with this book, Saba. I just didn’t want to understand why she was doing all of these stupid decisions. But, after taking a step back from this book, I actually began to understand why, which further frustrated me. Saba, in the last portion of this book, was the reason I had such clashing emotions. I still haven’t fully sorted out how I feel about her and her decisions yet, because I’m still too conflicted.
Also, Lugh was a buttface. Simply put, he was just a horrible character. I understand the trauma that he was put through, but some of the things he said and did were just appalling. I couldn’t feel any sympathy whatsoever for him, and I couldn’t understand why Saba sacrificed so much just to get him back. I fully understand that, given the circumstances, he should be rude. But I found that he was totally unlikable and unrelatable, and therefore, I disliked him greatly.
Overall, Rebel Heart was- and still is- a book of extreme frustration, namely with Saba in the latter part of the book. Lugh also fuels this frustration, because I so desperately wanted to understand him and his connection with Saba, which we failed to see. However, the world-building was superb and I honestly did like Saba in the beginning of the book. Even with so many opposing feelings, I ended up liking this book and am looking forward to seeing how things end up in the last book. I’d recommend this series to any dystopian fan looking for something utterly unique and enchanting.