Study Guide

Blood Red Road Introduction

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Blood Red Road Introduction

Want to know what we like, Shmoopers? Post-apocalyptic fiction. It makes us feel all warm and tingly inside. Want to know what else we like? Westerns. Give us a mean-looking dude with a tall hat and a pair of six shooters, and we're happy.

So what does this have to do with Moira Young's 2011 young adult novel Blood Red Road? We're glad you asked. Although Blood Red Road takes a ton of influence from the blazing hot YA post-apocalyptic fiction scene, it's unique in its approach, blending the YA-PA genre (we're totally coining that acronym) with aspects of Westerns, action movies, and a dash of Mad Max. Sounds like a recipe for our hearts.

The novel is told from the perspective of Saba, an eighteen-year-old girl coming of age in a post-apocalyptic desert. Sounds stressful. One day, her life is completely upended when a group of mysterious strangers show up at her house, killing her father and kidnapping her twin brother Lugh. Talk about a call to adventure. With nowhere else to go, Saba sets off in search of Lugh with her little sister Emmi and pet crow Nero.

To say that Saba goes on an adventure would be an understatement: She spends not-so-quality time in the city of Hopetown as a Rousey-caliber cage fighter. She fights alongside a squad of kick-butt lady warriors called the Free Hawks. She meets an exceptionally handsome thief named Jack. As she develops these bonds, Saba is shocked to discover that her rescue mission has somehow become intertwined with a larger conflict that could alter the course of her world.

Talk about pressure.

Whether you want to get into some killer action scenes, explore a fascinating locale, or enjoy the company of a narrator with a totally distinctive voice, we'd highly recommend taking a stroll down Blood Red Road. We promise it's not quite as dangerous as it sounds.

What is Blood Red Road About and Why Should I Care?

If you've read Blood Red Road, then you already know that Saba is one tough cookie. She's an incredible fighter, a courageous friend, and a loving sibling.

So why does our girl have such low self-esteem?

Maybe it's because she's grown up in her twin brother Lugh's shadow. Maybe it's a result of her deep-seated family issues. Or maybe it's just her nature. No matter which way you answer, however, there's one thing we can all agree on—Saba is way too hard on herself.

Luckily, our heroine finds her way, though it's far from easy. And that's kind of the point: Saba only gains confidence by standing up to insurmountable challenges and—well—surmounting them. So, you know, it's only by doing things that Saba gains confidence to…do things.

Our point? All of us struggle with confidence issues to varying degrees, but the key is not to let them hold you back from reaching for your dreams and goals. Even if your personal goals aren't quite as exciting as finding your kidnapped brother and bagging yourself a hunky thief, you can still find inspiration in Saba's story and apply it to your own life.

That's the Angel of Death way, baby.

Blood Red Road Resources


Moira Young's Homepage
Check out Moira Young's website for all sorts of tasty morsels about Blood Red Road and insight into Young's writing process.

National Resource Defense Council
We're not trying to make you feel guilty or anything, but you don't want to become known as a "Wrecker," do you?

Movie or TV Productions

Blood Red Road
Ridley Scott + Post-Apocalyptic Chaos = Cinema Gold

Articles and Interviews

An Interview with Moira Young
This is a killer interview, but beware of spoilers if you haven't read Rebel Heart yet.

And Another Interview with Moira Young
Again, beware of spoilers, but this is one in-depth interview.


Tell Us What You Really Think, Moira Young
This chat provides some great insight into the novel's character, but be forewarned—there are a few spoilers for later entries in the trilogy.

Life After People
Want a more realistic view of what would happen after the apocalypse? Check out this brief video from the History Channel's series Life After People.


The Split YA Fiction Podcast: Blood Red Road
This podcast delves deep into the unique style and plot of Blood Red Road.


The Guitar Guy
Oh wait—he's from Mad Max. Our bad.

The Covers of the Dustlands Trilogy
This is getting us excited to read the next ones.

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