Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Dust Lands: Raging Star by Moira Young

Summary (from Goodreads):
Saba is ready to seize her destiny and defeat DeMalo...until she meets him and finds herself drawn to the man and his vision of a healed earth, a New Eden. DeMalo wants Saba to join him, in life and work, to build a stable, sustainable world…for the chosen few. The young and the healthy. Under his control.

Jack’s choice is clear: to fight DeMalo and try to stop New Eden. Presumed dead, he's gone undercover, feeing Saba crucial information in secret meetings. Saba hides her connection with DeMalo and commits herself to the fight. Joined by her brother, Lugh, and her sister, Emmi, Saba leads a small guerilla band against the settlers and the Tonton militia. But the odds are overwhelming. Saba knows how to fight—she's not called the Angel of Death for nothing. But what can she do when the fight cannot be won? Then DeMalo offers Saba a chance—a seductive chance she may not be able to refuse. How much will she sacrifice to save the people she loves?

The road has never been more dangerous, and betrayal lurks in the most unexpected places in the breathtaking conclusion to the Dust Lands Trilogy.
I pre-ordered this one. I loved the first two books in the series, and I’ve been so curious to see how things would all end –even though I’ve been kind of postponing reading all of the many series conclusions I have on my TBR pile. Also, I must note that this book is a survivor. It has literally survived the ocean. It fell from my beach chair into the ocean, when I went for a walk and the low tide became a higher tide. I was upset because on top of one wet, wrinkly book coated in sand, I had also lost my bookmark! Thankfully, some sunshine solved a lot of problems, and while my book isn’t quite good as new, I feel like it has character. It’s strong like Saba. And I eventually found my spot. Also, it might now eternally smell of Plymouth.
It took me a long time to read this one. I read both book 1 and then book 2 in under a day (respectively –they weren’t both out yet when I read them). And I was hoping for a similarly fast paced book 3. Unfortunately, this book was not fast-paced at all. Not a lot really seemed to happen until the very end. The first ¾ of the book seemed almost repetitive to me. Saba kept thinking back to the same words of wisdom her father left her with. And by the third or fourth recollection, I was a little tired of the sentence.
But more than past memories coming into play, I just felt like Saba had a lot of thinking to do, and unlike the other books where her thinking was interrupted with cage fights, bar explosions, monsters, kidnappers, rebellions, etc, her thinking in this book was only interrupted by point of view shifts to a mysterious traitor, and hidden rendezvous with Jack. I wanted and expected a little more action. I get the theme here was meant to be more peaceful, but still…I needed more.
I did still love the characters. It was fun getting to watch them all work together and learn to survive together. I liked that Saba was finally able to see who DeMalo truly was (literally and figuratively). I also liked that she knew she couldn’t win a war the way everyone expected. I liked that she never viewed love as a weakness. The traitor point of view shifts were pretty cool too. It was fun trying to guess who it was.
I just wish more happened. And then when the action does all finally take place, I feel like it was rushed. I wanted to see more of what went down after certain kids were rescued. I wanted to see what went down after certain truths were revealed. I wanted to see more of New Eden at the end. I wanted more details in the action. My favorite moments at the end were kind of rushed though and skipped. Once because Saba was exhausted, depressed, and kind of sick, she wakes up days after events have taken place (days I wished to see). And then another time, near the end, a significant amount of time passes after things are reveled, and I never got to see the resolution. It was skipped over.
So much of the book was focused on the details of Saba coming up with a plan and remembering what she’s gone through to make it this far. And then when the end is in sight, barely any time is spent on the details. I was hoping for more. The author was not afraid to kill off important characters (as you already know from book 2), and there were some seriously sad moments. Just because there wasn’t as much action, doesn’t mean there wasn’t just as much darkness.
All in all, this was a very interesting series. I love Saba as a main character. I love all the characters. I love the concept of a world running low on water. And I found all of the dealings with DeMalo to be disturbing, fascinating, and believable. I wish this last book had more action. And I certainly wish crucial scenes weren’t skipped and passed over at the very end. I do think the ending works for the story, and I’m not sure I could have seen it ending much differently. I give this last book a 7/10.

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