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. (from GoodReads)
I was really looking forward to Rebel Heart because I loved its predecessor, Blood Red Road. However I was a little disappointed in this - it didn't grab me as much as the first book and the plot was a little boring. I'm still holding out hope for the third book, though!
I remember how hard it was for me to get into Blood Red Road because of the writing style. There are no quotation marks around the dialogue and the spelling is phonetic, so all the bad grammar the characters use is right there on the page. But once I was used to the writing, it made the book so much more authentic! Thankfully, I didn't have the same problem starting Rebel Heart and the style didn't bother me at all.
The problem I did have was the slow pacing of the story. The whole book revolves around Saba trying to find Jack, the love interest from the previous novel. I was upset that Jack is barely in this book - and it was frustrating to spend the whole book looking for him. A story needs a little more action than a missing person case. The subplots of the book are all over the place - they are either dropped and never mentioned again (i.e. Saba's hallucinations) or randomly thrown in at the end (i.e. Saba's relationship with DeMalo). Also - do we really need a love square between DeMalo, Jack AND Tommo? It's getting ridiculous.
I missed the awesome and fierce Saba from the first novel and I'm still holding out hope that she returns in full force in the last book of the trilogy. But for now, Rebel Heart has a bad case of the Middle Book Syndrome.
Rating: 7 out of 10.
FTC: Christmas gift.
2012/Margaret K. McElderry/432 pages.