(This gif cracks me up every time. Cats are such strange beings.)
This review is long overdue. But you see, I have very conflicted feelings about Rebel Heart. It's the sequel to Blood Red Road.
I loved, loved Blood Red Road. I video reviewed it here.
(It's such a long video; just don't watch it.)
It has the same dynamic as Blood Red Road. In BRR, Saba goes off to save her brother Lugh. Everyone and their dog attaches themselves to her when she meant to save him alone. She's a very prickly sort of character and treasures her solitude. Which is kind of why I like her.
Anyhow, in the sequel Saba now must go and save Jack (translation: the love interest). Why can't anyone let go of Saba and let her live her life?! Once again, everyone and their dog follows her around. I don't get it. She's honestly not a great leader. Understandably, her family wants to be with her, but at the same time, her brother and she aren't on talking terms?
In the first book, her new found friends actually helped Saba save Lugh. It was something she couldn't have done alone. Yet in the sequel, everyone seems to be more detrimental to her mission, especially in the end whenin Jack is like, "You brought half the world with you? How are we supposed to lay low and hide half the world?"
The magic element was really interesting. Not to mention some epic skirmishes! HUZZAH! I love all the action scenes. Tension. Fast-thinking. Narrow escapes!
I also appreciated that the author held Saba accountable for her actions in BRR. Saba had to kill people in order to survive and save her brother in the first book. In the sequel, she is haunted by those she's killed. Aka, she has PTSD. It's so weird when an author puts characters through something traumatic/dark/just plain awful and they all walk away unscathed. But in Rebel Heart, nobody walked away unscathed. I appreciate how realistic that is.
Here's what I did not like. (It's a tad spoiler-y.)
There was a sex scene. Why is it that most all YA books have a sex scene like it's a requirement? What's wrong here? Marissa Meyer does splendidly without one.
The thing is Saba doesn't like people. She doesn't like them touching her. Saba's not the sort who would, say, have a lapse of judgement and go have a fling with the villain?
BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT HAPPENS!
It made no sense whatsoever with her character. Not to mention that the villain is like the creep of creeps. He's slimy. He's a psycho. He needs mental help because he thinks he's helping people.
I want to punch him in the face then boil the germs off my fist. Saba has only met this guy maybe three times.
Furthermore, it makes no sense with the plot. It's just this random, detached event. We did get to understand the villain and why he's doing what he's doing. But there are other ways to go about that than having the protag and antag sleep together! Especially since it's out of character and-- Why is it even in the book?! My brain cannot logic.
Anyhow, I do plan to finish the trilogy even though this book kind of went south for me. I have heard that the plot gets worse in the last book. But I'm a little committed to Saba. So out of character or not. I'll read it.
I still recommend Blood Red Road like nobody's business. It's a really good book. Rebel Heart though?
I hate saying bad things about books. But unless you NEED to read more about Saba, I would just not touch Rebel Heart. Leave Blood Red Road on the happy note it sorta is. Fantasize your own ending or something.
Have you ever read a disappointing sequel? How do you feel about scenes that break character?