Moira Young - Rebel Heart

Rebel Heart (Dust Lands, #2) - Moira Young

Why did they abandon the beautiful cover illustration of the book one and redesigned the whole series to look like a video game?

Obviously a rhetorical question, since we all know the reason.

'Rebel Heart' - a great title for a great book. The writing is still superb, the characters vivid, endearing and so full of personalities. This is book two in the series so inevitably a love triangle is formed – it seems to be a rule in all those YA series but I’m ok with the formula. After all, the love story from book one will need some impetus to go on. Therefore enters DeMalo – a love interest and a complex villain in one. Some reviewers complained about the cartoonish characteristics of the villain in the first book of Dustlands but I think it was all part of the plan. Vicar Pinch was supposed to be a ridiculous figure, and a puppet really for darker and stronger characters lurking in the shadows. Saba should’ve known that killing him would solve nothing. Behind every crazed dictator there is an army, and in each army there is that one general with a Machiavellian plan. It doesn’t help that said general also seems to have some sensual power over our heroine and how long can Saba resist it, especially since Jack seems to have betrayed her?

Now, I make it seem as if the love story is the main focus of the book, which is definitely not the case. The focus, just like in the first part, is on adventure with an added bonus of ethical issues which come with the new world order introduced by DeMalo. While he makes a good case for eugenics, Saba is no fool and while her grasp on English grammar might be a lot poorer than DeMalo’s, her sense of justice is impeccable. Additionally, Saba also extends her petting zoo – she now has got not only a crow but also a wolfdog. That’s always a good thing.

It's also still very feminist in what the heroine is allowed to do, the mistakes she is allowed to make and the liberties she can take without worrying about her literary reputation. Also let's note that it is her twin brother who wants to just find a nice place and live there happily every after, while our heroine suffers from a terminal wanderlust. Saba is the most refreshing heroine I've read about in a while.

So when is the next book in the series coming out? What? April 2014? Maybe I’ll just hibernate until then.