The TBR dictated that I was going to be reading the Dust Lands trilogy this month, so I powered on through the series and eventually I finished it. I didn’t really have enough to say on the books individually because they didn’t really grab my attention, and I’ll admit that I was skimming my way through the majority of the second half of these books.
I saw a lot of reviews of this series saying that they seriously loved Saba and Jack’s relationship, but I really didn’t see the hype. Personally, I didn’t think they spend enough time together. The whole plot of the second book is that they’re separated! This, of course, meant that Saba had to fill in the gap someway and so the fated love triangle was introduced. Much to my dismay, I tell you. And the new guy -DeMalo – wasn’t even likeable! He was creep-fest and I wish I got go inside the book and warm Saba about the mistake she’s about to make. Why was he even interested in her in the first place, there was so much instal-love it hurt.
There was definitely some character development, and they way Saba handled the love triangle proved that she had definitely matured. Saba’s new relationship added some more mature tones to the novel, and make the world a lot more realistic as a result. But I still felt that by the end of the series Saba was pretty much the same person she always was. She never accepted that people wanted to help her and was constantly going alone only to find that everyone had followed her and, what do you know, we’re all friends again!
As for Jack, he’s still a bit of a mystery. His past was never made explicit and their ‘happy ending’ is rather ambiguous. Both characters have obviously made a lot of mistakes in their lives and I’d like to think that they can forgive each other. Saba’s family and friends rapidly decreased throughout the series, so now Jack’s all she’s got! He better start spilling his secrets!
The secondary characters are probably my favourite in the series. I really liked Molly and Creed, and eventually I warmed up to Emmi. I absolutely hated Lugh, but that’s beside the point. There was so many little interactions between the characters that I almost missed from skim reading and I’m so glad I took the time to find them because they made the reading experience a lot more enjoyable. I wish we could have learned more about the secondary characters, because I feel like even though they were all very diverse no one spent a lot of time getting to know someone else. There was a lot of insta-love and random pairings, but as far as enriching rid-bits of backstory go it was definitely lacking.
The novelty of the setting had definitely worn off my book three. Rebel Heart pretty much followed the same pattern as Blood Red Road right down to the death of a female friend. There’s a surprising amount of death in this series, which I think has to be why it’s marketed for fans of The Hunger Games because there aren’t any other parallels apart from the female protagonist. Some of the deaths were heartbreaking and some of the just happened. Overall, it was pretty symptomatic of your average dystopian novel. Plot devices were reused – there’s a ‘let’s bust ’em out’ scene in every book – to add tension and I can say that the only really intriguing part of Raging Star was the italic narrative that belonged to a mystery character. I kept reading to unravel that mystery as I had completely lost track of DeMalo’s plans with New Eden.
Overall, I probably would recommend this series, if only because the writing style is so different. I wasn’t blown away by the series and there are kick-ass females that I like a heck of a lot more than Saba, but I am pleased to have finished another trilogy this year. As a whole I would give the Dust Lands series 3 stars. It had it’s moments, yet it was still kinda hit and miss.