Reviewed by Amanda Farmer

If you’re looking for a dystopian book then look no further than Rebel Heart, part of the Dust Lands series. This is book two of a trilogy but fear not if you have not read the first one. I was not lost in the least. Mora Young does a good job with keeping the reader up to date with everyone and their past.

Rebel Heart opens up with Jack making his way across the waste land to Molly and the Lost Cause (her tavern). He has a message to deliver and nothing will stop him. From there we are introduced to Saba, Lugh (Saba’s twin brother), Tommo, and Emmi (Saba and Lugh’s sister) who are stuck in the Waste, a desert with no water and barely any life. The story focuses on Saba mostly and her decisions that not only affect her but her siblings and Tommo.

Growing up has been rough for everyone and has hardened them to the everyday struggles of finding food and water. Each member of Saba’s group has their own personal struggles to deal with along with dark secrets that continuously gnaw at them. Saba then has to deal with feelings for three men rather than one like she wants.

As Saba’s group progresses through the Waste, they meet up with several different characters, some unforgettable, like the medicine man Slim in his pink dress, the head hunters in Yann Gap, Auriel and her ability to see things, and Bram. Let’s not forget the villain, DeMalo and his New Eden.

As I was reading Rebel Heart I was drawn into a world so bleak; this world has no technology, only dust, struggle and heartache. Our technology is only told of in stories and most is forgotten, and the shells of vehicles and buildings are called Wreckers. I would have enjoyed reading more about DeMalo, Lugh, Tommo and the others rather than focusing so much on Saba and her decisions, both good and bad.

Overall, I felt the story focused too much on Saba and her selfishness, always focusing on her rather than on getting the group to work together to survive and go out West as they had originally planned. The story flowed but I found myself struggling with the lack of quotes signaling when each character was talking to another. There was plenty of action though and it did keep my attention to the end.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

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Amanda loves spending time at home with her husband and their dog, Oreo. She loves reading, playing puzzle games, beading and watching movies. When she’s not reading, she’s working on her Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Margaret K. McElderry Books. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.