Review: Rebel Heart by Moira Young

August 4, 2013 Review 28 ★★★★

Review: Rebel Heart by Moira Young
Rebel Heart by Moira Young by Moira Young
(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Source: Borrowed
Pages: 432
Release Date: October 30th, 2012
Series: Dustlands #2
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Saba has rescued her kidnapped brother and defeated the fanatical Tonton. But the price to be paid for her violent victory is terrible. Jack has disappeared–and can no longer be trusted. A new and formidable enemy is on the rise in the dustlands. No one is safe. And Saba must confront the terrible secret hidden in the darkest depths of her soul.


After giving BLOOD RED ROAD another try and loving it, I had really high expectations for REBEL HEART. So high, I could barely read anything else without thinking of this sequel. Was I disappointed? Well, not quite. But I was confused.

Saba has a price on her head, she is wanted for the murder of Vicar Pinch and the other things she has done. Jack is nowhere to be found, except in the information that comes to Saba from other characters: Jack is working with the Tonton, their enemy. Saba doesn’t believe it, but she is alone in that thought except for Emmi. Lugh doubts Jack, and tension rises between the two twins.

The plot in REBEL HEART was somewhat disappointing compared to its predecessor. The first half was Saba dealing with deaths that plague her dreams and now her waking life. Epona, and all the girls she sent to their deaths in the gauntlet, they seem to want something from Saba. I didn’t enjoy this part because Saba became somewhat of an unreliable narrator after this.

The second half was all about Saba doubting Jack’s love and his loyalties. This got a bit repetitive and frustrating, especially since everyone else also doubted Jack. The second half was also where the book kind of lost me with a very… interesting development. DeMalo. It seems like almost every man in the book wants Saba romantically. Usually, I would like a novel with several love interests but this just made me uncomfortable.

You really do, Saba. You really do.

Because of all this, my love for Saba’s character really diminished. She played with Tommo’s feelings, and she made a huge mistake with DeMalo. Mind you, this huge mistake happened while Emmi was in danger. Jack was barely in this novel so there’s not much to say about him.

In any case, I still enjoyed this book for the reasons I enjoyed BLOOD RED ROAD and after that crazy cliffhanger, I am very anxious for the third novel.

On a side note, did anyone notice I was right about DeMalo and Saba? I liked them together, but not like this. Never like this. Also, what happened to Mercy??

If you liked this review and found it helpful, please vote on Amazon here: Rebel Heart by Moira Young

Rating Report
Overall: 3.7

28 Responses to “Review: Rebel Heart by Moira Young”

  1. Kezia D

    Haha! Are you a psychic too Alise?? xD

    Blood Red Road’s saving grace was Jack IMO because in the first book, whenever Saba did something stupid or inappropriate as a sibling to her sister, Jack was there to scold her. I can see why his “disappearance” affect Saba’s personality/actions. Speaking of Jack…so if he is “missing”, isn’t the cover kinda misleading? IMO there’s no point of putting a character on the cover if he/she is barely in the book…Or the guy on the cover isn’t him, other guy maybe? Like Lugh or DeMalo…
    Kezia D recently posted…Tracing the Trend: Girls on YA Covers

    • Alise

      Either that or I have just read too many YA books xD

      Yep, you are exactly right, Jack was always kind of a buffer between Saba and stupidity.
      Demalo would never dress like that xD Could be Lugh, I guess.

  2. Bookworm1858

    1. I totally agree with Kezia as I am super bothered that a guy is on the cover when I think it should be Saba.
    2. I never would have predicted Saba/DeMalo like you did in your review of BRR and, as a big fan of Jack, I was super pissed.
    3. So overall this was pretty disappointing for me-not sure if I want to continue…
    Bookworm1858 recently posted…Ramblings and the Week to Come 04AUG13

    • Alise

      I guess I don’t put that much weight into covers after being lead astray so much. I like Jack too, and she fell into DeMalo’s arms way too quick. I hope the third is better.

  3. Sydney

    I completely agree with you and the other two comments. The Saba/DeMalo thing really caught me off guard. And I did see him as a possible other love interest but I wasn’t expecting it to happen like that. I mean DeMalo literally means ‘wrong’. If that isn’t a sign I don’t know what is. But, yeah, this book really disappointed me, but I have hope that the third book might be able to make up for it. Great review!
    Sydney recently posted…Seven Deadly Sins Tag

    • Alise

      LOL, does it really? Wow, that is a hint. I feel the same, it progressed at light speed which I thought was so out of character for Saba. Thanks!

  4. Maida

    I really enjoyed your review for Blood Red Road, and I do like the sound of this series. I really don’t like it when a couple you adored suddenly changes in the sequel. I’m very excited and curious to meet Saba and Jack’s characters. And see how their relationship works out. I’m glad you enjoyed this, overall Alise! :D Fabulous review!

    ~ Maida
    Literary Love Affair 

    • Alise

      Right? Their characters did a complete 180, they are so different now! I hope you start this series :) Thank you :D

  5. Becca @ Nawanda Files

    Oh no! Jack isn’t in this very much :(((( I had thought he’d definitely be in it because of the cover. I’ve been holding off on reading this one for some reason, and now I don’t know if I ever will read it even though I own it. It sounds completely frustrating, especially if Saba starts doubting Jack and so do the other characters. Love the gif, by the way!
    Becca @ Nawanda Files recently posted…Sexy Sunday: Ricochet by K.B. Ritchie + GIVEAWAY + Blog Tour Sign-Ups

    • Alise

      Yeah, so did I. It was really disappointing not seeing him, he was my favorite characters. It is frustrating, but hopefully worth the read when the third comes out. Thanks!

  6. Angie

    It’s been a while since I’ve read this but I remember being really surprised about DeMalo and Saba. This drove me nuts… I mean here we go with the drama. Your review got me thinking.. has there been any info on the third book? Cover reveal? Details.. I feel like we haven’t heard anything!!


    My review if you want to check it out:
    Angie recently posted…The Arrival by Shaun Tan- Graphic Novel Review

    • Alise

      You aren’t wrong, I haven’t heard anything about the third book! I know it’s called Raging Star, though. I wish there was cover reveal! Yeah, Saba made some poor decisions this book.

    • Alise

      Aha, thanks! Yeah, the romance in this was definitely a negative as opposed to the first where it was a positive.

  7. Danna

    I’ve heard a lot of good things about this series, but I have yet to read the first book (I own it, but it hasn’t been that high on my TBR list so I’ve neglected it). Hopefully I can start it soon:) Thanks for the review!
    Danna recently posted…Review: Hooked by Liz Fichera

  8. Betty

    This book was so disappointing to me! Blood Red Roads is one of the best books I’ve read so I was first in line to get Rebel Heart when it was released! For me, it had middle book syndrome to the max! The first 3/4 of the book felt dead— so much down time. The ending was awesome though! I can’t wait for book 3. I’m not sure how I feel about Saba and DeMalo—- they were hot together, not gunna lie… lol… and i hate myself for feeling that way because of how much I love Jack! What a mess! I also felt weird about Tommo— I always viewed him as more of a child. It confused me that he was suddenly more of a “man” at the end of this book. That surprised me.
    Betty recently posted…REVIEW: Vuto by A.J. Walkley

    • Alise

      You definitely took the thoughts right out of my head! Rebel Heart was a huge step down from Blood Red Road. There was a lot of fluff, and not the good kind, but the down time you mentioned. I admit like I liked DeMalo (bad guys, what can I say!) but she did fall for him kind of fast. Tommo confused me as well-I thought he was 12! LOL

  9. Carina Olsen

    Great review :) Sigh. I loved the first book. But before I even got this sequel I knew what happened in it, with DeMalo. And for fucks sake. Did that HAVE to happen? SOBS. Yeah. I’m not sure if I will ever read this book now, and it sucks, because I was really looking forward to it :( Anyway. Amazing review :) thank you for sharing. <3
    Thank you for commenting on my blog. <3
    Love, Carina @ Carina’s Books
    Carina Olsen recently posted…Book Recommendation: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

    • Alise

      Oh, that’s too bad it’s spoiled for you! I hope you still read it because some parts are enjoyable, you might even like DeMalo!

      Thanks for commenting back! :D

  10. Heather@The Flyleaf Review

    Me! I noticed you were right on the money about Saba and DeMalo!! :)

    Yeah, this book didn’t keep me as riveted as BRR, but I still enjoyed it. I wish there had been more Saba/ Jack time–because I just loved them in the first book. But, I have ALWAYS been intrigued by DeMalo, so I was not at all disappointed about his enhanced role in this book.

    And I’m kind of unsure how I feel about this particular love triangle. I like both guys. I feel like Saba should be probably be with one more than the other, but I still like the other a whole lot. And I actually LIKED that Saba and DeMalo went THERE in this book. That’s kind of a ballsy move on M. Young’s part, imo–not many virginal heroines would have done what Saba did, and that makes me wonder if there is more to it then meets the eye.

    Regardless, I am in it for the long haul–I look forward to seeing how everything turns out in the end:)

    • Alise

      Aha, thanks for noticing!

      Right? This book sorely needed Jack to keep Saba in line. I am so glad someone else feels the same about DeMalo-he is such an interesting character! I was happy to see the romance but thought it progressed very fast. It was very ballsy, and I am still trying to decide if it was a good thing or not. I feel like if she is pregnant, it could either ruin the third book or make it very interesting.

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