What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Moira Young's Raging Star is the final book in the postapocalyptic Dust Lands trilogy. Despite the main character's push to topple an oppressive society without violence, there are still some sad deaths by guns, some fistfights, an exploded bridge with casualties, and babies born weak who are left outside to die. The sexual content is similar to that in Book 2, Rebel Heart. The 18-year-old main character has sex, but it's not described. Language gets as strong as "sonofabitch" and "bulls--t," but rarely. Characters 18 and over drink wine and strong homemade brews around a campfire, and one man smokes a pipe. Saba's quest for nonviolent opposition is met with resistance, but she's determined. She's a flawed hero character of the best kind: She follows her instincts and overcomes self-doubt to be a true leader.
What's the story?
Saba desperately needs a plan. She's back on the outskirts of New Eden, hiding out from De Malo, the Machiavellian mastermind behind this strict new society where no one is free and families are torn apart for the "greater good." She waits with her small band of rebels during the day and sneaks off to meet her insider contact at night. No one knows Jack's still alive -- a secret she keeps from everyone as he acts as her eyes and ears in New Eden. But there's a bigger secret she's keeping: that Saba slept with De Malo in a moment of weakness. All that comes back to haunt her when her rebels blow up a bridge and she's followed. De Malo hunts Saba down and makes his demands: He will marry her by the blood moon -- in seven days' time -- or all the rebels will be killed, including Jack, as well as Saba's brother and sister. Now Saba really needs a plan. Seeing babies born weak left out to die and families separated gives her an idea -- one that may work without any weapons at all. The only problem is everyone thinks she's crazy and that it will never work, let alone in seven days' time.
Is it any good?
The writing is so strong in the Dust Lands series. Author Moira Young has a gift for poetic reflection and the building of fascinating characters. Saba is both tough as nails and a deep thinker, and her band of rebels comprises incredibly colorful characters. The addition of the senile junkyard pilot totally fits in with the motley crew.
Fans of the series will enjoy the conclusion, RAGING STAR, but may find the writer's strengths getting in the way of consistent pacing. Saba broods and doubts herself a bit too long, and the fascinating characters spend a lot of time arguing and posturing -- way too far into the book. The climactic action and the ending feel quite jarring and abrupt as a result. It's also memorable, though, as is the whole series. Readers surely will be on the lookout for whatever this talented writer comes up with next.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the Dust Lands trilogy. Did you find Raging Star a satisfying conclusion? Was anything unexpected? Will you read more from author Moira Young?
Why is Saba's idea to fight De Malo without using violence so hard for everyone else to accept?
What nonviolent movements have occurred in history? What made them so powerful?