Rebel Heart is the sequel to the internationally acclaimed bestseller, Blood Red Road, by Moira Young. Having just defeated the Tonton and Vicar Pinch, Saba and crew (her twin brother Lugh; Emmi; Tommo and more) head out West in the hopes of finding a new life. Saba is loathe to leave Jack behind, but he says he needs to go back out East in order to tell his friend, Ike's lover/partner that Ike is dead.
As Saba and co head out East, they come across a disturbing sight - a family being thrown off their land, though it is clear that only the adults are intended for death. The children are to be taken away as slaves. The further west they go, it is clear that this is becoming a common occurrence, and they come across a whole camp of people thrown off their land. The Tonton, it appears, have not gone, but are resurrected and under new leadership of a man called the "Pathfinder" who hopes to create a "New Eden."
Some time into their break at the camp, Saba is visited by Maev, leader of the Free Hawks. Apparently Jack has joined the Tonton and cleared the Free Hawks from their land. Saba is confused by this and decides to go East, after piecing together bits of information for Maev and deciding that Jack is sending a message in code to her. She leaves secretly but the others soon follow her, much to her dismay, as she knows she is heading into danger.
This book is every bit as exciting as the first; well-paced and original. Certain people may criticise it because Saba, one of the most interesting and well-written characters in YA fiction, makes one of her main objectives to find Jack. However, in pursuit of Jack, we come across and learn much about their world, including the "Wreckers" of the distant past - us - who effectively destroyed the world. The Pathfinder is about creating this world again - hence the New Eden - though only certain people are permitted to have a place in this new world, bringing up issues of justice, class, and whether or not the choices we make are "right" in the eyes of other people.
I'm certainly hoping there's going to be another book in this series. It's refreshingly original and offers a frightening vision of the future that is not altogether impossible, particularly if humankind keeps being as careless and destructive as we are at present.
Until next time!