In this second installment in The Dustland series, the evil Tonton, led by "The Pathfinder", have become even more brutal than before. Families are being kidnapped, killed, and forced out of their homes to make room for "Stewards of the Earth" in New Eden.
Saba, Lugh, Emmi, and Tommo are heading West through the wastelands with its Wrecker debris, in search of "The Big Water", which is supposed to be a type of paradise. Saba has been having hallucinations and dreams of people she has killed, and she and Lugh are having disagreements. Saba wants to part ways with her family and friends and search for Jack, but Lugh thinks that Jack is trouble.
In the meantime, Jack is also heading West to meet Saba. He stops at The Lost Cause, the tavern that Molly Pratt owns, to deliver a message. Unfortunately for him, members of the Tonton show up while he is there. Now Jack is missing and is presumed to have joined up with the Tonton.
If you are looking for action and adventure, this sequel is for you! While I feel that Rebel Heart is not as good as its predecessor, Blood Red Road, it is still riveting and exciting!
Saba does not start out the story as a strong character, but she overcomes her weeknesses as the book progresses. Jack is portrayed as a cold-blooded killer and must re-earn his way into Saba's good graces. Lugh has so many problems, which is logical, bu it makes him appear stubborn and selfish at times.
New characters are introduced in this sequel. My favorite is Dr. Salmo Slim, Traveling Physician and Surgeon, with his camel, The Grand Champeen of the Pillawalla Camel Race, who is pulling a broken down wagon supposedly filled with medicines and potions. I also loved little Auriel Tai, the "Sky Speaker", who tries to heal Saba's dream demons and is wise beyond her years. DeMalo plays a large part in the book and tries to appear caring and alluring to Saba, but he has ulterior motives!
Like Blood Red Road, this book uses intentional misspellings and no quotation marks in its dialogue. There is a third installment, as yet unnamed, coming but not until 2014!
I recommend Rebel Heart for middle school, high school, and public libraries.
**Reviewer's Note: The copy reviewed was a digital ARC received from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.