Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Revitalized Red Riding Hood

Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce gets a solid 4.5 out of 5 gnomes, great for those looking for a real kick butt heroine and a surprising twist on a classic fairy tale.

Fractured fairy tales are always an interesting read and Sisters Red really takes the fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood to the next level.  The cover of the book just draws you in to the story and makes you want to read it.

In this tale the heroine does get attacked by the wolf but the woodsman/lumberjack isn’t the one to kill it, she kills the wolf herself all to protect her little sister.  But in the process of killing the wolf she gets badly scarred and loses her right eye.

The wolf in this story though is no ordinary wolf.  It’s refreshing to read a werewolf book where the group of werewolves is definitely not the good guys.  They even call the werewolves Fenris, which goes back to Norse mythology and Fenris being a giant wolf and Loki’s son, instead of plain werewolves which I thought was pretty clever and made the werewolves seem more troublesome.  So the book is kind of like the tv show Supernatural or Buffy with werewolves instead of vampires.

There are two main characters who tell the story in alternating chapters.  They are the March sisters, older sister Scarlett and younger sister Rosie.  After the prologue you find out that the sisters have been hunting the Fenris for seven years trying to keep the town safe and avenge the death of their grandmother.  Scarlett is the strong one who feels that it’s their duty to hunt and kill Fenris because not everyone knows of the danger they represent.  Rosie is trying to follow in Scarlett’s footsteps but her sister is very protective and Rosie thinks there has to be more to the world then just hunting.

The plot really rolls into motion when fellow hunter Silas, the son of the woodsman who raised them and taught them how to hunt, returns.  They realize that the wolves are getting more powerful and attacks are happening more often.  The small town where they live is probably not the best place to find out how and why the wolves are growing more bold so they go to the city.

There’s romance in the air between Rosie and Silas and that doesn’t feel believable in the beginning of the book but by the end you can see them possibly working.  One problem though is a point in the book where Silas pretty much says that he picked Rosie because all Scarlett cares about is hunting.  It’s hard not to miss the cues of who the Fenris are really after but even if you guess long before the character’s do it’s still a very exciting read.  It has a conclusion that would indeed leave room for a sequel which I know I would be more than happy to read.

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