Saturday, August 6, 2011

Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce

From Goodreads:
Scarlett March lives to hunt the Fenris--the werewolves that took her eye when she was defending her sister Rosie from a brutal attack. Armed with a razor-sharp hatchet and blood-red cloak, Scarlett is an expert at luring and slaying the wolves. She's determined to protect other young girls from a grisly death, and her raging heart will not rest until every single wolf is dead.
Rosie March once felt her bond with her sister was unbreakable. Owing Scarlett her life, Rosie hunts ferociously alongside her. But even as more girls' bodies pile up in the city and the Fenris seem to be gaining power, Rosie dreams of a life beyond the wolves. She finds herself drawn to Silas, a young woodsman who is deadly with an ax and Scarlett's only friend--but does loving him mean betraying her sister and all that they've worked for?
Sisters Red is a very original and interesting take on Little Red Riding Hood. Everyone knows that story, but Jackson Pearce was able to refresh a familiar story with new life, injecting it with modern sensibilities. The thing I loved most in the book was the relationships between the characters. The bonds between Rosie and Scarlett, Scarlett and Silas, and Silas and Rosie are so strong and genuine.

I liked the mechanisms behind becoming a Fenris. It wasn't completely based on being bitten, and was really rather complicated. The men who become the actual wolves are completely despicable, and I like having a villain who is really just a villain. Many times I read books where it's that the antagonist is really just "misunderstood" and has issues, which makes them lose some of their villain credibility. Fenris are just evil. They lure girls away to eat them, and that's that. Pure, classic bad guy. :)

As for the characters, I liked Rosie and Silas well enough, but I really loved Scarlett. That is a kick-butt kind of girl. Really, she's all kinds of things I'd love to be: disciplined, tough, independent, and witty to name a few. Plus she can whip out an axe and beat the heck out of a wolf. Cool, eh? The girls in Sisters Red are not the cower behind a man kind.

I liked the alternating narration a lot. Sometimes I really notice the difference in narration, sometimes I don't. In Sisters Red, the changing views is very noticeable, which is a good thing. The reader can easily distinguish between Scarlett and Rosie, which means they have distinctive tones and differing views on the situation. The separate views gives more depth the story, so the reader is not biased towards just one view of the events. Yay for unbiased reading!

I did feel like some of the story was predictable. Part of this is that it's based off a familiar fairy tale, so we know certain elements. But, I expected the big twist very early on. It only made sense, though I had hoped it wasn't true. Also, at times Rosie was rather annoying. She was cutesy, but the cutesy led into pestery (not a real word, I know, but it fits) and I didn't really want to hear about how beautiful Silas was every time she saw him. This was only occasional, but stuck out.

Sisters Red is an intriguing addition to the ever-growing canon of fairy tale retellings, but unlike many others, is worthy of the connection to the original story.

Four out of five stars.

Risk a paper cut? The Fenris think its a roaring good time, and you will too.

To buy: Amazon


  1. I really enjoyed this too, but found some parts predictable. Great minds think alike!
    Have you read the sequel yet?

  2. I haven't! But I was under the impression that it's not really a sequel, but a companion novel. I think it's a retelling of Hansel and Gretel if I'm not mistaken.

  3. OK, I was only looking at this book a few days ago and couldn't decide whether I wanted to read it or not.

    This review has just persuaded me. Thanks for that.


    I love the cover for this one, it's so striking!