Author: Jackson Pearce
Published: June 7, 2010
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Series: Fairytale Retellings #1
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy, Retelling
Rating: 4 stars
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“I am confident, I am capable, and I will not wait to be rescued by a woodsman or a hunter.”My Thoughts
― Jackson Pearce, Sisters Red
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? (Goodreads)
Sisters Red is a darker retelling of Red Riding Hood, somewhat reminiscent of the Grimm tale. From the moment I first set eyes on this cover, I knew I had to read it. It is such a unique version of the beloved Red Riding Hood tale. Instead of one girl, there are actually two: Rosie and Scarlett March. Both of them wear red cloaks when hunting, and they are fierce. These two sisters don't just sit back and let the woodsman take care of things; they fight themselves. Scarlett is vicious with her hatchet, and Rosie is deadly with her knives. Of course, there is Silas, a son of a woodsman and an old family friend, and he joins in the hunting, but the two girls are in the spotlight when fighting. Plus, Scarlett is missing an eye, and she is physically and emotionally scarred.
I loved how Pearce reinvented this tale with the Fenris. They are vicious predators, constantly lurking in the shadows. All of the Fenris are male, meaning they hunt after girls (the younger, the better). They can be baited by the color red, the color of passion and lust (which is why the March girls wear their red cloaks). They are frightening creatures, flirting with girls until they find some dark alley where they can rip apart their prey. And they are everywhere, and only a few people actually know of their existence.
Sisters Red was full of action, and there was never a dull moment. There are several fighting scenes, with plenty of detail as if the author has fighting experience herself. As a Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan, I am all for books where girls are kicking butt, especially werewolf butt (only if they're mean werewolves). Pearce was never stingy with the description, and I could actually picture these Fenris transforming, and it was not a lovely sight. She describes their rank smell, mangy fur, and just everything that's wrong and scary about them.
My only complaint is that I found Rosie and Silas to be a little bland. I loved their romance; it was adorable. Silas was such a good guy, and Rosie was the innocent, bleeding heart, afraid she was going to betray her sister. But I really didn't connect with them until the end. Scarlett, on the other hand, was so complex and just a cyclone of emotion. I found her POV fascinating. I did enjoy Rosie's side of things, but it was more a walk in the park while Scarlet's thoughts were always so intense and gripping.
There is some wonderful suspense in Sisters Red, and although I figured it out less than halfway through, that didn't decrease my enjoyment.
I will definitely be reading Sweetly and Fathomless in the future! I can't wait to read more retellings by Pearce!