I loved the concept for this book: Rosie and Scarlet March are sisters who use their “Little Red Riding Hood” appearance to lure werewolves to their deaths. The sisters are hardcore werewolf hunters, initiated into the hunt by their memory of a terrible werewolf attack on their grandmother (of course) from when they were little girls – an attack which left Scarlet horribly scarred.
I love a good fairy tale re-telling, especially when it features a pair of ass-kicking females who turn the traditional fairy tale on its head. Sisters Red, published June 7 by Little, Brown, has a lot to like: an excellent cover (very different from your normal teen fare nowadays!), plenty of action, romance, good versus evil, and a compelling sister relationship (the strongest aspect of the book). Still, it left me underwhelmed. Nothing about the book really surprised me – the romance progressed as I expected it to, the tension between the sisters developed as I knew it would, and the “twist” at the end was so predictable I knew it almost from page one. Because of the predictability, I had a hard time staying engrossed.
Additionally, I expected something heavier from Sisters Red. After all, it’s a book about two teenage girls, one disfigured, both jaded, who kill werewolves every single night. So much of the book felt fluffier than the content promised. I felt like Pearce was aiming for a moody, dark, intense thriller but didn’t quite succeed.
The book’s Amazon page has rave reviews from names like Melissa Marr and Carrie Ryan, and it’s garnered a starred review from at least one major review source. I just wasn’t wowed. There are so many better books in this genre (Donna Jo Napoli and Shannon Hale really set the bar high). Sisters Red does fill a small niche within this subgenre: it’s a modern, urban re-telling, and would speak strongly to today’s teens.
If you like the genre, you may want to check out this one, and if you’re a fan of the book, you have two companion novels by Pearce to look forward to in the near future: Sweetly, a modernization of Hansel and Gretel, and Fathomless, a modernization of The Little Mermaid.
Bonus: There’s a trailer for Sisters Red on Pearce’s blog/website.
Review copy provided by the publisher.