Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Sisters Red, by Jackson Pearce- Review

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?

Somehow I got this series totally mangled by not really realizing it was a series.  I thought Jackson Pearce had written three fairy tale re-tellings unrelated outside of theme.  But after reading Sweetly and then Fathomless I realized they all tied together in the most delicious way and back-tracked to read Sisters Red.

I can't tell you how much I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Both in how it fleshed out Sweetly and Fathomless but also totally on it's own merit.  Switching between Rosie and Scarlett's point of view, Pearce weaves a compelling tale of two sisters both bound together and torn apart by a Fenris attack which sets the tone for how they live their lives from that moment out.  Once again, how she reinvents the classic Little Red Riding Hood story is intriguing.  Why the grandmother was attacked, how the woodsman ties in, and all the details about the Fenris are what make this story it's own entity, using Little Red Riding Hood as a jumping off point more than anything else.

Scarlett, Rosie and Silas have a great dynamic.  The relationships between each of them, the way they develop and the history you gradually uncover is captivating and heart breaking all at the same time.  I loved how Pearce plays each of the characters off the other so they make a perfect unit despite their individual flaws.

But the reveals!  They were great and terrible all at the same time!  There was much gasping, to the hubbies utter annoyance.  I will not lie, I was hanging on Pearce's every word, and when I had to put the book down to do boring human things, it was all I could think of.  I can't wait to have some freedom to read all three in sequence, they make such a great story arc with all sorts of unexpected threads coming together by the end.  It makes me want to stand up and cheer just thinking about it.

Utterly fantastic on its own and as part of a greater whole, Sister's Red had everything I needed in a great YA book: creepies, tension, lovable characters, and heartbreaking story arcs.  If you haven't read Sisters Red, Sweetly or Fathomless then I suggest you hurry up and correct the oversight.  Consider it a pre-Halloween treat to yourself, reading is so much less fattening the candy (unless, of course, you sit around eating candy while you read).
Sisters Red, by Jackson Pearce
Published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers, June 7th, 2012
Buy Sisters Red on Amazon