Fairy tales are everything, and fairy tale retellings are even better, but only when the author takes that tale and stamps their mark on it. Even if it means really changing up the story. I think what attracted me to Pearce is the fairy tales she picked. You tend to expect Snow White, Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast, it’s our fairy tale association. Princesses. So it made a refreshing change that the first in these books was Red Riding Hood.
We open the book with a fairy tale seven years ago setting us up with the original attack on the children and grandma. Sisters Red centres on sisters Ruby and Scarlett who have become hunters protecting their small hometown of Ellison from the predators that walk among them. They are also helped by returning family friend Silas who is part of the huntsman family. After practically being raised together they are no strangers to what’s lurking in the woods and how to stop them. Silas and Scarlett are old hunting partners and there is still a bit of anger residing in Scarlett once he returns.
With hatchets and knifes flying left, right and centre this book really reminded me a lot of Anna dressed in blood, there was lots of hunts and fights taking place, through this we learn who they are, how they’ve learnt to hunt and track down and most importantly lure the wolves in. Speaking of I loved Pearces take on the wolves, or fenris as they’re called, the description of how they change, their greasy fur, burning eyes and rancid smells. Far from the usual wolves you’ll find stalking the night.
The story switches between both sisters which really gives you an insight into who they really are, Scarlett has been left scarred both physically and mentally and growing up as a hunter and protector is her be all and end all. It’s what she lives for, its her purpose that drives her. And this is her greatest downfall, because she’s been left so horribly scarred it’s a daily reminder of what she lost, what’s out there and why she can’t have a normal life. Ruby on the other hand is younger and remembers little of the attack. Scarlett constantly wants to protect her yet on the other hand expects Ruby to feel the same way about hunting as she does, which is hard when your over protective sister doesn’t let you prove yourself and hunt alone.
Things change for the sisters when more wolves start to come to town and they realise that the different wolf packs are searching for the Potential. This is another positive, Pearce has made how people become wolves her own. Their new mission takes the girls out of their comfort zone as they move from their sleepy home town to the big city. This book easily could have stayed where it was, but changing up the location added a new angle of interest. It challenged everything the three of them knew about hunting, they had to adapt and change. Suddenly it’s not so easy to lure a fenris when they have their pick of girls spilling out of bars.
I did guess very early on where this story heading with regards to the Potential but that didn’t take away from the story, because it’s a rare occurrence no one knows what makes a Potential exactly that, they’re working blind spending endless hours researching whatever they can to keep ahead of the wolf packs. During this story we see the sisters being challenged internally. Scarlett struggles with not being able to hunt like she used to and Ruby gets a taste of freedom, of a life other than hunt, lure and kill. See you in the next post.