Sunday, October 30, 2011

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?
I do love the idea of fairy tale re-tellings.  There's this element of nostalgia attached to them + the anticipation of finding something new and exciting in an old, oft-heard tale.
Sisters Red is, you guessed it, Red Riding Hood retold. With kickass heroines and a lot of originality.
      “I am confident, I am capable, and I will not wait to be rescued by a woodsman or a hunter.” 


The Sisters. Scarlett and Rosie's gruesome ordeal with a werewolf in their childhood shaped their futures. Hardened by their past, they thrive on killing werewolves, eliminating their evil from the world. They fight alongside and find comfort in it. In that, they share one heart. But Jackson Pearce tells their story in dual PoVs. And with that she lays down two individuals, so similar, yet so utterly different from each other. Scarlett, 18, scarred and so tough, who won't rest until the world is rid of every single Fenris. Rosie, 16, who adores her sister and would follow her till the end of the world, but secretly wishes for a life beyond the continuous hunts. Pearce skillfully digs into the nuances of this sibling bond, while exploring their very different personalities and the underlying insecurities beyond the tough exterior. Oh, the sisters  March are characters to be loved and remembered. I liked reading from both their perspectives. While Scarlett's held most of the action sequences, Rosie's were interspersed with romantic musings about their woodcutter friend who is all hot-and-hunky now, of seeing more of life. I loved the juxtaposition of these two perspectives. I think it provided the perfect blend.


The Woodcutter. Silas. Their childhood friend and fellow Fenris fighter. Who had disappeared from the scene to live a different life for two years, and then arrives suddenly, setting off all kinds of thoughts in Rosie (and me). Silas is swoonworthy. Not the body-baring, brawn-flexing, sexual-innuendo-quipping kinda swoonworthy. Silas is hot, yes, but he's also so very sweet. And grounded. And real. And a woodcutter. Which means he can do things with his hands. All kinds of things. Add to the fact, that he is also able to hold intelligent conversations with his love interest. Yes, swoonworthy.


The Werewolves. They are called Fenris. And they are EVIL. Very, very evil. And yes, some of them are perfectly angelic looking, but the girls don't go oh-i-don't-care-how-bad-you-are-you-are-hot-i-love-you. Nah, they aren't that easily deceived. They have common sense enough to know that behind the face-and-the-flex lie the fangs and the lust and the desire to kill. So they kick ass. And they kick so hard they could give Buffy a run for her money. 


The Magic. I may be tired of the regular paranormal romance, but I love myself a good urban fantasy. I love magic. I love stories with magic. And for me, the paranormal element here, didn't feel very paranormal-ish. It felt magical. Now, magic can be the good, the bad, the ugly, or perhaps, the gray. Scarlett and Rosie's world, prowling with Fenris felt somewhat like a magical world, one that is deeply rooted in ours. And it is exactly that what makes this so worthy of being called a 'fairy tale retelling', because fairy tales above all, are magical.


The Epilogue. Wow. That is one of the classiest epilogues I've ever read. Just the right punch of bittersweet.




When you look at it, it really is a classic good vs evil story - dirty bad guys vs swashbuckling heroines. But what also sets Sisters Red apart is Jackson Pearce's willingness to create heroines that break the stereotypical mold. Scarlett is scarred and has only one eye. Which is possibly an anomaly in YA fiction scattered with shy-heroines-not-aware-of-their-extraordinary-beauty-till-a-boy-tells-them. But it's an anomaly that's required. Because it tests how much readers can accept a main character who is physically repulsive. And Rosie? Yeah, pretty girl she is and one tough chica, too. That quote way up there? That's hers.


I absolutely ADORED this book. It suited my mood perfectly. Kickass, fun, and like I said, magical. I have read Jackson Pearce's As You Wish, and while I liked it, I didn't particularly love it. But with Sister Red, you can put a stamp across me as a Jackson Pearce Fan. I'm sold. I cannot wait to read her other Fairy Tale Retellings. She has what it takes to write one with punch.


What's a fairy tale you want to see retold?

10 comments:

Riv Re said...

*waves* Hi Bee,
I just discovered your blog through Shelli at Market My Words. It's awesome.
Question: Do you by any chance like Tom Felton? Glancing around your blog, I got a bit of an inkling... ;)
By the way, I can totally sympathize with you about your inspiration faery. Or fairy. Whatever it is. I like fairies. :P

Can't wait to read more from you!
~Riv Re

Julianna said...

Great review! I'll have to check it out. For the longest time I wanted them to retell Rapunzel...but Disney did that. Although, I think it could definitely be improved upon. Sleeping Beauty could use a good overhaul too. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Rida said...

I love fairy retellings, too- and Sisters Red looks especially kickass. I'm ordering this one at the librsry now :)

Kathy Bradey said...

Fairytale retellings are my favorite! I'd like to see some lesser known fairytales retold like The Emperor's New Clothes or Rumpelstiltskin!

Victoria Lindstrom said...

Thanks for the great book review! I'm so glad Shelli Johannes offered the "shout-outs", that's how I found you. Looking forward to checking in on your great blog!
Take care ~ Victoria

E. Arroyo said...

Great review. Found you at Shelli's shout out.

E.R. King said...

Convincing review. I'm going to have to read this. I love all the components, especially the retelling of a fairy tale. I'm sold! (New follower)

Angie said...

Wow, this is a great review. I had read an earlier one that wasn't quite as nice and I wish that I had ignored it. Putting it on my TBR list now. :)

Inspired Kathy said...

I need to read this. Great review.

Medeia Sharif said...

I have Sisters Red, but of course haven't read it yet since I have a massive TBR pile. I adore retellings. :)

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