This review was written as a guest review for stackofhardbacks.blogspot.com.
I’m not going to lie – I have a really hard time getting into and enjoying fairytale retellings. Most of the time, they come off as forced and it feels as though the author is stretching his/her characters and story line so that they fit into the fairytale story arc. That being said, I’ve been putting off picking up Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce for a very long time – nothing against the author herself… I just haven’t had the best track record when it comes to retellings. I found Sisters Red in the bargain section of a book website and after hearing all of the amazing rave reviews from my bookish friends, I decided to give it a chance… and Oh. My. God. I was totally blown away.
As you can probably guess, Sisters Red is a retelling of the Little Red Riding Hood but in a modern setting with two main characters. The March Sisters, Scarlett and Rosie, live in a world filled with girl hunting werewolves named Fenris. After the Fenris rip apart Scarlett and Rosie’s lives, the two embark on a lifelong mission to rid the world of the monsters, one by one. The girls being to notice that the Fenris are deviating from their normal behavior and, when the number of murders in a nearby city begin to sky rocket, they decide to move there to figure out why.
First and foremost, Pearce’s writing style is what makes Sisters Red fantastic. Unlike other fairytale retellings, Pearce doesn’t feel the need to fill her story with frilly language and outlandish characters. Though the story does deal with werewolves, it was easy to believe that it could actually happen – the Fenris could actually exist in our world, on the fringes and in the shadows of society. Pearce writes in a straight forward manner and doesn’t waste our time with unnecessary descriptions and side plots. And I really loved that.
The world building and character development was fantastic. Both aspects of the story were believable and didn’t force me to suspend reality in any way. Pearce was able to explain how the Fenris existed in “our world” without seeming like she was trying to defend or justify it to us. Pearce also split the Little Red Riding Hood figure into two different characters – Scarlett and Rosie. Each girl embodied a different aspect of the fairytale heroine which allowed me to get really wrapped up in their stories. And even though Scarlett frustrated the heck out of me, I could still relate to her and understand where she was coming from.
Overall, I really enjoyed Sisters Red and have given it a 4/5 stars. It was one of the best fairytale retellings that I’ve read… ever. I can’t wait to read more of Jackson Pearce’s novels!