I picked up Sisters Red after hearing a pretty great review of it on another book reviewing blog. I bought it a few weeks ago and just now got around to reading it. My reaction? I love almost everything about this book.
You'll often hear avid readers getting "book hangovers," meaning basically that after they've finished the book, they have trouble starting a new one or thinking about anything besides the book they have just finished because they're still in that world. As many good books as I read, I don't usually experience that as much anymore. I still often find my mind going back to a good story or book that I really enjoyed, but I don't often have trouble breaking away from thinking only about a particular story for a day or two after I've finished it. But I definitely experienced that with Sisters Red. Long after I'd finished it, I was still poring over the tale and everything that had happened within it.
Sisters Red is the shared story of Rosie and Scarlett March. When they were children a werewolf (or Fenris, as they're called by those who are familiar with them) attacked them, killing the grandmother who raised them as well as taking Scarlett's eye and leaving scars all over her body. To save herself and her sister, Scarlett killed the beast; and ever since, she has had an all-consuming passion to hunt Fenris so that no one else has to suffer the way she and her sister have.
When a good friend of the sisters and an excellent woodsman and Fenris hunter, Silas, returns from a long family visit in California, things start changing. Not only does Rosie suddenly find herself drawn to the woodsman, she also begins to guiltily dream of a life where she isn't constantly fighting Fenris. But, more immediately, something is changing about the Fenris. They're getting bolder and more numerous, drifting into territory they had long abandoned. As more and more lives come in contact with the murderous creatures, the three are going to have to come up with a plan to take them on and fast. Otherwise, they could lose a lot more than they already have.
A modern and incredibly well-done spin on the old Red Riding Hood tale, Sisters Red was a compelling read from the very start. Not once did I lose interest or feel the tale was moving either too slow or too fast. Pearce did a fantastic job at pacing her story just right, as well as creating characters that the reader can identify and empathize with.
In particular, the relationships Pearce portrays really struck a cord with me. The loyalty between Rosie, Scarlett, and Silas was beautiful and the fierce love that each portrayed for the others was absolutely stunning. Their love for each other was probably the thing I loved most about this book. No matter how much fighting there was or how high the tension got, you never once doubted that each would do anything to protect the others and I cannot say enough how beautiful that is to me.
I would definitely suggest this to everyone, particularly lovers of fairy tales. It was an all-around wonderful book and I will definitely be snatching up the next Jackson Pearce novel I see. I'm thinking her Hansel and Gretel retelling looks like just the right book to be the next addition to my bookshelf.
[Click here for my review of book 2: Sweetly and book 3: Fathomless]
The plan forms in my mind slowly, more like a tide coming in than a wave crashing over me. I am confident, I am capable, and I will not wait to be rescued by a woodsman or a hunter. I will escape.