Tuesday, May 24, 2011

REVIEW: Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce

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've had Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce on my shelves for a long time unread. I'm not sure if the paranormal aspects of it was the reason (I swing wildly between loving and hating books with vampires and werewolves etc) or if the controversy that came up about some of the more (I thought) minor aspects of the book was putting me off. Once I started planning my Fairy Tale week, I knew for certain that it had become time to see for myself what I thought of this book.

And I have to say, I really enjoyed it. I thought it was immensely readable. Whenever I put Sisters Red down, I always wanted to get back into it straight away. And despite some feelings of discomfort surrounding the controversial bits, it wasn't nearly enough to stop me from enjoying the characters, the action, the romance or the storyline.

Sisters Red is a very loose retelling of the fairy tale, Little Red Riding Hood. But Jackson Pearce mixed it up quite a bit and in this story, we meet two sisters, Scarlett and Rosie. When they are both quite young, the two girls are at their grandmother's house when a werewolf attacks. In order to protect her sister and herself, Scarlett stands to fight the werewolf head on.

Years later, and Scarlett and Rosie are 18 and 16 and are no longer innocent young girls. They've spent their lives training and fighting in order to rid their town of werewolves. Together, with a neighbour boy, Silas, the three make a pretty intimidating trio with their fighting and weapons expertise. But the scars, both emotional and physical, that Scarlett carry after that first bloody werewolf attack has changed her. She sees only the hunt and the fight and can't fathom why or how anyone else who knows the danger that werewolves pose can do or focus on anything else.

Rosie doesn't feel the same way, but her gratitude towards Scarlett for saving her life at the cost of so much makes her feel beholden to her sister. Her love for her sister keeps her from living the life that she longs for. When more werewolves swarm the area and begin causing more trouble, Scarlett, Rosie and Silas move to the city in order to cause maximum damamge. And while some of the research during this part of the story is a little tedious, it is balanced out a bit with Rosie's attempts at widening her hobbies from knife-throwing to making out with Silas and taking classes at a local community centre.

There is lots of wonderful fighting scenes within the book. Very brutal and gory, Pearce didn't shy away from blood or causing injury to her main characters. It was pretty awesome, really. But fighting scenes and action aside, I thought the thing that grabbed my interest the most is the relationships between the two sisters and the relationship of each sister with Silas. I loved the complex nature of their friendships and this bond between sisters. Also, I found the growing love interest between Silas and Rosie to be incredibly sweet and though the 'twist' is something I could see coming, I still loved the build-up towards the end.

I'm really glad that I finally read this book!


  1. Great review, sounds like a really interesting read.

  2. I hate to think how long this book has been on my shelf. I think the controversy surrounding it stopped me for quite some time.

  3. Jenni - Thank you, it was an interesting book to read! I'll look forward to Jackson Pearce's new novel, Sweetly even more now!

    Vivienne - Everything surrounding it really made me nervous before reading it but I only felt slightly uncomfortable during some minor parts of the story, is all.

  4. This sounds fascinating! Might I ask, what controversy was there? Because I haven't heard anything and would love to know!

  5. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book when I read it. I liked Rosie and Silas a lot, but I really felt for Scarlett - she was so duty-bound and protective, but just wanted to be a teen.
    Nice review!

  6. Mflick1 - I'm with you, it really surprised me how much I felt for these characters as well!

  7. I loved this book, so so much., I need to buy my own copy as I know its one ill rad again and I only got it out the library! (which should tell you how much I loved this book! lol)
    Glad you did too! great review :) x

  8. Raimy - Wow, that is a lot of love for this book :) I think now I'm just waiting to read Jackson Pearce's new offering, Sweetly!


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