Tuesday 22 July 2014

Book Review - Sister's Red

Sister's Red
Author: Jackson Pearce
Series: Fairytales Retellings #1
Genres: Paranormal, Fantasy | Young Adult
Release Date: 7th June 2010
Publishers: Little Brown Books
No. Pages: 328
Source: Purchased
Buy From: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes and Noble | Waterstones
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 axe and Scarlett's only friend - but does loving him mean betraying her sister and all that they've worked for?

When I got my Mum to choose a book for me to read, I was pretty surprised when she chose Sister's Red, because at the time, I was suffering the cruel wait of another Red Riding Hood retelling, Scarlet, so the idea of reading something so alike and so different was quite unnerving, however, Sister's Red started off extremely strong and with a fantastic opening. Sadly, it didn't stick around and it was soon overrun with moping, lots of woe is me and 'but you're beautiful' and a very romance which although I liked it, was literally everywhere.

Let me start with the features I actually enjoyed about Sister's Red. The family element throughout this book was strong and was always important; Scarlet's need to protect Rosie from their past and their future together, her love and care was really noticeable, especially when she became an overbearing control freak who basically wouldn't allow Rosie to breathe without asking permission first, but as a whole, it was an apparent feature and I appreciated that. I also appreciated the feel that came with Silas considering Scarlet and Rosie his family; Pearce covered some tough subject such as the Dementia/Alzheimers and she executed them pretty well, at least, what was involved and Silas life choices and decisions were remnant of those features. I also admit, I found the writing to be quite enjoyable, it flowed easily and well between the perspectives and it really didn't feel I had to put too effort into reading it at all and I also, to my own shame, found the romance to be pretty darn adorable. I'm a sucker for romance at the highest order and it was lovely to see the slow-burn, awkward nature of their romance become something sweet, cute and pretty lovely, to stolen kisses in secret to Silas teaching and showing Rosie she can have a life other than hunting, which was lovely, until it started to take over the plot, but as a whole, it was enjoyable.

Now we move onto what I didn't particularly like, starting with Scarlet. Now don't get me wrong, Scarlet isn't the only perspective here and to be honest, I was so very thankful for that because she drove me around the bend so much I just wanted to take her face and smash it into a wall. I completely understood that she was meant to be a damaged character, flawed and affected by her past, both physically and emotionally, but really, getting annoyed because your sister kissed your best friend, saying some absolutely damn right cruel things to both of these two characters and even considering murder so you could get your sister back because she owed you her life? Hold up a minute sister, you saved her life, you didn't create her to be your little puppet, you need to let go a little and let her live. Scarlet frustrated me more than I could ever have imagined and it seems almost crazy to think I actually preferred her perspective during the first third of this book, but there's creating a charcater with flaws that you can dislike in bursts and then there's creating a character that makes you wish you could claw out her other eye instead. One feature I did like about Scarlet that Pearce worked on was the fact that she was in some ways disabled and I think it's something you don't quite see often enough in young adult literature, and while I do think it was done to create a weakness in the fight scenes, it was still important and was executed well. What else didn't I like? The extremely predictable plot that I had already figured out just by reading the blurb, yes, that's the other huge feature I disliked. Now don't get me wrong, the synopsis doesn't quite spell it out to you across the sky like mine did, but as soon as you get a sniff of a mention of an 'important person that could change the whole plot' than it's pretty easy to see where this story goes which I found highly frustrating. I found I was skimming paragraphs that I didn't find important and could have written myself merely out of guessing the direction and that's not something I appreciate in books. If you're creating a mystery, a guess notion and a something to shock people, at least make it less damn predictable, that's all I ask.

Don't get me wrong, this book had one very good thing going for it and it was that Pearce didn't hold back on the action scenes which as clear as daylight while reading them, they were crisp, clear, gruesome and full of movement and rage and I thoroughly ended this, however, I expected more than just the usual scenes when it came to the final battle which of course ended up a little disappointing. I feel like the character development of Rosie was lost amongst the romance and her overbearing sister and I really felt like there was a lot missing from this story, most especially the entertainment factor and the need to keep me reading. I will be continuing with the retellings series as I already own Sweetly, but my expectations are pretty low and and recommendations for this book are pretty slim, so if you have it and are considering it soon, maybe give yourself no expectations and try it then.


  1. Awww, sad you didn't like this one a lot! (I think I gave it 4-stars?? Heck, I don't even remember.) BUT ANYWAY. I agree it was a bit cliche and predictable at times. I knew it'd be Silas. It was a bit obvious I think. Heh. But I think Scarlet and Rosie's relationship was just golden for being sisters...buuuut it just doesn't stand very well against Scarlet by Marissa Meyer. OH, THAT book I love to pieces. XD

    1. I fear it may because I thought it was predictable, but also because I desperately wanted to read Scarlet. I will try to read the other ones soon, I have Sweetly and have heard some are better, so we shall see :P

  2. I'm sorry this didn't work for you, Amanda! I haven't read this yet, but it's on my TBR, so who knows if I'll ever reach it, to be perfectly honest. Either way, thank you for your fantastic and comprehensive review. :)

  3. Sorry this one didn't work for me, although it does make me happy that I never picked this up. I just always felt like it was a book I wouldn't end up liking and after reading your review, I definitely feel like I was right. Scarlett sounds like the most infuriating character... EVER! I wouldn't be able to stand reading her POV, it would drive me crazy.

    1. Didn't work for me? What planet am I on tonight. Didn't work for you is what I meant. Although, it definitely wouldn't have worked for me, haha.


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