Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Sisters Red has a lot of things I like in a novel; great writing, intriguing premise, and tons of potential to blow my mind. It's also a fairy tale re-telling, which is one of my favourite genres. I love seeing how authors change up fairy tales into something new. Plus it has a pretty sweet cover. It's simple, but nice at the same time.
When I first read Sisters Red, I was immediately sucked in. The prologue is dark, gritty, and reminded me very much of Little Red Riding Hood. It really helped set the tone that this would be a dark novel and that Pearce wasn't afraid of killing innocent people.
However, once the story shifts to the present, since the prologue takes place seven years ago, the intensity of the prologue gets lost in translation. There are still people who get killed and the Fenris do seem scary, but by the middle of the book it seemed like the story was at a standstill. The novel does pick up again, but the ending becomes a bit clichéd. It is a fairy tale retelling, so it makes sense, but after the prologue I was expecting something different, especially given how dark it was.
I won't go over the plot too much, since there are a lot of reviews that include that, but I'll just mention some quick points of the novel.
Like I said before, the writing is crisp and has a nice flow to it. Pearce is a talented writer and she clearly knows what she's doing. There were times when I did get bored, this happened in the middle of the book, but the writing kept me in.
Even though I couldn't relate to Scarlett March all that much, I did like her as a character. I feel like she'd be one of those characters that you'd either love or hate, because she's so polarizing. She's incredibly complex and different. Instead of being a traditional beautiful heroine, she's scarred and only has one eye. Because of this, she feels like the only thing she has in life is hunting. She doesn't believe she can do anything else, especially with the way she looks. She is very focused and has a one track mind, but because of her circumstance it did make sense.
I also liked the contrast between Scarlett and Rosie. Scarlett is very hard, but Rosie is the opposite. She's soft, has moments where she's a bit tstl, but she wants more than hunting in her life. The sisters do love each other, but they depend on each other to live. Scarlett lives through Rosie sometimes and Rosie feels like she can never repay Scarlett for saving her life. The dynamic between the two was interesting to watch.
The story is told in two viewpoints, Scarlett and Rosie. They both have distinctive voices and different things they focus on.
The setting of the novel was in modern times, but there were times when I felt like it wasn't. There are cars, guns, and the Price is Right, but there were times when it felt like that didn't matter and that the world was the world before.
The romance between Rosie and Silas seemed a bit forced and only happened because Rosie doesn't have much interaction with men who are just human. I kind of wished that Silas and Scarlett were a couple, just because I wanted to see her not be full of rage. Plus, it would have helped her see that there is more to life than hunting and that she's just as beautiful as any other girl. Instead, two pretty people hook up and the one who is scarred is left to be the third wheel.
I liked Rosie, but her sections of the novel was mostly about her feelings towards Silas. Plus, after fighting Fenris for so long, it kind of makes me wonder why she keeps forgetting to take her knives with her when she goes out. The age difference didn't bother me, since despite it's modern setting it felt like this world was set back in the day.
I did wish for the characters to grow a bit and while they are developed, they are a bit one note in their actions. Scarlett only cares about hunting, protecting Rosie and Silas, as a best friend and hunting partner. Rosie wants to help Scarlett, but wants to do other things...like make out with Silas. Rosie does grow a bit, which is great. But Scarlett is pretty much the same throughout the book.
I found the logic to finding Potential Fenris to be a bit too much. It's kind of a spoiler so I won't post it here, but if you do want to read it then you can visit my Goodreads' review for it. Just click here.[In order to be a potential Fenris, you have to be the seventh son of a seventh son and the werewolves need to get you on your seventh year.
This is definitely not impossible, but Scarlett and Rosie have killed more than a hundred Fenris from the time they learned about them to the end of the book. Remember, this is set in modern times...modern times where people don't really have kids. Back home in Africa, there are people still popping out babies. I have relatives who have a lot of kids. It's hot there, so there is probably not much to do but have kids, but in America? It's hard finding couples that have more than two kids, let alone finding someone who is the seventh son of a seventh son.
The amount of Fenris killed by Scarlett, Rosie, and Silas would make a huge dent to their population. The fact that the Fenris don't realize that there are people killing their own and it's all situated in one place is mind boggling. The Fenris, despite their lack of soul, are smart. So I don't know how they could overlook this. (hide spoiler)]
The spoiler goes back to the setting, if this was set some 100 years ago it might have made sense, but it just isn't all that plausible, to me, for this to happen in this day and age.
I know, it may seem like such a minor detail, but I couldn't get passed it.
I did like the book, despite the logic of some things. Pearce is incredibly creative to create this world and the characters. I think making Scarlett so scarred and angry was a brave thing to do. But, I was expecting something a bit more so I was slightly disappointed. Still a good novel though. I hope Sweetly is just as good, if not better.
Rating: 3.5 stars