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 fiercely alongside her. Now Rosie dreams of a life beyond the wolves and finds herself drawn to Silas, a young woodsman who is deadly with an ax - but loving him means betraying her sister and has the potential to destroy all they've worked for.
If you are a fan of dark urban fantasy, Sisters Red is a book for you. The Fenris are not your average werewolves; they are darker, fiercer, more sexually predatorial. The way that Scarlett and Rosie lure, nay tempt, the Fenris into pursuing them before they slay them was darkly fascinating. This is a seductive and gritty take on "Little Red Riding Hood."
The relationship that Scarlett and her sister, Rosie, share is also fascinating. Joking that they shared a womb, though were born years apart, and thus are really two halves of one heart, the love triangle in this book is not so much about the guy. In a non-sexual way, Scarlett loves her sister to the point of obsession. Rosie is all she has left. Rosie is the only one she can count on to love her.
When Silas returns and he and Rosie start to fall in love, they both feel guilty. They both love Scarlett. Yet, they can't deny their feelings for each other. Yet, Rosie also feels tied to Scarlett...it devastates her when she believes the bond is broken. Silas also loves Scarlett, but not as he loves Rosie.
Balancing this enthralling set of relationships with the hunting and slaying of slathering creatures, Pearce has written an impressively modern fairy tale. It is realistic, yet still brims with the elements that drew me to fairy tales as a child. Absolutely, more Grimm than Disney. Just the way I like my fairy tales...cautionary!
Full disclosure: ARC received at BEA 2010