Sunday 5 September 2010

SISTERS RED by Jackson Pearce

The story of Scarlett and Rosie March, two highly-skilled sisters who have been hunting Fenris (werewolves) who prey on teen girls since Scarlett lost her eye years ago while defending Rosie in an attack. Scarlett lives to destroy the Fenris, and she and Rosie lure them in with red cloaks (a colour the wolves can’t resist), though Rosie hunts more out of debt to her sister than drive.

But things seem to be changing. The wolves are getting stronger and harder to fight, and there has been a rash of news reports about countless teenage girls being brutally murdered in the city. Scarlett and Rosie soon discover the truth: wolves are banding together in search of a Potential Fenris a man tainted by the pack but not yet fully changed.

Desperate to find the Potential to use him as bait for a massive werewolf extermination, the sisters move to the city with Silas, a young woodsman and long time family friend who is deadly with an axe. Meanwhile, Rosie finds herself drawn to Silas and the bond they share not only drives the sisters apart, but could destroy all they’ve worked for...

This awesome book is a contemporary, loose retelling of the well known fairy tale, Little Red Riding Hood. Which happens to be one of my favourites. 

Scarlett and Rosie March are sisters. Scarlett is a few years older than Rosie and has always been very protective of her. So much that Scarlett saved her sister's life from a Fenris (a werewolf), and lost her right eye, as well as suffered permanent scarring to the right side of her face and body. 

After that incident, Scarlett's life took only one meaning, led her down only one path: hunting these horrible werewolves. It's the only thing that keeps her going, her drive, her passion, her life. It's her duty to exterminate these creatures from the town of Ellison.

Rosie is sixteen and feels like she owes her sister her life. They live together in their grandmother's cottage and even hunt together. Scarlett's a little over-protective, and as much as Rosie wants to prove herself as a hunter, she usually winds up being the pretty bait. The Fenris love to hunt and kill pretty girls. But Rosie wants more from life. And that becomes a lot clearer when Silas returns to their lives.

Silas is older than Scarlett and has been away in San Francisco, but when he returns he turns their lives upside down. See, he used to be Scarlett's hunting partner, but now that he's back he and Rosie seem to be attracted to each other and find it hard to stay focused on only the hunt. They both want more, but are too scared to tell Scarlett about it because neither wants to disappoint/hurt her.

When they head into the city to take out the Fenris packs that seem to be merging so that they can find the Potential, the lives of all three change in dramatic and unexpected ways that both weaken and strengthen their individual lives, as well as the bonds that tie them together. It all unravels very quickly, leading to an end that was absolutely stunning!

There are a few running themes in this wonderful story, but my favourite was that between the sisters. They're so close, so much that they believe they share a heart. Scarlett wants to protect her younger sister with so much tenacity that she becomes overbearing. Rosie wants to support her older sister so much that she's pretty much prepared to forfeit her own life in order to hunt beside her. Neither wants to intentionally hurt the other, but because they want to help and love each other so fiercely, it's bound to lead to heartbreak.

Sisters Red was a fascinating, fast-paced book that got my heart pumping a little more with every chapter. It's told in a very unique way, alternating between the POV of both Scarlett and Rosie, at first slowly mounting the tension, but reaching a fever-pitch pace towards the end. This action-packed adventure also has heart. A lot of it. The emotion between these characters was intoxicating, twisted, and satisfying.

This book was outstanding! I absolutely loved it.

Sisters Red, August 2010, ISBN 9781444901474, Hodder Children's Books

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