Sunday 27 March 2011

RED RIDING HOOD by Sarah Blakley-Cartwright

A literary novelisation of the hit Warner Brothers film directed by Catherine Hardwicke and starring Amanda Seyfried.

Valerie is in love with the dangerous and unlikable Peter (a woodcutter, of course) but is betrothed to the rich hot blacksmith in town, Henry.

Their town has been terrorized by a wolf a wolf that appears only at the full moon and when Valerie's sister is brutally murdered the message is clear: she's next.

I was looking forward to reading this book, because I've always loved the Red Riding Hood story and was looking forward to reading a retelling with a new twist.

Valerie lives in the town of Daggorhorn with her sister and her parents. They live within a fortress to keep the Wolf from entering their town, and instead offer him a 'sacrifice' every month. Valerie's strong and different, doesn't care as much about boys as her sister and friends. Well, not until a boy from her past--Peter--appears again. She's pretty much tempted by him right away, but is soon betrothed to Henry.

When her sister is killed by the Wolf, a dangerous cycle begins and Father Solomon--a determined werewolf hunter--pops in to help them out. Slowly a very dark and hidden secret is revealed...and Valerie gets caught in the middle of it.

I really enjoyed the beginning of this book, and got swept up in the story. I liked Valerie right away and also the mystery. I couldn't wait to find out who the Wolf really was, and kept suspecting one person, and then another. However, as soon as Peter entered the scene, I found my interest waver. All of a sudden, Valerie seems to make strange decisions that I found a little out of character, even considering what falling in love can do to someone, it just didn't seem to fit.

After that, I lost interest and couldn't follow any of the characters. Also, although the story was well written, the unexpected head-hopping kept pulling me out of the story's flow. Oh, and the fact that the book ends but there's mention of a 'bonus chapter available on the website' made the experience even less fulfilling. I didn't like that without reading this 'bonus chapter' you don't even find out who the Wolf is.

Red Riding Hood is a tension-filled thriller with a lot of twists and turns, but ultimately, I wasn't as bewitched by it as I'd hoped I'd be.

Red Riding Hood, March 2011, ISBN 9781907410826, Atom Paperback

M&SRC books read: 8/12

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