Sunday, 2 March 2014

Book Review: Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce

Hey everyone! I just finished Sisters Red and thought I'd do a review - I loved this book! I read this book for the 2014 Fur and Fangs Challenge hosted by Novel Heartbeat (also check out my challenge sign up post here). You can find the cover and Goodreads description on my Library Haul post, so I'll just jump straight in with the review. Enjoy!

What's the deal?

Sisters Red is about 2 sisters (Scarlett, the oldest, and Rosie, the youngest) who were victims of a terrible attack by a vicious Fenris (werewolf). Although Scarlett fought the Fenris off to save herself and her sister, she was left with terrible scars and an appetite for revenge. Rosie, forever indebted to Scarlett, helps her sister hunt down other Fenris to save young girls from suffering the same (or worse) fate. They also hunt with Silas (cute boy and lethal with an axe), the son of a woodsman who is estranged from his family. Although they live (reasonably happily) in a small town, the three travel to Atlanta to suss out why the Fenris packs are joining forces, and what they're looking for. This is where the action goes down (in more ways than one).

How does it work?

The book is told in first person narrative, and is split between Rosie and Scarlett's perspectives. The exception to this is the prologue and epilogue, which are both told in the third person. The main section of the book happens in a very short period of time, and because of this the action seems more urgent, the atmosphere tense. The story is quite fast paced (in that a lot happens in short bursts), but it also has enough passages about mundane everyday stuff (like shopping and taking classes) to make it more realistic, in the sense that you can imagine this type of thing happening in the city you live in. And of course, fighting werewolves isn't the only action (but if you want to know more, you'll have to read the book).

The tone of the book is quite, well, there's a lot of angst, put it that way. There's palpable tension, first between Silas and Rosie, then between Silas and Rosie AND Scarlett, and then there's less tension and more action. There's quite a few twists and turns too. I guessed a few things at the beginning of the book, then it turned out I was wrong as new info was uncovered, THEN even more happened and it turned out nothing was as you thought at all. I tell you what! I was welling up towards the end as well and then ANOTHER twist happened. You never knew what was going down with this one (in a good way though). The prologue and epilogue were good as well, with the prologue setting the scene and helping you to understand the characters motivations, and the epilogue providing what I thought was a very bittersweet ending. It was also interesting to see both sisters points of view, as it showed just how much they differed, but also how similar they were. Two halves of the same heart and all that (seriously, read it).

Completely Loved:
  • Werewolves. The Fenris in this book are different to the "normal" variety found in most werewolf books. They kind of seem like a cross between werewolves and shape-shifters (evil monsters who can turn any time of day or night). Pearce's wolves are edgy and dangerous, and seem more thrilling than traditional ones. It's a new and exciting concept.
  • Silas. Who doesn't love a bit of eye candy who can hold his own in a fight against supernatural creatures? I imagine him to be the mysterious, smouldering, sexy type. And the boy can wield an axe too...
  • The whole plot of this book was fun and interesting, with the darker bits and uplifting bits balancing each other out. I was totally gripped from start to finish.
  • I also liked the concept of the cover. I thought how all the bits melt into each other was a really cool idea.
Not so much:
  • Silas and Scarlett are hunting partners. Best Friends. I loved that relationship, which makes a few pages (and one particular part of the backstory which is revealed there) about 3/4 of the way through not so good for me. I'd hoped Silas WOULDN'T be the sort of guy to jump from his crush to the "next-best-thing" type scenario.
  • In the same area of the book, Rosie seems to become whiny and clingy again. She has some great character development throughout the course of the book and I get why she's upset in this particular part, but she's spent 3/4 of the book trying to prove that she's strong, confident and independent and, for me, her character was sort of undermined in those few chapters.


"I am confident, I am capable, and I will not wait to be rescued by a woodsman or a hunter" - Rosie. I like this quote because I think it's here that I as a reader realised that Rosie is just as strong as Scarlett, and she's not just the little sister anymore.

"My sister has the heart of an artist with a hatchet and an eye patch. And I, we both now know, have a heart that is undeniably, irreparably different" - Rosie.

"I follow, always, because it's the only time when I'm certain, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that we are one person broken in two" - Rosie.

Final Thoughts

I give Sisters Red 4 out of 5. It was an enjoyable and well paced read, and kept me hooked throughout. There was a brilliant mix of action and romance that meant I was never bored waiting for something to happen. I very much enjoyed the rather unique spin on the "tried-and-tested" themes of werewolves and fairytales, and I now really want to read Pearce's other books.

Thanks for reading guys and I hope you enjoyed it! Next post will be a February wrap up/March goals type thing. See you next time!

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