Book 2 of the 100 book challenge....
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 ferociously alongside her. But even as more girls' bodies pile up in the city and the Fenris seem to be gaining power, Rosie dreams of a life beyond the wolves. She finds herself drawn to Silas, a young woodsman who is deadly with an ax and Scarlett's only friend—but does loving him mean betraying her sister and all that they've worked for?
I thought Pearce did an awesome job re-inventing the classic Little Red Riding Hood. Starting with page one I was riveted! I was intrigued by the "stranger" who is a wolf who attacks the two sisters and their grandmother, Oma. It was brutal and my heart broke for little Scarlett when she protected her little sister.
The story did slow down after the first twenty pages, but I imagine it would be extremely hard to keep the book that intense throughout. The sisters and their adorable friend Silas are hunters and realize that a potential werewolf (Fenris) is going to be joining the already huge mass of werewolves. They move to Atlanta desperately seeking this new "Potential." But while they are there Rosie discovers and interest in all things normal and Silas... saw it coming a mile away but ... who doesn't like a little love mixed with their werewolves?
I felt that Rosie and Silas were very predictable, normal teenage fiction characters. However, Scarlett was not. Normal heroines are startlingly beautiful and adored by everyone, not Scarlett. She has to be an 18 year old who is horribly disfigured, ultimately driving her to be a hunter and taking her little sister down the path, but still wishes that she were beautiful or not disfigured. I felt for this character, especially when she would notice anyone who didn't have a disfigurement (yep, everyone around her).
I will say that the first twist was predictable, (won't ruin it) but the second one I did not see coming, though I love a tragic ending and Pearce had a great opportunity for one but didn't do it... but it's like romance... you always appreciate the happy ending...
From the English teacher's standpoint, I would say its a great mentor text to show how to modernize a fairy tale. I also think that I have several students who would really enjoy this.
Solid 4 out 5