SISTERS RED, BY JACKSON PEARCE published June 2010, by Little, Brown Books (Hardcover 328 pages)
OVERALL RATING: 5/5
Synopsis (from the book jacket): 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?
Sisters Red is a dark twist on the fairy tale we've all known since we were children. Jackson Pearce takes the old story and makes it unrecognizable, swathing the wolf into a race of deadly werewolves called the Fenris, transporting the setting to Atlanta, and transforming the ignorant girl in red into two sisters with tragic pasts and some very bad-ass fighting skills.
It's been a while since I've read a paranormal book as amazing as this one! First off, I love the March sisters-- so much that I couldn't even say which one I loved more, Rosie or Scarlett. Scarlett is a fearless bad-ass with major direction-- she wants nothing more than to destroy all the Fenris in the world in order to keep girls like she and her sister safe. Sound a little familiar? Yes, she's a bit like Buffy from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but plus an eye patch and minus the occasionally annoying tendency to fall in love with her prey (or predators, as the case may be :) ). More than that, I loved her strong bond with Rosie and how the sisters are half-convinced they 'share the same heart'. Rosie is similar to Scarlett in some ways, and very different in others. Scarlett is obsessed with the hunting of Fenris-- it's her passion, her life. But Rosie has within her the desire for a normal life, the capacity to fall in love-- with Silas, a young woodsman, the sisters' oldest friend, and their only companion when they leave their small town behind in order to face the bulk of the Fenris who are gathering en masse in the city.
The romance between Rosie and Silas progresses beautifully-- with great intensity and much sweetness. Silas is awesome, because he's just so more realistic than the guys I often read about in YA paranormal. There wasn't any point in the book when I sort of snorted to myself and said, 'No guy would say that!' I confess I found myself flipping forward through the pages, eager to see when Rosie's next chapter started and if Silas was in it. Yes, Sisters Red has dual narrators, so we can easily get into both the sisters' heads. As for the Fenris (aka werewolves), they're baad. No cuddly wolves or Jacob Blacks here-- these wolves congregate in packs and their sole desire in... eternity-- they're immortal unless slayed by a certain pair of sisters-- is to lure away and devour young girls. As a mythology/folklore nerd, I can say that I love the cleverness of the Fenris mythology nearly as much as I loved the way the story unfolded.
And... once again, I have an upcoming sequel to mention. Sweetly, Jackson Pearce's companion to Sisters Red will be released in June of 2011. It's a retelling of another Grimm tale: Hansel and Gretel. Check out Jackson Pearce's latest blog post to get the full scoop on Sweetly.