Monday, June 7, 2010

Review - Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce

Summary: 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 fiercely alongside her. Now Rosie dreams of a life beyond the wolves and finds herself drawn to Silas, a young woodsman who is deadly with an ax-- but loving him means betraying her sister and has the potential to destroy all they've worked for.

Review: Warning. Spoilers Ahead.

I wanted to like this book. I really did. Being a fan of the Fables series I was excited at the prospect of a fairy tale retelling. Unfortunately, I was bitterly disappointed. Actually, at points I was downright angry.

It didn’t help that I hated the character of Rosie from the very moment she appeared on the page. Her sister Scarlett is physically disfigured and emotionally tormented from a Fenris attack when they were children and has made it her life’s work to defend mankind, yet Rosie’s main concern throughout most of the book is cooking, grocery shopping, and her blossoming romance with Silas.

Their romance is thrust upon the reader from the moment they meet with little explanation as to WHY they are suddenly so in love with each other. Silas and Rosie are smitten literally from first sight, so the only thing we have to base their relationship on is Rosie’s much lauded beauty. Rosie moons over Silas, which is understandable for a girl falling in love for the first time. However, this continues ad nauseam throughout the entire book until I found myself wishing for the death of Silas, a character I didn’t really dislike (actually he was so bland I still don’t have any strong feelings toward him) just so she’d shut up.

Everything about the novel just felt forced. To me, the best stories make you forget that there is even an author at all, that there is someone behind the scenes who has created this world and these characters that you’ve suddenly lost yourself in. In Sisters Red I felt every move Pearce made. She seemed so determined to have the characters do exactly what she wanted that they seemed to go through the motions without any soul behind the story. The characters were just words on a page to me. I never really felt myself caring what happened to any of them, even Scarlett who began with so much potential.

Rosie is clearly the Pearce’s favorite of the two sisters, as she seemed to tell most of this dual point of view story. I kept waiting for Scarlett to get some semblance of a storyline of her own, but the novel was quickly and conveniently wrapped up when Rosie receives her “fairy tale ending,” while Scarlett is in the exact same position she was when the novel began. You can’t help but draw the conclusion that the moral of this story is that beauty is everything and, in the end, Scarlett is punished for being disfigured.

Lit Snit Verdict: D

I wish I could muster something more positive to say about Sisters Red, but I just couldn’t get into this one at all. The concept was interesting, however, it just missed the mark for me. I’d recommend picking up a few issues of Fables and saving yourself the time and energy.

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