Once Upon a Week Review: Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Scarlett March was horribly scarred when she defended her younger sister from a Fenris (werewolf) when they were both young. They lost their beloved grandmother in the same attack. With guidance from the local woodsman, Pa Reynolds, and with Silas Reynolds as a partner, the March sisters become deadly Fenris hunters. Now that the girls are in their older teens, something has the wolves out in masses. Scarlett, Rosie, and Silas decide they can do the most damage by moving to Atlanta, the center of all this wolfish activity, and hunting there. But what bait can they use? Feminine wiles just aren't working as well here for some reason.
Oh, I'm so torn on this rating. I couldn't put the book down. Even when the trio was in the library studying, trying to figure out how to beat the wolves to whatever it is they're looking for, there was still some drama going on between them that kept me entertained. Knocking it back is the fact that I knew exactly what was going to happen. I didn't know how it was going to play out, but once I found out what the wolves were searching for, I got it. There were tons of clues scattered throughout that just kept confirming what I thought. I could have overlooked that and still kept it at four stars, but the resolution felt a little--forced? That's probably the best word. I don't want to give anything away, so I'll just say that the wolves' behavior made zero sense to me.
Scarlett was the strongest character in the story, but I just couldn't bring myself to like her. She was too focused and too intent on how her way of life was the only viable way. She accuses Rosie of being selfish, but she's completely blind to how she's being selfish by laying a huge guilt-trip on Rosie to keep her hunting. She says that she hunts the Fenris in order to protect the innocent, but really it's just about revenge and power for her. In a twisted way, it's become almost an addiction. She doesn't feel complete until she's out kicking some Fenris ass.
I liked Rosie a lot more because I could understand where she was coming from. She hunts out of a sense of obligation to her sister for saving her life. I get that. She's so lonely though. She adores Scarlett, but she's only sixteen. She wants to meet boys and dance and go to school like a normal girl. As Scarlett frequently points out though, once you come out of the cave of ignorance, there's no going back. Rosie wouldn’t do what she wanted to do, like taking fun classes at the community center, for fear of upsetting Scarlett. That started to get a little irritating, but in all honesty, I would probably have acted the same way. It's easy to get focused on the family drama and define Rosie by that, but then she hunts some Fenris down and reminds you that she's tough-as-nails when she wants to be also.
I'm being way harsher on this than I meant to be. Even though I didn't like Scarlett, she did feel real. We all know those super-intent people who focus on the job at the cost of everything else. Even though I guessed the basic storyline, I did enjoy reading the book and will get to any possible sequels eventually. If I hadn't been able to guess what was going on, this definitely would have been rated higher. I think most readers will like this a lot, so I do recommend it. Oh, and who can resist that cover? Love. It.
Read an an excerpt on the book's site. You can also download the cover as a desktop wallpaper there.
Author Jackson Pearce on her blog, Twitter, and Facebook.
Buy it on IndieBound or Better World Books.
This review was posted as part of Once Upon a Week, hosted by Today's Adventure. Sisters Red was chosen as a group read, so check out the discussion and an interview with Jackson Pearce on Vanessa's site on Thursday!
I have an affiliate relationship with IndieBound and Better World Books and will receive a small commission at no cost to you if you purchase books through links on my site.