This book is a wonderful adaptation of the classic Red Riding Hood fairytale. Only this time, there are two “little girls,” they’re wielding axes and knives, and the wolves had better watch out.
It should come as no surprise from the title, but this book is mainly about the bond between two sisters, Rosie and Scarlett. After the murder of their grandmother—a tragic event that left Scarlett scarred and more than a little bitter—they’ve devoted their teen years to hunting down the Fenris, a soulless race of werewolves picking off innocent women across the country. Rosie and Scarlett have dealt with their trauma differently. Scarlett is obsessed with hunting, and has pushed all other thoughts out of her mind. Rosie, however, longs for a life outside of The Hunt.
I love the contemporary setting, and I love how badass and complex both Rosie and Scarlett are. I’m an only child, so I’m always touched and fascinated by stories that explore the bonds between siblings. And while there is a romance in this book (between Rosie and their woodsman friend, Silas), the main focus is the relationship between the sisters. There’s enough cute romance-y moments in this book to satisfy someone looking for that, but if you’re not a romance fan, there’s still enough going on to keep you satisfied.
The Fenris are compelling villains; ordinary men who get turned into werewolves, lose their souls, and become predators of the night, hunting and devouring young women. There are clear parallels to real-life predators; when they’re un-transformed, the Fenris are handsome and charming, and like to stalk women around nightclubs and dark alleys. They’re terrifying because they blend so well into society.
Of course, this book isn’t perfect. I thought this when I first read it a few years ago, and I still think it now: Rosie’s plotline gets resolved, but I still feel like Scarlett still has a story to uncover. She starts out with a pretty unhealthy view towards other women…she even occasionally muses about how they look like they’re “practically asking to be eaten,” and although she seems to get over it a bit, partially by having to accept her sisters need for a life outside hunting, I think she’s still got a long way to go. It doesn’t make the book unsatisfying, but it does beg for a sequel! (and, I admit, I really just want her to find a chick as badass as herself to go on adorable couply hunts with. But that may just be me…)
I first fell in love with this book for its cover. I even made a game out of tracking the book down; it took a few months and many different bookstores before I actually found it. Its pretty much exactly how I’d want a book to look.