Sunday, June 6, 2010

Review: Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce

Tags: YA, paranormal, werewolves, fairy tale retelling, sisters, hunting


A Fenris, a terrifying werewolf creature, permanently scarred and disfigured young Scarlett March when she fought him to defend her younger sister, Rosie. Now teenagers, Scarlett and Rosie live on their own in their late grandmother’s cottage in the woods, killing Fenris whenever they can. For Scarlett, it’s a way of life: she loves nothing more than the high of hunting Fenris.

Rosie, however, is beginning to think that, despite her loyalty to and love for her sister, she may want something more than hunting, especially as she begins to fall for their childhood friend and Scarlett’s hunting partner, Silas. When a Fenris-hunting expedition into Atlanta draws Rosie and Silas closer even as Fenris close in on them, will Rosie’s desire for more destroy the relationship she has with Scarlett, to whom she owes her life?


You thought you knew all there was to know about Little Red Riding Hood and her wolf…well, you were wrong. Told from the alternating viewpoints of sisters Scarlett and Rosie, Jackson Pearce’s second novel, SISTERS RED, is an incredibly entertaining and deliciously dark twist on an old, fairy tale-esque story.

This novel has got many things going for it: strong female characters with great voices, a fully realized and frightening antagonist, and a clever storyline. Scarlett and Rosie are fantastic females who prove that you don’t have to be a tomboy to kick ass. The sister bond is powerful in a realistic way; both of them would do almost anything for each other, and yet there are also the usual tensions one would expect between sisters, of being the same person versus developing one’s own identity.

The Fenris are delectably creepy, a shiver-inducing combination of fantastical monster and your sadly usual male predator. Jackson Pearce develops their mythology well throughout the novel. These are the kind of werewolves that will haunt you long after you put the book down, and I appreciated that the villains of this novel were not cartoonish or overdramatized.

The story I mentioned is clever, albeit occasionally slow and predictable. It builds up to a tremendously satisfying finish, the kind that only the best paranormal authors can pull off without seeming either too expected or out-of-nowhere. A careful reader, however, will be able to pick up the clues as to what will happen way before Scarlett and Rosie do. This by no means detracts from the success of the story and its ending, though I do honestly prefer my books that are able to outsmart me.

Overall, SISTERS RED should not disappoint readers looking for a paranormal action story containing independent females, a sweet and believable romance, and well-developed villains. It’s a unique blend of the old-fashioned (their rural cottage, their cloaks, hatchets as weapons) and the modern (Atlanta, the dialogue, what they wear under their cloaks). I won’t be surprised if Jackson Pearce has a long and successful career writing a variety of YA. SISTERS RED is perfect for a delightful weekend or vacation read!

Similar Authors
Diana Peterfreund (Rampant)
Dia Reeves (Bleeding Violet)
Maggie Stiefvater
Sarah Rees Brennan

Writing: 3/5
Characters: 4/5
Plot: 4/5

Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Cover discussion: 5 out of 5 - Um, this is like one of the most BRILLIANT covers I have ever seen. The color scheme is simple yet striking, and the hidden image within is just... wow. I would stare at this all day.

Little, Brown / June 7, 2010 / Hardcover / 328pp. / $16.99

ARC received from publisher.


  1. Great review..I have heard great stuff about this one. I need to get a copy.

  2. I LOVE this cover. It is so cool, I totally understand why you could stare at it all day. I might be inclined to do the same.

    I like how the author has made werewolves scary. since they are y'know monsters. I want to see more deliciously creepy paranormal monsters :) And yay kick butt heroines! I'm not a tomboy either but I like to think that I could kick some butt if needed so I'm glad the sisters aren't totally perfect tomboys.

    I know you don't do awards but I needed a blogger to give it to so here ya go ;) (and of course I think your blog rocks and I want everyone to know it)

  3. Ahh, I loved this book. I thought the characters were so strong and brilliantly written. Great review!

    And I agree about the cover :)

  4. Earlier today I saw a video called Writers Blok from Pearce and now with this review, I'm just craving to read her. Great review!

  5. We're doing this book as our group read pick for Once Upon a Week and I'm so excited! Great review!

  6. I loved this book and I am very excited to read her next book, Sweetly. She does a great job with creative retellings.

  7. Ooh, I heart Little Red Riding hood, so Sisters Red sounds really intriguing.

    And I really like that the werewolves are called Fenris. I love it when books have mythology allusions.

    Great review and I think may have to pick this one up :) And I agree, the cover is lovely.

  8. Great review, Steph! I def want to add this to my tbr pile! :-)

  9. This cover is very kick ass (a million trillion times better than As You Wish). I didn't even notice the hidden image until someone told me it was there. It's red and black, like almost every paranormal cover out there, plus it's not something I'd normally be into, but it's just so very different that it works. Someone deserves major kudos for creating that!

  10. I am reading a book written by my cousin, Lilly Gayle. This is her first book, OUT OF DARKNESS.
    These reviews are included in her book.
    Praise for Lilly Gayle
    “If you’re looking for an edge-of-your-seat paranormal, OUT OF DARKNESS is an enthralling story that combines the best of suspense with a sexy vampire romance. The unexpected plot turns will leave you breathless and aching with sympathy for Vincent’s tragic and utterly real desire to be human, made even more desperate by the unbidden love growing for Megan. OUT OF DARKNESS is a compelling and satisfying read in one of my favorite genres.”
    ~Amy Corwin, author of I Bid One American ans Outrageous Behavior
    ~”Lilly Gayle is an exciting new voice in the world of paranormal romance. ~Jenna Black
    I am so proud of my cousin. Her website is

  11. The premise of this pretty intriguing -- I love twists on "classic" stories! Might have to check it out! And I agree: loving that cover.

  12. I was expecting a high rating for this book from you but sadly it wasn't as great as it might sound. I still want to give this book a try. The plot is still very intriguing to me.

  13. Such a great review! I am SO looking forward to reading this one.


Hello! I'm so excited to read what you have to say. Due to high amounts of spam, I'm forced to disabled anonymous comments for the time being. Sorry for any inconvenience this causes, and I hope you can understand and still appreciate the content here!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...