by Jackson Pearce
328 pages, Little, Brown
Review by Melissa Conway
Fenris – n. Norse Myth - an enormous wolf, fathered by Loki, which killed Odin.
Outside of small-town Ellison, Scarlett and Rosie have been on their own in their grandmother’s rural cottage ever since granny was eaten by a wolf. A handsome, charming wolf, that is, until its attraction to the pretty young sisters overpowers its self-control and it changes into a greasy, malodorous Fenris with an insatiable appetite, a la Little Red Riding Hood. That fairy tale is the underlying theme to this clever take on the werewolf craze currently inundating popular young adult fiction.
Scarlett is all grown up now, but the horrible injury she sustained fighting that first Fenris has left her scarred—both inside and out. She’s not pretty enough anymore to lure the lurking wolves into revealing themselves so she can fight and kill them, at least not if they’re observant enough to spot her missing eye and the puckered scars on one side of her face. Her sixteen-year-old sister Rosie can flirt and tempt and play bait with the best of them, though. She’s reached the point in her training where she’s ready to go solo, one-on-one with the soulless formerly-human men who stalk and devour helpless girls, but Scarlett is torn.
She’s confident that Rosie can handle herself, but the role of protector that was thrust upon her in her youth sits heavily on her shoulders. She’s a hunter, a fighter, and she’s fiercely determined to keep killing Fenris until the monsters are all gone. Rosie, on the other hand, struggles with her internal desire to incorporate some normalcy into her life. Training and fighting is all she knows, and her envy of the ordinary girls in town gets stronger as she gets older. This conflict causes a rift to grow between her and her dedicated-to-the-point-of-obsession older sister. Add to that the complication of the budding feelings she’s developed for her sister’s best friend Silas, the son of the woodsman who took the girls in after their grandmother was killed—and a Fenris hunter himself—and you’ve got a lot of angst that needs to be resolved.
The Fenris are massing for something big, and Scarlett, Rosie and Silas need to find out what it is before any more girls go missing. They pack up and leave Ellison for a crappy apartment in the bad part of town in Atlanta, but the wolves aren’t as easily lured there. They’ve got orders from the Alpha to find someone specific: a Potential is coming—and the hunt has just gotten more deadly.
Sisters Red is a page-turner packed with action, violence and forbidden passion. The ending has a twist that isn’t hard to see coming, but that doesn’t detract from the story so much as give the reader a satisfied “I knew it” feeling. Written in first-person present from the point of view of each sister in alternating chapters, the story portrays a sultry depth of feeling coupled with heart-pounding suspense that captivates.