Yep, you’ve read it right: this review is for a book about Little Red Riding Hood, if she were in a werewolf book series.
As you can probably tell, Little Red Riding Hood: Werewolf Slayer by Carl Waters is a retelling of the classic fairytale of Little Red Riding hood. Except instead of the helpless little girl bringing cake and wine to her grandma, we get a well-trained combatant, and instead of a big, bad wolf we get big, bad werewolves. To be completely honest, that concept alone was enough for me to sign up when free copies of it were given out in exchange for a free review.
And now that I’m at it, the standard disclaimer is in order: I received a free copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
Now that that’s out of the way, here I go!
First Impression: Little Red Riding Hood is indeed a badass
Positives first: I’m a sucker for fairy tale retellings, moreso fairy tale retellings where heroines punch people and, in this case, werewolves.
Little Red Riding Hood: Werewolf Slayer gives an interesting twist to the Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale by making her come from a family of fighters, sworn under King Phillip Augustus himself. I especially like how the author interprets some of the well-known scenes from the fairy tale. I’ll try to not mention specifics to avoid spoilers, but I will say that yes, she does get to say “Grandma, what big teeth you have!” in this book, except not in the way you’re used to.
I also like how the setting is in France, where the original fairy tale is from, and that he takes care to stay true to the period. For some reason, while reading I really appreciated that the food mentioned in the story is period-accurate. Maybe it’s from several re-watchings of The Supersizers Eat… episodes. But I digress…
The story is fast-paced and the narration is direct-to-the-point, which is really great for readers who want never a dull moment in their books. But there’s also a glaring negative to that…
This book is too much of a fast read.
As in, this book is hella short.
I suppose this is because it’s supposed to entice readers into buying the second installment of the series; it’s nothing new for indie books, and I’ve encountered short first books in a series before.
But that’s not my main issue with this book. What could have made this book better, I believe, was if the characters were more fleshed-out. I get a general feel of Giselle, Adela, and Alison’s personality and motivations, but there isn’t a more detailed exploration of their characters. Why did Adela choose to take on the mantle of the Red Hood? What are Giselle’s deeper feelings about Adela treating her as a warrior more than a daughter? Is there any more complex reason to Alison wanting the Red Hood, other than the standard “I want it so I can be powerful and so I will do the most evil thing possible in order to get it!” gimmick that all fairy tale villains have? The motivations for each character have been skimmed through, but there’s never a more meaningful examination of them.
There’s also some odd editing choices here and there; paragraphs that could have been split, sentences that felt out-of-place in certain narrations. I feel that the book could have been a smoother read with tighter editing in place.
So will i read the sequel?
Probably, because I’m curious enough about where this is heading, especially with the introduction of Merlin at the end of the book. It has great potential, and I love a good fairy tale retelling. Unfortunately, with its hurried pace and lack of character development, it’s not on my priority to-read book sequels at the moment.
Still, if you like badass heroines and fairy tales with a twist, feel free to support the author and grab a copy of this book!
My rating: (2.5 / 5)