Sep 1, 2010

Sisters Red

Jackson Pierce, Sisters Red, 2010, Hachette Book Group.

Scarlett March lost an eye defending her sister from a werewolf (called Fenris) in the same attack that killed their grandmother. Ever since then her raison d'etre has been to hunt the Fenris in hopes of saving other girls from a worse fate. Her sister Rosie is as deadly a hunter as her older sister but longs for a life that has more purpose than tracking and killing the Fenris. The two girls, along with their neighbor Silas, a woodsman by blood, spend their days and nights slowly but steadily chipping away at their enemy. But after a relocation to Atlanta, the trio find themselves unsure whether they are the hunters or the hunted.

I'm torn on how to feel about this book. By the time I was 1/3 of the way into it, I knew where the plot was going. I don't want to give too many details because I think it's not too difficult to figure the story out, yet the way Pearce wrote it was so interesting that I continued reading, and nevertheless found myself entertained by the ending I knew was coming. Most reviews, including the ones on the back of the book, focus on the 'love story' element of this work but I felt this was hardly the most noteworthy plot thread. I was most impressed by the way Pearce believably traced the tensions that arise between Rosie and Scarlett as they navigate the challenge of growing up and becoming individuals without completely severing the bond of sisterhood. On the other hand, I had distinct problems with how the female victims of the Fenris were portrayed, as essentially bringing their deaths upon themselves by what they wore and how they acted. The sisters themselves are strong female characters but the rest of the women in the work are simply regarded as 'Dragonflies' who are potential prey for the Fenris. If the work is meant to be a metaphor for violence against women then the author succeeds to a certain degree, but the depiction and fates of the supporting female characters leaves much to be desired.

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