The Red Rider
by Billy Wong
Overview (from B&N.com): Action-packed fantasy adventure loosely inspired by the Red Riding Hood legend, featuring one tough female warrior.
After killing the werewolf that took her grandmother’s life, a young girl is outcast from her village over the perceived taint from contact with the lycanthrope. A decade later she is the famous Red Rider, slayer of hundreds of werewolves. When she learns of a new breed of more intelligent lupines, her skills are put to the ultimate test, and even the help of other warriors such as overweight knight Herbert and cage fighting champion Evie may not be enough to overcome the rising threat.
Full Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the author, via LibraryThing, in exchange for an honest review.
My Thoughts: I’m absolutely crazy about fairy tales and love it when I read a new spin on a familiar tale. Sometimes it’s a bit darker and sometimes it’s just more realistic or modern. In the end, I usually just gobble them up like they’re cookies and I’m the Cookie Monster.
The Red Rider is a much darker and bloodier take on an older Red Riding Hood. Frankly, she’s much scarier and more of a bad ass than I’ve ever read in another version of this fairy tale. To be honest, I always thought Red Riding Hood was a bit of a wimp, but Billy Wong’s take on it leaves no question to who would win in a fight, the Red Rider or a werewolf?
The writing was pretty good. There were a few grammatical errors, but they really didn’t take anything away from the story. While the story itself was pretty interesting. There were parts that were slow, especially right after a heart-pumping action sequence (there are a few to look forward to). Parts of the plot just seemed convoluted and thrown in at the last-minute to make The Red Rider longer. I wasn’t happy with the pace throughout most of The Red Rider. I thought some parts that were introduced and wrapped up very quickly should have been drawn out a little more. There were other parts that could have and should have been wrapped up much sooner than they actually were.
The characters weren’t actually memorable. The Red Rider, herself, wasn’t relatable and seemed less than human throughout. Herbert seemed okay, but wasn’t really developed so I just thought of him as a bit boring. No one else really stuck around long enough to get developed into anything more than a passing character.
In the end, I think the intention behind the book was better than the book itself. I liked it, but I would only recommend The Red Rider if you’re obsessed with fairy tale re-writes or werewolves.
3 out of 5 Bookmarks = I was actually a bit disappointed in the overall book, based on its overview and its reviews.