December 07, 2021

#BookReview: Red Wolf by Rachel Vincent

Synopsis: A high stakes reimagining of Little Red Riding Hood.

For as long as sixteen-year-old Adele can remember the village of Oakvale has been surrounding by the dark woods—a forest filled with terrible monsters that light cannot penetrate. Like every person who grows up in Oakvale she has been told to steer clear of the woods unless absolutely necessary.

But unlike her neighbors in Oakvale, Adele has a very good reason for going into the woods. Adele is one of a long line of guardians, women who are able to change into wolves and who are tasked with the job of protecting their village while never letting any of the villagers know of their existence. 

But when following her calling means abandoning the person she loves, the future she imagined for herself, and her values she must decide how far she is willing to go to keep her neighbors safe.


Rating: 3 Stars
My Review: This was a very simple retelling of Little Red RidingHood.  It was ok but I felt like the story just wasn't deep enough.  It was a kind of light coming of age novel with some suspense and some fantasy and a dash of romance.  I think for readers who want to try this one out they should check out their local library before fully committing. 

From School Library Journal

Gr 10 Up—Adele and her mother live in a village surrounded by a monster-filled wood; her werewolf-bitten father was burned alive before he could become a monster himself. Engaged to watchman Grainger, Adele cannot understand why her mother objects until learning that she, like all her female relatives, can shape-shift into a red wolf. Although "redwulf" are guardians who protect people from monsters, watchmen believe anyone sorcerous, and their families, must be burned alive to protect the village. Adele also learns she was betrothed at birth to another guardian's son, Max, and that his village's future depends on her bearing him daughters. However, Adele won't forsake Grainger and refuses to accept that, for the sake of her village, she must kill anyone—however innocent—who learns their secret. How can she accept that she must become a monster herself? This fast-paced dark fantasy features strong worldbuilding, distinctive characters, and evocative sensory details, but may be too disturbing for some readers. Adele is forced to make excruciating ethical choices, as she must decide—about people she's known forever—who to kill, who to betray, who to save, and who to marry. The results are often shocking, and bloody. Characters' ethnicities are not mentioned, though Adele has red hair and freckles. VERDICT Hand this Little Red Riding Hood–inspired tale to dark-fantasy fans who relish disturbing ethical decisions, and are unfazed by blood and gore.—Rebecca Moore, The Overlake Sch., Redmond, WA


“A dark and intriguing fairy-tale adaptation.” -- Kirkus Reviews

““[A] refreshing “Little Red Riding Hood” retelling... Blending fairy tale elements with the atmospheric horror of M. Night Shyamalan films, Vincent’s (Strange New World) swift pacing builds palpable tension.” -- Publishers Weekly

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