Release Date: 5/5/15
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
First, thank you to HarperCollins Publishers for providing an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. I'm excited to say that this is the first book I've requested and that I received it and now I get to review it before it releases. Too often, I put books on the back burner and don't get a chance to read them until much later. I knew I wanted this one, though, after Cruel Beauty which I read last year. I actually paid for that one on my Kindle (as opposed to getting it from the library) because I started the sample and was so sucked in. So, here are my lists for what I did and didn't love so you can be so excited to read this yourself when it comes out in a month. (Also, I linked to GoodReads instead of Amazon in the title since it hasn't released any way.)
What I loved:
- The world building. Hodge is fantastic at this. You forget about your own world and are brought into a new place where new rules exist. Never been to the Great Forest, read this book and you will bring it home with you.
- The characters. I love all of them. Everyone. Even the villains. No one was perfect and that itself was perfect. I think my favorite was Amélie. Maybe, if I really needed to pick for some reason.
- The women. They are the heroes of the story. It's a women's story, without ever man-bashing which is awesome.
- The blend of supernatural with the real world. I like having a foot in the real world when I read stories of people with supernatural abilities.
- The ending. Everything is wrapped up in one way or another. Man, I love closure. That being said, there's enough leeway left to where a sequel would be possible/I can imagine the characters' lives after the book's ending. So, Hodge, if you want to write another, I'll read it!
What I Didn't Love:
- Talking in circles. I felt like there were times when there was more writing than was necessary. A little repetitive at times.
- Third person voice. I just hate it all the time, nothing really to do with the book, but letting future readers know that it's written this way.
- Didn't live up to Cruel Beauty. Then again, that was a phenomenal, world shaking, mind blowing book based on my all time favorite story so it's acceptable that not everything from this author would fall into the same category.
- Little Red Riding Hood? Maybe not so much. I can kind of see it *very* loosely based on the tale, but most of it is pure imagination from Hodge or borrowing from other ideas (especially religion). I think it maybe marketing should focus more on what a twist it is than saying it's really a retelling?
- I'm not sure if it fits here exactly, but this was a very, very dark tale. Not that I minded, but it did catch me off guard at times, and I thought I should throw it out there in case anyone is squeamish.
Either way, if you liked Cruel Beauty, you'll very likely enjoy this one because the world building is still present, the strong heroine is here, and the love of all characters is here.