Saturday, 22 December 2012

Scarlette - Davonna Juroe

Find the Beast ~ Find the Cure

Scarlette, an 18-year-old peasant, lives under a dark threat. A nightmarish creature lurks in the surrounding forest, killing the villagers one by one. When Scarlette's grandmother survives an attack, Scarlette learns that her grandmother hasn't suffered the bite of just any normal animal.

Now desperate, Scarlette searches throughout her province to find a cure. But there are those who want to keep their pasts hidden. As she begins to uncover the dark secrets of her village, Scarlette is befriended by a local nobleman and a woodcutter who share a gruesome history with the beast. To save her grandmother, Scarlette must unravel their mystery and solve an age-old crime. But as she pieces together the clues, Scarlette finds herself torn between the two men, both of whom want to be more than friends and hold the key to the cure.

What if Little Red Riding Hood was Real?

My Opinion
When I received a request to review this book I was interested by the dark, paranormal aspects. However I was slightly worried about the historical aspect of the book. I was unsure what to expect and was mostly concerned with how Juroe would use language, especially speech. All this was for nothing though and besides being based on old folklore and using a class system (peasants and nobels) I couldn't really say anything else was historical which was great.

I read this book in a few hours and although it took me a while to get into it, it did capture my interest and hold it all the way through the book. The plot was full of action, twists and turns that leave you guessing until the end and it was only a few chapters before the reveal when I figured out what was going on/who was behind what. I love a book that keeps you in suspense of who's good/bad, behind the events, or going to get together in a romance and this book definitely fulfilled that side of things. Juroe did a great job of revealing just the right amount of information to stop confusion but still create suspense. As well as this the romances (although not always pleasant) added extra interest and were intertwined in the story well so it flowed together without becoming disjointed.

There were a few things though that annoyed me slightly. The first was that although the book hooked you, for me it moved at a slow pace and some sections I found had a bit too much description which lead me to only skim read certain sections. For me there was quite a bit of unnecessary detail that did nothing to move the story along and left the me wondering why I needed to know it. As well as this I didn't really connect with the lead character Scarlette. I'm not sure why this is but I found her attitude at times irritating and she wasn't as strong as I would have liked. It got better towards the end but for me there was a connection missing. I'm also glad I didn't see the cover before I agreed to review this book as I didn't really like it and it would have probably put me off.

The biggest issue I had with this book was the originality. I have read a few books like this before and seen the dark retelling of Red Riding Hood (movie) and it seemed that there wasn't much variation. I know it was a retelling but for me there wasn't enough to differentiate it from others like it. But hey there are hundreds of vampire novels out there that all have the same theme so it shouldn't put you off if you like the genre.

Overall this book was and interesting read and had a few twists and turns that kept me hooked. It did however move at a slow pace with some scenes needing more development and editing for unnecessary details. I didn't connect with Scarlette but that maybe just me and even though the story isn't all that original it may be worth the read if you are interested in dark paranormal books or werewolves.

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