RED HOOD’S REVENGE
by Jim C. Hines
Reviewed by Deborah Blake
Note: RED HOOD’S REVENGE is the third in a series. The first two, THE STEPSISTER SCHEME and THE MERMAID’S MADNESS, were reviewed earlier by Katie. You can read those reviews here
Roudette is a hunter; an assassin known to the world as the Lady of the Red Hood. Her cloak gives her powers that make her virtually unstoppable and her name strikes terror into the hearts of those who hear it. But when she is hired by those who want to escalate the war between fairies and humans, she comes up against the one woman who ever fought her and survived—the princess called Sleeping Beauty.
The books in this series, and RED HOOD’S REVENGE in particular, are not the fairy tales you grew up with. The princesses kick ass and take names, and the title villain of the story is not a shallow one-dimensional nasty, but a woman with her own history and motivations. You may not love her (and if you’re smart, you sure won’t trust her), but Hines takes the reader on a journey into her soul that at least helps you understand her.
I love the characters of Talia (Sleeping Beauty), Snow (Snow White), and Danielle (Cinderella). The story of their friendship, begun in the previous books and continued in this one, is both fun and believable. More remarkable than that, though, is the way the author builds sympathy for Roudette, a truly unsympathetic character. In the end, you want everyone to win—even though you know that isn’t possible. Or is it?
While the three princesses fight to thwart both Roudette and the dark powers who hide behind her, the Lady of the Red Hood schemes and plots to achieve her own hidden goals. This book takes you down a dark and twisting path, just as the fairy tales of old did, and will keep you on the edge of your seat far into the night. I could tell you more…but then Roudette would have to kill you.
The cover quote from GREEN MAN REVIEW says it all: “Brilliantly remixes fairy-tale elements with a modern action/adventure sensibility, as if the Brothers Grimm had been allowed to watch a ‘Charlie’s Angels’ marathon.” I look forward eagerly to the last installment, THE SNOW QUEEN’S SHADOW, coming from DAW in January of 2011. My only regret will be that the fourth book will be the end of this remarkable series.
One more note: for those who like to read author blogs, Jim C. Hines has one of the most consistently amusing, educational, and interesting ones I’ve seen. He is one of the few authors who I follow on a regular basis. Check him out at http://jimchines.livejournal.com (or, if you’re not on livejournal, http://www.jimchines.com/blog/).
About the Reviewer
Deborah Blake is an award-winning author with five books on modern Witchcraft. Two of these are coming out this year: EVERYDAY WITCH A TO Z SPELLBOOK (Llewellyn, July) and WITCHCRAFT ON A SHOESTRING (Llewellyn, September). She also writes Urban Fantasy and is represented by Elaine Spencer of The Knight Agency. Deborah gives a number of highly successful online writing workshops and has a loop, THE CREATIVITY CAULDRON, for paranormal authors. Her website is www.deborahblakehps.com.
Tia here. I second the plug for Jim’s blog. I’ve been following it for over a year now and his is an example, I believe, of how an author can use his blog to keep his name out there all the time, not only when he has a book coming out. Plus, you can tell he really likes blogging and that he gets it! I follow the WordPress version, although he recently said on his blog that the comments on the LiveJournal version might make it worth getting an account so you can comment.
I really need to read these books!