Friday, July 02, 2010

Red Hood's Revenge: A Review

Red Hood's Revenge
by Jim Hines

This is the third book in Jim's Hines' Fable-type stories. The first, The Stepsister Scheme, focused on Princess Danielle Whiteshore (aka Cinderella) and Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Snow White manage to save Danielle's Prince from an evil fairy. It was a fun read and a decent introduction to the characters but overall Hines' second book in this series, The Mermaid's Madness, ended up being a better book overall. In some ways the three main characters thrived better in a story that didn't revolve too closely around their own stories. Red Hood's Revenge feel back into a focus on one of the main characters, Talia (Sleeping Beauty). In some ways this actually weakened the story as the writer enjoys switching perspectives every few chapters. I feel that'd he'd have better success in drawing you into one of the main character's stories if he spent more time allowing the reader inside their head. However, aside from that one concern this book was fairly enjoyable.

While the story is really about Sleeping Beauty the underlying plot also attempts to tell the story of Little Red Riding Hood. Red Hood is an assassin who is hired to come after Sleeping Beauty. You see, when Sleeping Beauty left her kingdom she did so to escape execution - she had murdered the Prince who had "rescued" her (ie got her pregnant while she was still sleeping only to have her wake up because of birthing her children). The twist here is that fairy-kind is attempting to take over Talia's kingdom by using the curse still in her blood to put all of the palace into an enchanted slumber. Red Hood doesn't quite intend to fulfill her contract as she wants revenge against the fairies herself - and thus much chaos ensues.

Snow White and Cinderella are very much background characters with Talia and Red Hood taking most of the spotlight. While I enjoyed the story overall I was somewhat disappointed with the ending. All I'll say is that it made sense in order to continue the story but it seems to me that Talia's story deserved more than what it got. I can only hope that Hines' will revisit Talia's character at a later date and give her a more satisfying resolution to her past.

Even so I'd still recommend these books for some fun reading - especially if you are a fan of the Fables/Wicked type genre.


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