Friday, May 3, 2013

Book Review: Scarlette

What if Little Red Riding Hood was real?
Ninety years before the Brothers Grimm penned their version of "Little Red Riding Hood," an historic, gruesome series of events shocked all of Europe. Starting in 1764, an unidentified wolf-like animal ferociously mauled dozens of peasants in the Gévaudan region of France.

Whispered rumors of unnatural creatures blended with age-old superstition to cause mass hysteria. A werewolf was blamed for the carnage. Alarmed, King Louis XV sent his best huntsmen to rid the province of the beastly scourge, but this legendary massacre had only just begun.

Scarlette, a 19-year-old seamstress who is laboring to make ends meet, lives under this dark threat. Although fearful of the nightmarish monster lurking in the surrounding forest, she remains skeptical of the supernatural gossip.

Until her grandmother is attacked.

Scarlette learns that her grandmother has been infected by the animal’s bite. Desperate to save her, Scarlette begins to uncover the dark secrets of her village and finds there are those who wish to keep their pasts hidden. As time grows short, Scarlette is befriended by a local nobleman and a woodcutter who both share an eerie history with the wolf.

Scarlette must unravel the men’s connection and solve a long-forgotten crime. But as she pieces together the clues, Scarlette finds herself torn between the two men. Both of them desire more than friendship and together hold the key to the cure.

Based on both the traditional Grimm and Charles Perrault versions of "Little Red Riding Hood," this dark YA novel is set against the Beast of Gévaudan attacks, blending history with fairy-tale and gothic romance. Unique to the genre, the novel revives the French fable of the girl-in-the-red-cloak with a new, shockingly real existence that blurs the line between folklore and reality.

I've "known" Davonna ever since the blog started running. So, when she asked me if I'd like to read and review her book after my unshamefull comment on how much I liked the cover, I couldn't say no. Mind you, that the opinion written on this review has nothing to do with how much I like Davonna as a person. I think that Davonna and every other author on this world would respect an honest review than a fake one.
And after I made my point clear, let me start...

For starters, the story is written by Scarlette's point of view. That means, that we are as blind as her when it comes to most facts. Secondly, the book has nice descriptions that keep an image vivid in your head, but not too exhausting. Lastly, the characters: Scarlette is young, naive, but not too much. She is persistant and wants to find answers, but in a way that you can call her hotheaded and annoying. As for the guys, Louis and Francois, the things get more complicated, since they are both nice but mysterious.

What you can hold and admire in the book is the fact that it's not too tiring nor anxious. It took me some time to finish it, due to homework and reading, and I was managing a chapter or two every other day, but with a level effect. It's not that I wasn't anxious to read the entire thing, but in each chapter a new information was coming to light. A new element or a scene, that was creating a more clear picture as what to follow. I had to admit that the reason this book didn't make me want to read it in one seat, was because I had to calm down every other chapter.

AND the thing most important of all: the research!! I mean, when an author spends her time reading stories of Red Riding Hood, French books and language, in order to write her own, you have to respect it. One last thing: aside the three-paged note in the beggining for the making of the book and some explainations, Davonna also includes a short-story of Francois's point of view at some point in the main storyline.

Bottom line, I liked it. It was a book with foundations, interesting plot and nice cover (and yes, that's important). Truth be told, what is left of the book, is not the romance in it, but the action, the myths and the feeling of closure, which is rare to find in books those days.


  1. Thanks for posting this.This is awesome!!

  2. Thanks for introducing me to this book! It sounds like it's perfectly paced, and I really enjoy experiencing entire events along with the character- it keeps me on my toes!

    - Ellie at The Selkie Reads Stories

  3. Constantina, thanks so much for taking the the time to read my novel and also a big thanks for posting your thoughtful review! Cheers!

  4. Straight for the stage and nicely written, thanks very much for that information

  5. Very intrigued by this now! I LOVE retellings, and dark retellings especially! Definitely going to keep an eye out for this one.


There is lot of spam lately at the posts, so for a while i will put up the comment moderation. Sorry for that, i really don't like it but i thought it might stop the spamming. It will be down soon enough! Thanks a lot :)

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