New Release Thursday – Red Wolf by Rachel Vincent



When I saw that Rachel Vincent, an icon of early/mid-2000s YA paranormal romance, wrote a new book retelling Little Red Riding Hood, I knew I had to read it. Not only do I love some good old fashioned paranormal romance, I love Little Red Riding Hood. It’s my favorite fairy tale. Anyway, this story has the familiar plot beats one might expect from such a retelling. Adele, our Red Riding Hood in question, has a grandmother who lives in the woods, a red cloak, and a fear of the monsters that live in the forest, specifically the werewolves that threaten her village and everyone in it.

Where the story diverges is Adele’s discovery that she is a wolf herself–a redwulf, tasked with guarding her village, along with her mother and grandmother. Adele, then, has a choice: She can accept her calling as a redwulf or reject it to live a normal human life with the boy she loveRed Wolfs…But the decision isn’t so easy when Adele’s mother reveals to her that she is to be wed to another boy from a nearby village. A boy who knows all about her family’s “curse,” because his mother is a redwulf, too. What follows is action, adventure, and some fairy tale angst.

I enjoyed my time with Red Wolf. Like with any retelling, I like to consider what’s different about it, what makes it unique from other retellings. What makes this story unique is Adele’s heritage–the werewolf curse itself. It’s a fun twist on the story and I loved how it bonded Adele, her mother, and grandmother together. I also enjoyed Adele’s little sister’s character. She’s one of those precocious kid characters that I didn’t mind reading about because she was so fun.

Arguably my favorite part of the book was the setting. Oakvale is a tightknit village with its own practices and customs around the forest and the creatures that dwell within. The forest that surrounds the village is alive, essentially, and is eating away at the village day by day. It teems with all manner of monsters, each of which is described in loving detail by Vincent. There are goblins, these creepy snake monsters, and so much more. It’s this kind of detail that I really enjoy reading about in my fantasy books.

I will say that the ending of this book is unexpectedly dark. It wasn’t jarring–it fit the tone of the book–but it is something to keep in mind if you’re going to pick this one up. I personally loved it, the brutality of it all, but it may polarize some readers.

You can pick up Red Wolf at the Oreana Library–coming soon!

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