Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Book Review: Red: The Untold Story by Angela M. Hudson

Red: The Untold Story – Angela M. Hudson

*Warning – may contain spoilers*

Author: Angela M. Hudson
Publisher: Smashwords
First published: 2016
Edition: eBook
Pages: 394

Blurb:    (Taken from goodreads)
From the award-winning author of the Dark Secrets series, Bound, and Willa Wicked, comes this powerful YA spin on a classic tale.

Once every twenty years, pack alpha Luther takes a new wife. On the day of Selection, Red is chosen. Just as her family always planned. Just as she always planned. Until she met Alex Plain.

Alex took Red to worlds she never imagined, where the ordinary is seen as magical, and the upright is abstract. With the help of this new friendship, Red begins to see a future for herself outside of the pack. But, unfortunately, Alex Plain came along too late.

Red is obligated to marry Luther now, and taken to live in the mysterious Ravenswood Mansion, where truth lies and the walls have eyes. What Red learns there about her alpha will ignite some burning questions—ones that, when answered, could undo the entire order of the pack:

What happened to all the children born there? Why hasn’t this mansion left the seventeenth century? And where are all his previous wives?

History of my copy: I received a copy of Red through YA Bound Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. Find out more about the book here.

Red is one of the best books I have ever read. Hands down. It’s up there with Harry Potter, Raised by Wolves and The Lunar Chronicles, which is a pretty big achievement. Whilst I often highly rate books, it has to be flawless to make it as one of my all-time favourites.

Plot: Although a re-telling of Little Red Riding Hood, much like recent retellings I have read (The Lunar Chronicles and A Court of Mist and Fury), it doesn’t entirely feel like a retelling. Yes, I can pick out similarities between this adaptation and the original tale, but often it feels like its own story.
         We follow April, more commonly known as Red, as she discovers herself with the help of stranger Alex, before it’s all taken away as she marries alpha Luther, who hides away in his mansion with lots of dark secrets.
         Forced out of her comfort zone and with few people to rely on, Red must make sacrifices and do what she believes best for the future of her pack. Eventually she returns home, but finds the Plain family in pieces after the death of Alex’s brother, George. Whilst re-building herself, she helps the family pull through and, eventually, the pair find where they truly belong.

Setting: Hudson also excels in describing the setting. Very rarely do I come across an author who can create an image so perfectly that when you close your eyes, you can even smell the world. Red completely drew me in, from the magical Plain house to the dark forest. I could almost feel the wind flying past me as the wolves ran. It was wonderful.

Characters: Red was a great character. She was stubborn and brave, but also felt human (although she is half-wolf). She stayed true to herself and tried her hardest to make things better for everyone. She was there for Alex when he really needed her.
               Alex was also a pretty awesome character. I could relate to him so much come the end of the book, and it felt like I knew both him and Red on a personal level. He compliments Red so well as her complete opposite – shy and a little awkward to her boldness.
               I’m really intrigued by Luther and his other wives. I would love to read stories set in different eras featuring the different women, to see how he ended up the way he was.

To read or not to read: Read immediately. Red is a fantastic story of friendship, sacrifice and dealing with your demons, both physically and mentally, with the added twist of werewolves. It is hands down one of the best books I have ever read, and words just don’t even sum up how much I loved it!

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