Review: The Girl in Red by Christina Henry

The Girl in Red by Christina Henry

Synopsis and Details:

From the national bestselling author of Alice comes a postapocalyptic take on the perennial classic “Little Red Riding Hood”…about a woman who isn’t as defenseless as she seems.

It’s not safe for anyone alone in the woods. There are predators that come out at night: critters and coyotes, snakes and wolves. But the woman in the red jacket has no choice. Not since the Crisis came, decimated the population, and sent those who survived fleeing into quarantine camps that serve as breeding grounds for death, destruction, and disease. She is just a woman trying not to get killed in a world that doesn’t look anything like the one she grew up in, the one that was perfectly sane and normal and boring until three months ago.

There are worse threats in the woods than the things that stalk their prey at night. Sometimes, there are men. Men with dark desires, weak wills, and evil intents. Men in uniform with classified information, deadly secrets, and unforgiving orders. And sometimes, just sometimes, there’s something worse than all of the horrible people and vicious beasts combined. 

Red doesn’t like to think of herself as a killer, but she isn’t about to let herself get eaten up just because she is a woman alone in the woods….

Genres: Fantasy, Fairy Tales, Horror  |  Release Date: June 18, 2019  |  Publisher: Berkley  | Pages: 304  |  ISBN: 978-0451492289  |  ASIN: B07KNRN1VL  |  Format: ARC  |  Source: Berkley Publishing Group

Review with Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Girl in Red is a bold retelling of the classic fairytale, Little Red Riding Hood. This story is told from Red’s viewpoint and it picks up after the Crisis has devastated countless towns. The Crisis was caused by what was known as the Cough but no one knows where the Cough originated from and there is absolutely no cure. With the loss of life, comforts, and order, the world Red is thrust into is one of anarchy, barbarism, and destruction. You would think Red would be scared senseless but this fierce woman is determined to get to her Grandma’s house, a place that is secluded, defendable, and familiar.

The telling of the events that took place in Red’s tale switch between Before and After. To be clear, the chapters flip between before and after events that are momentous to Red. So, it is not just one event represented by past-present transitions. I liked how this was written because the narrative was craftily done and despite transitioning between multiple events the flow was smooth and suspenseful. Red, as a character, was smooth as well. She was a planner and she took in all the information she could in order to achieve the best outcome. There was nothing that she wouldn’t do to stay safe but at the same time she was not just out for herself. She was willing to take some risks for what she felt was the right choice to make. 

Red had plenty of experience backpacking, which meant the idea of traveling to Grandma’s house, hiking through unknown terrain, was not one that overwhelmed her. I love, love, love that she paid attention to the events taking place around her and started her preparations early for what she thought was going to come. What really cracked me up and made me love Red even more was that all of her knowledge for what she thought she should be doing in this post-apocalyptic world was based upon the science-fiction, zombie, and slasher films and books that she had gorged herself on growing up. She might not have been right 100% of the time but her “knowledge” kept her safe when others were captured or worse. There is much to unpack in this story but there are also items that are not explained and left to the imagination which could be a turn off for some readers. For me though, The Girl in Red was a fast-paced post-apocalyptic thriller with an interesting twist on a beloved fairytale and I for one enjoyed the ride!

*Thank you to Berkley Publishing Group & NetGalley for this eARC of The Girl in Red*

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This review is based on a complimentary book I received. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.

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