Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Crimson Bound

The cover of this book is so beautiful that I would have bought this book for just the cover. Isn't is beautiful? I hope in future publications they don't change it, I really adore how this looks. But moving along, this book came into my radar based on the really decent promotional campaign the publisher/author was running through book blog tours. I read this off of my Kindle while on vacation and went through the book lightning fast. It was a quick read and not overwhelming or too hard to follow: the perfect vacation read.

Rachelle, our main character, was an apprentice to become something of a white witch in her land. She would protect the land from the evil that lurked in the woods. But, she's tempted to be brave and goes mindlessly into a trap, becoming "marked" and one of the evil creatures she was meant to fight against.

This artfully blends the idea of Little Red Riding Hood into this newly written story. Her red cloak was meant to protect her and she was lured into the woods by a "big bad wolf" of sorts. I found these people who were marked to be incredibly interesting but certainly lacking in details. They were evil and marked but just seemed like rich people, I was missing on their magic sense.

Rachelle is now fully submerged in this world and there's certain steps to the process: you're marked and in three days time you either die or complete the process by killing someone you love. Then, once you kill someone you love, you become a super human of sorts. Eventually, your heart gives up and you're called to the darkest of places. You accept a world where there is no love and your morals are squashed. Rachelle is in the middle: super human (the one thing that seems to show and knowing her time is running out. She still holds onto her morals and while a little bit touched by blood lust, she still knows right from wrong and tries her best to still protect the realm.

The king of this land picks Rachelle to protect one of his sons and while I found there relationship interesting: they work together and spar all at the same time, I was also disappointed that it ultimately became a love story.

Right when Rachelle is ready to become the worst of the worst, it isn't her kick ass ways or feminist values that save her, but her love for this dude. Of course, women can be feminist and still fall in love but what tires me is that this is a constant plot line in YA books.

But, ignoring that annoyance, I have to say that I loved the villains in this book, I love the world that Hodge created. It was aristocratic and just oozing of the mentality one would assume for the rich and famous. Rachelle is a feminist which I enjoy. She still has love to share and appreciation for the finer things in life, but she opts to be happy in pants and a sword. She allows her friend to practice make up on her and enjoys it and while she hates getting dressed up, she's not a baboon in the wardrobe of court ladies. (Something that always seems to go hand in hand: tough girls who look down on feminine wardrobes but once put into the wardrobe trips everywhere and just complains but Rachelle makes it all work in her favor). I only wish that I knew more about the darker world, that there was more back story to it all and a better understanding of the "evil." I feel that was somewhat rushed. We literally come face to face with it and maybe it went over my head but I just found I didn't quite click with what this other world was.

I really appreciated Hodge reinventing the fairy tale of Little Red Riding Hood (is it even considered a fairy tale?) I've always wanted to rewrite fairy tales myself but I've never been sure how to go about it. Any examples are worth a try and I feel this was a good example. Like I said, this wasn't a heavy read. It was perfect entertainment while at a beach or lazying around during a vacation, but I enjoyed it and certainly will consider this author in the future (especially if there are more book covers like the one for this).

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