I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Girl in Red by Christina Henry
Genres: Retelling, Horror
Published by Berkley on June 18, 2019
Buy on Amazon
Also by this author: Kicking It: These Boots are Made for Stalking, Lost Boy: The True Story of Captain Hook, The Ghost Tree, Near the Bone
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....
Here is what I thought
I have only read one other book by this author (Lost Boys) and I really loved it so I had high hopes for this one, but it just wasn’t as good as I hoped.
Read at your own risk because I tried not to spoil but not sure if I pulled it off or not!!
Cordelia (Red) knows that the Crisis that is happening isn’t going to get better, the Cough is killing off to many people. They are now rounding people up and taking them to quarantine facilities. Red refuses to go to one of those and thinks they should go to Grandma’s house as it’s back in the woods and well everything is always better at grannies. Red has been preparing herself for weeks because she has a prosthetic leg and knew she would need to build up her stamina for walking in the woods. Nobody else in her family seemed that worried.
It’s told in two timelines of Before and After. In the After Red is on her own trying to make it to her grandmother’s house and in the Before we find out what happened and why she is all alone. So I don’t read a lot of post apocalyptic type books and maybe there is a reason for that as I was so bored. For most of the book it’s just Red hiking in the woods and then something would trigger a memory and we would go to before which was a little bit better than hiking forever in the woods.
So in one of the Before parts we find out that there might be something else out there to worry about besides the Cough. They were scavenging for food and come upon a dead guy with a huge hole in his chest. Adam thinks it’s a monster like in Alien and Red thinks he is crazy because even if she loves those movies she doesn’t think something like that could happen. While out they are caught by the military who are out trying to grab the few, still wondering around, for the quarantine camps. This is where Red finds out they are looking for something ‘classified’ so won’t say but are interested in what they said about the guy with the gaping hole.
In the after we eventually find out what it is kind of and that is one of the things that makes me mad about this book. I don’t like left open questions. To be honest I think the author could have left out the giant hole making things as it really doesn’t do anything for the story and if you are not going to explain why they are there and what the heck is going on with the government during the crisis then I feel a bit cheated. I actually looked to see if there was going to be a book two because I thought the ending was too rushed and then it was like that is that. The end. I was left with so many questions and maybe the author wanted it that way and it probably works fine for others because it has a really good rating on Goodreads. It just didn’t work for me.
I can’t say that I even really cared that much for Red especially in the beginning as she thinks she knows everything. She starts to grow on me after awhile but it took about halfway through the book. I liked a few that she meet along the way and don’t know if mentioning them might spoil so I won’t. One character I really couldn’t stand was her brother in the Before segments as he was an idiot and well he isn’t in the After so draw your own conclusion there like I did before I found out what really happened…lol.
It’s really hard to talk about without feeling like I am throwing in spoilers but I hope I didn’t ramble to much. 🙂 I will probably try this author again but this book just wasn’t for me. I would have gave it a higher star rating if it wasn’t for the unanswered questions that bothered me. Give it a try you might enjoy it better than I did.