book reviews by Althea

Blood Red – Mercedes Lackey *

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DNF page 235 of 312

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters? No, it’s ‘Little Red Riding Hood: Werewolf Hunter.’
Honestly, they’re both ideas with plenty of potential. But I admit that I fell asleep on the movie, and well, Mercedes Lackey phoned this one in. I really liked her other recent release (House of the Four Winds) but this book completely lacks any kind of plot structure or dramatic tension. It doesn’t even have much action… it’s a lot of blah blah blah about what people wore, ate, etc.
Basically, Mary Sue, I mean Rosa, aka Little Red Riding Hood, discovers her Earth Magic, is brought into a protective supernatural Brotherhood, and goes around kicking the ass of the paranormal baddies. When she’s not having dinner, or learning how to apply makeup, or taking a train…

And at this point, I realized that even Lackey clearly hadn’t read back her own work:

page 155:
“What becomes of your clothing? When you change, I mean?”… “You shift nude!” she chortled.
…”Well… er…yes… Wolves don’t wear clothing after all.”… “If we are going somewhere, we carry a change of clothing in a harness on our back.”

“But what if you… want to chase rabbits or something?”…
“Unless we absolutely must, we do not hunt for game…That is not advised. The more we act like wolves…the harder it is to remain human within the wolf. Hunting – and especially killing – these evoke particularly powerful instincts. So we don’t risk it. I had money with me when I ran here. When I got hungry, I shifted, found an inn, and ate like a civilized man.”

OK, got that?

page 180 (same two characters, shortly afterwards):
“You never did tell me… what happens to your clothing when you change?”
“…I don’t wear any… I bundle the clothing up and strap it to a harness… with the bundle on my back.”

page 182 (still the same two characters, same conversation):
“It’s easy hunting, with a wolf’s instincts and a man’s brain, and obviously, once I catch my dinner, I eat it right there with no fuss.”


OK, I didn’t hate this book. It’s very… good-natured and congenial.
But I’m not going to finish it, either.


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