“Scarlette” by “Davonna Juroe (2012)
Genre: Paranormal, Fairy Tale, Fantasy, Suspense
Book Length: about 318 pages (E-book edition)
Scarlette, a 19-year-old seamstress who is laboring to make ends meet, lives under this dark threat. Although fearful of the nightmarish monster lurking in the surrounding forest, she remains skeptical of the supernatural gossip.
Until her grandmother is attacked.
Scarlette learns that her grandmother has been infected by the animal’s bite. Desperate to save her, Scarlette begins to uncover the dark secrets of her village and finds there are those who wish to keep their pasts hidden.
As time grows short, Scarlette is befriended by a local nobleman and a woodcutter who both share an eerie history with the wolf. Scarlette must unravel the men’s connection and solve a long-forgotten crime. But as she pieces together the clues, Scarlette finds herself torn between the two men. Both of them desire more than friendship and together hold the key to the cure. (description from Amazon)
WARNING! SOME SPOILERS!
I really enjoyed this book a lot! I love how the author, Juroe, combines the Grimm Brothers version of “Little Red Riding Hood” with the actual historical events of an incident in Europe in 1764 that an unidentified wolf-like animal ferociously mauled dozens of peasants in the Gévaudan region of France. I thought it was a clever and unique twist for setting up the story. Juroe keeps the historical setting of time accurate (you can tell she’s done her research well) ,but chose to make the language more modernized in order for the novel to be more mainstream and easier to understand (which I also appreciated). The new edition of the novel includes two short stories as well, and those were also fun to read!
We have our main character Scarlette, who’s (I want to say) around her late teens or early twenties. She lives with her sweet ole grandma and her incredibly mean mother (who is even worse than Cinderella’s step-mom, seriously she’s that bad). Scarlette does her best to keep her mom happy, takes care of grandma, does the house chores, pays the bills, and works. (Sounds like Cinderella when I put it this way, doesn’t it?) Anyways, there are a whole bunch of scary wolf attacks and so the government brings in these woodcutters to help save the day, except people keep getting killed. Scarlette’s grandmother “dies” and she decides she needs to put an end and find out what is going on.
The story is very suspenseful and I personally felt the chapters ran a bit short (that could be because I read this book on my Kindle). Juroe’s writing is detailed and paced perfectly. When reading the novel I was constantly kept on my toes, for what was going to come next. The ending was great and I felt happy with it. The only problem I had with this book is when Scarlette gets googly-eyed for the royal baron, Louis, and falls in love with him immediately. (On no! The dreaded insta love!) Her woodcutter friend Francois, constantly tries to tell her that things won’t work out. Of course falling under the spell of insta love, she doesn’t listen until bad things happens and then it’s too late. On the positive, Scarlette does get redeemed, in my eyes, when she acquires skills of bad-assery when learning how to fight the wolves and defend herself (which comes to her naturally).
Overall “Scarlette”, has a great plot line full of suspense and action, and likeable characters. Recommended for fans of fantasy, suspense, and paranormal. “Scarlette” gets 5 stars out of 5.
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