Want Books: Dust City

Want Books? is a weekly meme hosted at Chachic’s Book Nook and features released books that you want but you can’t have for some reason. It can be because it’s not available in your country, in your library or you don’t have the money for it right now.

This is my first Want Books post, spurred by the fact that I really want this book I am featuring. It’s normal for me to want books, of course, but this is one of those books that has really made me curious. I know I could always get a Kindle edition of this book, but there are some books that I must get in print because of certain factors. For this book, it’s the cover. Look:

Dust City by Robert Paul Weston

Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf?

His son, that’s who.

Ever since his father’s arrest for the murder of Little Red Riding Hood, teen wolf Henry Whelp has kept a low profile in a Home for Wayward Wolves . . . until a murder at the Home leads Henry to believe his father may have been framed.

Now, with the help of his kleptomaniac roommate, Jack, and a daring she-wolf named Fiona, Henry will have to venture deep into the heart of Dust City: a rundown, gritty metropolis where fairydust is craved by everyone and controlled by a dangerous mob of Water Nixies and their crime boss leader, Skinner.

Can Henry solve the mystery of his family’s sinister past? Or, like his father before him, is he destined for life as a big bad wolf?

Look at that cover. I normally don’t judge books by their cover, bu this one is just…well, it’s not pretty, but it’s certainly very striking. It almost looks like a movie poster, don’t you think?

Okay, the first time I saw this book online and in the bookstore, I wasn’t really sure I wanted it. I’m on a dystopia kick lately, see, and my eyes generally glaze over things that aren’t of that sub-genre. But after I read Chelle‘s review of Dust City, I decided that I want the book. Another sort of re-telling of Little Red Riding Hood, with other fairy tale characters making appearances in the story? I’m sold! :)

I would have gotten this in Fully Booked last week if only (1) it’s not in hardcover (although lately I have been buying a bit more hardcover books) and (2) it’s wasn’t so expensive. Unfortunately, when I visited the store yesterday, the copy is gone. :(

Oh well. I can still wait.

Red Riding Hood strikes back

Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce
Hachette Book Group, 336 pages

Scarlett March lives to hunt the Fenris– the werewolves that took her eye when she was defending her sister Rosie from a brutal attack. Armed with a razor-sharp hatchet and blood-red cloak, Scarlett is an expert at luring and slaying the wolves. She’s determined to protect other young girls from a grisly death, and her raging heart will not rest until every single wolf is dead.

Rosie March once felt her bond with her sister was unbreakable. Owing Scarlett her life, Rosie hunts fiercely alongside her. Now Rosie dreams of a life beyond the wolves and finds herself drawn to Silas, a young woodsman who is deadly with an ax– but loving him means betraying her sister and has the potential to destroy all they’ve worked for.

Twenty-five-year-old Jackson Pearce delivers a dark, taut fairy tale with heart-pounding action, fierce sisterly love, and a romance that will leave readers breathless.

There is something about a re-telling of an old, popular story that fascinates me. It started when a friend recommended Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers, a re-telling of the book of Hosea from the Bible, and I’ve read a lot of contemporary young adult (YA) stories based on fairy tales–but not all re-tellings work. Some authors simply retell the story with different names and twists that have little impact on the story. However, for those that manage to infuse an old tale with originality, the result can be a clever and creative read. Such is the case with Jackson Pearce’s second book, Sisters Red.

The cover is very pretty, but don’t be mislead by it (and the fact that Pearce’s first novel was light and romantic): Sisters Red is not your ordinary fairy tale retelling. Pearce goes in an entirely different direction from her debut by writing a modern version of Little Red Riding Hood that is dark, dangerous, and quite violent. The novel starts with Scarlett and Rosie March as kids, when they first encounter a Fenris – a wolf who assumes the form of a handsome man, and who feeds on beautiful women. Scarlett kills the wolf to save her sister, but not without the Fenris killing their grandmother and leaving Scarlett scarred and blind in her right eye. Seven years later, the sisters, together with their childhood friend Silas, have devoted their lives to hunting these soulless beasts who continue to prey on other women. When the three of them realize that Fenris from different packs have started to hunt together, they know something was up: the Fenris are looking for the Potential, a possible new werewolf recruit. Scarlett, Rosie and Silas head out to the city to find the Potential before the wolves do. Scarlett is thrilled that she’ll be able to kill more Fenris; Rosie, on the other hand, is excited for an entirely different reason: she longs to spend more time with Silas, who has started to point her in the direction of jobs besides hunting, and toward a life resembling normalcy.

It’s brave of Jackson Pearce to put a dark twist to this fairy tale (although it must be pointed out that the original versions of Little Red Riding Hood were dark indeed). Click here to read the rest of the review.

Rating: [rating=4]

2010 Challenge Status:
* Book # 57 out of 100 for 2010

My copy: ebook, $9.99 from Amazon Kindle Store

Cover and Blurb: Goodreads

Little Red Cowboy Hat

Little Miss Red by Robin Palmer

Little Miss Red by Robin Palmer

Sophie Greene gets good grades, does the right thing, and has a boyfriend that her parents — and her younger brother –just love. (Too bad she doesn’t love him.)

Sophie dreams of being more like Devon Deveraux, star of her favorite romance novels, but, in reality, Sophie isn’t even daring enough to change her nail polish.

All of that changes when Sophie goes to Florida to visit her grandma Roz, and she finds herself seated next to a wolfishly good looking guy on the plane. The two hit it off, and before she knows it, Sophie’s living on the edge. But is the drama all it’s cracked up to be?

I think I mentioned it before — I love re-tellings. When I found Robin Palmer’s books one random day at National Bookstore, I knew I had to read them.

Little Miss Red is Robin Palmer’s third fairy tale based novel, and this time, she took the story of Little Red Riding Hood and turned it into a fun and wild and surprising story about love and drama.

Sophie’s tired of her life. She wants to have a more exciting life — something that her favorite novel character Devon Deveraux has. She’s tired of not being able to do what she wants to do because it doesn’t “fit” her, and she wants a more exciting life than she has. When her trip to Mexico with her friends got canceled, Sophie gets sent to Florida to bring a family heirloom to her grandmother. Because of a case of chicken pox caught by her boyfriend, who has pushed the “pause” button in their relationship, Sophie meets Jack, a daring, good looking guy and thinks that finally, she’s getting the adventure she deserves.

Little Miss Red is a fun read, and I really found myself rooting for Sophie all the way. Somehow, I found myself relating to her struggle about drama — I’ve always had a time when I wish that something exciting would happen to my life, but when it finally does happen, I find myself wishing for my life to be boring all over again.

There were times I wanted to slap Sophie silly when she kept on falling for Jack’s charm, even if it was already obvious that he’s just mooching money from her. I knew I would not be surprised if Jack turns out to be a crook all along, but Robin Palmer surprised me with the ending, which just made me feel, well, a bit sorry for someone like Jack.

No more spoilers here now, but I can say that Robin made the story of Little Red Riding Hood a bit more interesting than the old fairy tale, and ended it with a sort of unexpected twist. :) It’s a fun, entertaining read, something I’d recommend to YA and fairy tale lovers out there. And one last thing: I like the overall lesson of Little Miss Red: sometimes, drama is really unnecessary in life. And in love, it’s the boring things that really count in the end.

Oh, and good news to all Robin Palmer fans: she’s going to write another fairy tale retelling, this time, it’s Snow White. Now that is something to look forward to. :D

Rating: [rating=3]

2010 Challenge Status:
* Book # 14 out of 100 for 2010

→ Get Little Miss Red by Robin Palmer on Amazon.com
→ Robin Palmer’s website