Arc Review: Red Wolf by Rachel Vincent

Title: Red Wolf
Author: Rachel Vincent
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: July 20th, 2021
Publisher: HarperTeen
Rating: ⭐⭐✨

This high stakes, pacey reimagining of Little Red Riding Hood is perfect for fans of Stephanie Garber and Megan Spooner.

For as long as sixteen-year-old Adele can remember the village of Oakvale has been surrounding by the dark woods—a forest filled with terrible monsters that light cannot penetrate. Like every person who grows up in Oakvale she has been told to steer clear of the woods unless absolutely necessary.

But unlike her neighbors in Oakvale, Adele has a very good reason for going into the woods. Adele is one of a long line of guardians, women who are able to change into wolves and who are tasked with the job of protecting their village while never letting any of the villagers know of their existence.

But when following her calling means abandoning the person she loves, the future she imagined for herself, and her values she must decide how far she is willing to go to keep her neighbors safe.” (Goodreads)

I haven’t read a retelling for Little Red Riding Hood before and so I was looking forward to starting this one. Although there are certain things I did like about this one, there were still things I didn’t like that left me questioning a lot of what the main character did.

When it comes to the retelling aspect of the book, I thought it was unique. You can definitely see where it is similar to the original but the author does take creative liberty to make it her own and she does that well.

Adele is a character that I just couldn’t get behind when it came to her actions. She was set in her ways and didn’t want to listen to others opinions about situations that would cause harm to her loved ones or even the village. It felt like she didn’t take her job seriously and cared more for those she should be killing than the ones she was meant to protect, aka the village she lived in.

I also didn’t care for the love triangle that she found herself in. Grainger was very controlling and Max was a bit to enamored by Adele’s abilities to where it was borderline creepy. Sure, he knew about them coming from a family who also has guardians but it still was odd. Adele also turns on one rather quickly and basically does what her mother did but berates her mother for the choice she chose.

The plot at times was intriguing but I did get tired of all the marriage and bearing children talk. It took up too much space where I think it would have been better to see Adele become more adept with her abilities. I also felt like the beginning of the book was rushed through to get to the point of her turning into a guardian which took away most of the mystery. There were some good plot twists but one I saw from the beginning and couldn’t help but think, “What an idiot you are, Adele.”

Overall, it was okay but for a unique retelling it was good which is why I bumped it to a 2.5 instead of just a 2. I’m sure others will enjoy it more than me but I just couldn’t get behind Adele and when you don’t like the main character that much it makes it hard to fully enjoy the book.