Rating: 4/5 stars.
I’m sorry to be the odd one out, but I didn’t get into this as much as Heartless. I dragged through most of it. Maybe it was because I had forgotten stuff from the first book, so that I didn’t make the connection until I was reading something random about Heartless. But once I got closer to the end…it was great!
Rose Red has a secret. A secret that has her living in isolation in the mountains with nothing but an old man she calls father and her nanny goat. But then she meets headstrong Leo, who quickly becomes her friend, when no one else would. Together they play and search for a monster rumored to be in the mountains. But their trust in each other is tested when something more real and terrifying than anything they could imagine, comes to their land.
Leo, oh Leo. I must say, he was one of my favorite characters. His humor and his temper were fun to watch. There was times when I disliked him and the decisions or actions he took, but that made him more real. People have faults; they make mistakes. Don’t you at some points dislike real people? So when I disliked him, I still considered him one of my favorites. I’m glad to watch him learn from his choices. And I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of that in the coming books. Rose Red was…interesting. I didn’t connect with her very well, but she was still really great to read about. I loved how far she was willing to go to keep her promises. I enjoyed watching the way she and Leo conversed together. It was so cute and sweet.
I thought about the first half was slow. I just couldn’t get into it, maybe because the characters were so young at the beginning and it kind of put me off. I’m not sure, because there was plenty of mystery to keep a person interested. But it did pick up speed towards the end and there was so much action and danger. I started to worry for a bit! What a conclusion! It was kind of sad. Thank goodness there is more to this series.
The tale switched between Leo and Rose Red’s point of view. Randomly, there were a few other points of view that added intrigue. This book went through a whole decade and more of time, but at no point did it get confusing. I still felt connected to the characters even after skipping over years of their lives. I have to say, that is quite an achievement.
This is a perfect blend of fantasy, fairytale, and allegory. I’m just beginning to realize how allegorical this series is. I don’t think I realized that in the first book. This is for all the people who like this kind of story. You don’t want to miss it.