Author: Kate SeRine
Series: #1 in the Transplanted Tales series
Rating: ☆ ☆
“My name is Tess Little. But everyone calls me Red.”
Once upon a time, a spell went awry, stranding Make Believe characters in the ordinary world. Since then, Tess “Red” Little—a/k/a Little Red Riding Hood—has worked as an Enforcer for the Chicago branch of the Fairytale Management Authority. But, consider yourself warned—she’s not just some waif with a basket of goodies. All grown up and with nothing to lose, a gun and combat boots is more her style. And Red’s new assignment threatens to be short on happily ever afters…
Someone is murdering transplanted Tales in gruesome fashion. The list of fictional characters capable of such grisly acts is short and includes more than one of Red’s old flames. And if that wasn’t bad enough, there’s another complication, in the form of sexy, enigmatic Nate Grimm, the FMA’s lead detective and part-time Reaper. Used to following her own rules and living life on the edge, Red has managed to avoid taking on a partner until now. But Nate’s dark side makes him perfect for a case like this. That is, if she can trust him. Because if there’s one thing Red knows for sure, it’s that believing in the wrong person can have big, bad consequences…
Every three months I start a reading challenge on goodreads that consists of various tasks (like read a book with a certain element on the cover; or set in a certain location). One of these tasks is a group read – every season 3 books, in different themes, are selected by the group members – you have to read 1 of the books to complete the task. Red by Kate SeRine was selected as the group read for the theme, Fairy Tale Re-tellings (the other two books that were selected were A is for Alibi for First Book in a Cozy Mystery series and All the Light We Cannot See for Modern Literary biggies). Of the 3 books, Red was the only one that seemed remotely interesting – I’d previously DNF’d A is for Alibi and All the Light We Cannot See just didn’t intrigue me.
Unfortunately, while it was the most intriguing to me, overall it just didn’t work for me. It was really hard for me to get to into the book. I found it really easy to put the book down (or move onto another book that was in the pile). When I look back now, I think it was because there was just too much going on with the storyline. I liked the idea of fairy tales who have come to life and live in the real world, integrating much like you see vampires/werewolves in paranormal romance – just being one of the people. But it wasn’t just fairy tales, like Little ‘Red’ Riding Hood (the main character), there were characters from classic literature (Ms. Bennett and Mr Darcy from Pride and Prejudice); the Grim Reaper and even elements from various mythologies. Too many characters, and stories to track, which contributed to my struggle.
The mystery element, by itself, was interesting – tales (as they called) being murdered in gruesome/sadistic ways – and Red, as a character was intriguing (if a bit annoying at times). although she did have a few TSTL moments where I wanted to Gibbs-slap her. I felt like the author did a good job of laying down false pathways to figure out the who did it – but at the same time, I was totally blind-sided by the result. Even reflecting now, I didn’t see any clues that would have tied the mystery back to the person who did it. That was a bit, I don’t know…I like mysteries where I can actually try and guess who it was, not be completely out of the loop.
The overall ending of the book, also left me with questions – i get that its the first book in a series but it needed some more of a conclusion. But the excerpt from the second book caught my eye and I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ll probably try it, even though I’m only giving Red 2 stars (normally below my level for continuing a series).