Red by Kate SeRine
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Series: Transplanted Tales #1
Publication Date: August 2nd 2012
Page Count: 330
Review Copy: Own Purchase
Reviewed by: Lynsey
Synopsis: “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…
4.5 Fun-filled stars
Oh, what an absolutely fabulous read! This was a simply brilliant mix of tongue in cheek humour, serious crime solving, kick-ass characters, unique worldbuilding, all combined with a cleverly written mystery and a positively enthralling romance. I suggest every Urban Fantasy and/or Paranormal Romance fan grab this book ASAP as it will bring you something really fun and totally different to your favourite genre.
I kept bringing to mind the movie WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT?' while I was reading this for a couple of reasons: Firstly, it was the idea of make believe characters living alongside us in the real world; 'Toons' in Roger Rabbit's case, and 'Tales,' as they were called here. All your favourite fairy tale, literary and nursery rhyme characters are over here, in our world, trying to fit in with society. Secondly, it was the presence of a certain detective with a penchant for 1940's clothing; trench coat, fedora and all. More about him later:)
So, as you might have guessed from the title, this is Red (of the riding hood-wearing variety), aka Tess Little's story. A story you might think you are familiar with. But here's the thing. After being accidentally kicked out of the Land of Make Believe and sent to the Here and Now, these former fictional characters no longer have to follow their predetermined fates. They can go down a different path if they so choose. Some find this concept harder to accept than others, however. Villains find it really hard no to be villainous, insipid fairytale princesses find it really hard not to be air-headed bimbos...you get the idea. But, if you weren't happy with your lot in your original story, this is your chance to change it and be totally different. So don't assume you know how Red's story will go, because you will be very surprised. I certainly was. I couldn't predict anything, not even the outcome of the mystery, which was great.
The story, as I've said, is mystery based. A murder mystery to be precise. And Red, as an Enforcer for the Fairy Tale police, is called in to assist lead detective Nate Grimm (of the trench and fedora) since it appears the identity of the killer may well be someone Red is intimately familiar with. The Big Bad of all Big Bads himself, Seth Wolf.
Although I loved the mystery element and all the action, my favourite part of Red has to be the romance. It was slow to get going— very slow, actually, with even a couple of detours along the way which I wasn't totally thrilled with—but it was so worth the wait! It was simmering and intense and I was absolutely along for the ride. The 1940's look has never been something that struck me as particularly sexy before, but Nate Grimm changed my mind! Whoo boy, did he ever... He was a really interesting character, too, with a fascinating backstory that we learn as Red gets to know him more.
As for Red herself, she's pretty badass. She makes a few mistakes and can be a little brash, but underneath all that, she's still that little girl, lost in the woods. I think you'll like her character if you can keep an open mind about some of the choices she makes.
The rest of the cast, as you can well imagine by now, was positively filled with familiar faces. And the really clever part was how they were used, where they were placed. I'll tell you just a couple because I don't want to spoil it, but for example: Old King Cole, who you may know, is a merry old soul, runs a pub for Tales. Nicky "Little boy" Blue, is a gangster. The Pied Piper runs a pest control business. Don't you just love it? I sure did.
So, all in all, a great and surprising read. Not as silly as you might think from the premise, with a fab romance and really good twists and turns. Go check it out!
4.5 Stars ★★★★1/2