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The Girl in Red

Narrated by: January LaVoy
Length: 8 hrs and 21 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (50 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From the national best-selling author of Alice comes a postapocalyptic take on the perennial classic "Little Red Riding Hood"...about a woman who isn't as defenseless as she seems.

It's not safe for anyone alone in the woods. There are predators that come out at night: critters and coyotes, snakes and wolves. But the woman in the red jacket has no choice. Not since the Crisis came, decimated the population, and sent those who survived fleeing into quarantine camps that serve as breeding grounds for death, destruction, and disease. She is just a woman trying not to get killed in a world that doesn't look anything like the one she grew up in, the one that was perfectly sane and normal and boring until three months ago.

There are worse threats in the woods than the things that stalk their prey at night. Sometimes, there are men. Men with dark desires, weak wills, and evil intents. Men in uniform with classified information, deadly secrets, and unforgiving orders. And sometimes, just sometimes, there's something worse than all of the horrible people and vicious beasts combined. 

Red doesn't like to think of herself as a killer, but she isn't about to let herself get eaten up just because she is a woman alone in the woods....

©2019 Christina Henry (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"Satisfyingly upends the familiar tale of a clever girl, a dangerous wolf, and a brave savior, and folklore fans will enjoy this bloody near-future variation on a familiar theme.” (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Christina Henry does it again!

I've said it before, and at this point I'm sure it will continue, that Christina Henry is the single greatest voice ever for fairy tale retellings!

This was my first time listening to an audiobook narrated by January LaVoy, and I have to admit she's a brilliant narrator. She has great voices (even her male voices are impressive), fantastic tempo, and near-perfect vocal inflections.

Only one thing kept this from being a 5-star performance: her voice just wasn't right for Red or Adam. Mama, Dad, the children, and all three other characters sounded great. But there was a major disconnect between the language choices and culture details and the voices used for these two characters.

Okay, honestly I was a little leery of the concept going into this book. Post-apocalyptic really isn't my thing, particularly if there isn't either magic or zombies involved. But having read Lost Boy, I already knew Christina Henry is a fantastic author.

And I'm here to tell you that while it did start off a little slow and the structure is a little different, this book is absolutely worth the time!

About an hour or so in, after we've had a chance to get to know Red a little bit, things really start to heat up and the story kicks into high gear!

I really enjoyed all the nerd culture references and I love that Red isn't just some heroic idiot that gets herself into trouble over and over.

I'm not going to comment on Red's ethnicity or disability as I don't have the background to know if either is presented with accuracy, except to say that both feel pretty authentic to me.

Without spoiling anything, let me just say that there are some really interesting things that happen later in the book that really got my attention and my one disappointment is that they weren't fully explored, though there is a story reason for that.

Now, apart from the usual prose issues I've come to expect from any author who's been publishing for more than 5-10 years (largely on account of the standards having drastically changed in that time... excessive adverbs, excessive dialogue tags, lots of passive voice and clunky phrasing, etc.), my only real critiques are

A, the use of proper nouns, particular in dialogue tags and action beats, is a little excessive. There were many occasions that a pronoun would have worked just fine.

And B, particularly in dialogue, there is a strange lack of conjunctions. Not an absence, but fewer uses than I would have expected. Especially for such a modern setting.

Now, the ending.
Although it did feel a bit rushed to me, at the end things came together quite nicely. There is a touch of Deus Ex Machina, and the fact that Red comments on this very thing does not lessen the effect. But all in all I'm pleased with how it came together.

Whether your interests lie in post-apocalyptic fiction in general or if you're a junkie for fairy tale retellings, this is one you won't want to miss.

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AMAZING!!!!

Holy monkeys this was an amazing book!!!I couldn't stop listening and the voice was behind wonderful. I really really hope the auther writes another. I would read/listen to it in a heart beat.

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great revamp

I loved the revamp of the old little red riding hood story and the characters. The narrator did an awesome job!! I didn't want it to end and was sad when it did. So far I have enjoyed all of the books by this author!!

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Red Riding Hood meets Alien

This is a wonderful written story full of imagery and stunning scenes as Red sets out to make her way to Grandma's house come hell or high water, in this post-apocalyptic novel. She may be a lone women with a prosthetic leg walking over 300 miles, but she's and with an
ax. She isn't going to let any men, coyote or wolf, get in her way. This book does have some surprises for you, I wouldn't ruin it for you but you'll wish for sequel.

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I was interested the whole time

This was a good story loosely based on Little Red Riding Hood. The narration worked for me and did the book justice. I enjoyed the extra twist to the virus that does away with most of the world. There was room for more details for this intriguing story. But I love a longer book in general. The main character, Red, was someone you would want on your side in an end of the world apocalypse situation.