Steampunk Red Riding Hood
A few weeks back, I asked for recommendations of brain-candy – quick easy reads with smoothly flowing prose and straightforward plot. The kind of book you can devour in an evening or two, with a bit of fun, a bit of action, and a bit of romance. Something to escape into when the world is being difficult.
Wolves and Daggers was one of the suggestions.
From the series’ title, it can be guessed that this is a fairytale retelling of Little Red Riding Hood. It’s got all of the elements from the fairytale: Little Red, the Grandma, a Big Wolf (tons of wolves actually), and even a Hunter.
I’ve not read a lot of fairytale retellings, so I don’t know what’s the norm, but I expected the book to stick a little closer to the original story. In fact, apart from the characters mentioned above, there’s really not much at all remaining from the old fairytale, and the story could just as well have been described as female James Bond hunting werewolves in steampunk London.
Now, don’t get me wrong, this is in no way a bad thing – rather the opposite. It just wasn’t what I expected when I started.
The story moves along at a good pace. There’s action and adventure, funny situations, and a bit of a slow burn romance that lasts through all six books. In other words, it’s just what I was hoping for when I went looking for brain-candy.
Perhaps it could have been a bit more steamy, but I’m not complaining. [Edit: it too make me way to long to realise that maybe I shouldn’t be saying that a steampunk novel isn’t “steamy” enough. What I meant is there’s no sex.]
What I’ll whine about
So, there’s a romance. There are two nice, handsome men who both find their place in the heroine’s heart, and she must decide which one to commit to. Clearly, dear Clemeny does not have the same taste in men I do, and she picked the far less interesting character.
Then again, what do I know…
What I’ll gush about
Setting. Steam punk is cool. Secret agents are cool. Gadgets are cool. Secret agents with steam punk gadgets are super cool. It’s all cheerfully over the top, but without crossing the line into ridiculous – although hunting werewolf airship vikings over Scottland does come close (book #2, it’s awesome).
Story. I doubt anyone could drag out the original fairytale over six books, and I’m glad the author didn’t try. Instead, Clemeny’s story takes on its own shape and takes her on a journey I could not have predicted myself.
Female James Bond hunting werewolves in steampunk London. What’s not to love?