i thought that these “fairy tale retellings” would all be retellings of different fairy tales with no overlap, but then some fenris from sisters red snuck in, along with the brother of silas reynolds. get outta here—this is supposed to be hansel and gretel! (or “ansel” and “gretchen” in this case) there are no wolves here! but there are. so i’m warning you. this is going to be more of a series of books in which there is free passage between the fairy tales, despite their origin, than a series of stand-alone modernizations/retellings.
and that’s okay, it was just unexpected.
this one gets the three
stars cats only because it was good, but not as good as sisters red, so they can’t get the same rating.
why do i always find it necessary to explain my ratings? as though someone is out there making a spreadsheet of all of this, and needs to understand the nuances of my preferences. stop studying me, scientists!
book: when ansel and gretchen were little, gretchen’s twin sister got snatched in the woods by what young gretchen interprets as a witch. many years later, having lost both of their parents and still touched by survivor’s guilt and fear, the siblings leave home together and eventually find themselves in a spooky small town when their car breaks down, where they befriend a young chocolatier living in a tiny cottage smelling of vanilla and filled with seeeecrets. ansel falls in love, gretchen falls in “replacement for lost sister” love, and only then do they start hearing about the mysterious disappearances of young girls, and the accusations against their new friend sophia.
i liked this one just fine, but i don’t think it had the same intensity as the first. it was more of a slow-pooling mystery novel with a truly fantastic climactic scene, and didn’t have as striking characters as sisters red. (well, one character anyway—i am still not sold on rosie). all the talk of hazelnut truffles and candied lemon peels had me wishing for my very own sophie in a candy-cottage nearby, even with all her sinister baggage. is worth it for candy.
i am very interested to see where she takes this series, and to see whether all the recurring themes and characters will eventually come together and how that will even work. she has a good thing going here, and i am hoping it doesn’t get away from her.