The Girl in Red - by Christina Henry
4/5 STARS – Christina Henry Australian Blog Tour
· Publisher: NewSouth Books
· Release Date: August 2019
· RRP: $18.99 AUD Paperback
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...
I received a copy of this book from the publisher NewSouth Books in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.
I can honestly say that post-apocalyptic books are not a genre that I willingly go to – however when NewSouth asked me which Christina Henry book I’d like to read, The Girl in Red just jumped at me and I knew I would love it from the synopsis.
This book is not for people who like a fairy tale – ironic because it’s a spin on Little Red Riding Hood, however, what I am saying is, it’s not all roses and cupcakes – it’s far from it.
We have heavy topics throughout this novel, murder, racism/ prejudice and physical abuse. Christina Henry really encapsulates the depths of depravity that people will go to when the world as they know it has come to an end and society crumbles.
The scariest part about all of that, is that you know Christina Henry is on point, she isn’t creating far-fetched reactions, it’s events like these that can bring out the absolute worst in human beings – not everyone of course, but there’s always some.
It’s also quite unnerving to read a book about a virus spreading throughout the globe without a cure, when that is exactly what is happening right now – thank goodness Corona Virus is not as horrific as the Cough in this book.
Now, The Girl in Red – who is she? Our main protagonist in this novel is Red – or as her Shakespearean loving mother likes to call her, Cordelia – her birth name. Understandably, Red hates it. Red is quite a memorable character for me, I’ve never come across a character quite like her – not any particular bit – but everything about her moulded together.
Red is smart and when I say smart, I mean really smart – paranoid, but not in a bad way – in a survival but not living in a bunker way. She’s opinionated, strong headed, open minded and gives a big middle finger to authority when she doesn’t agree with their bullshit – so yeah, I loved her.
Not only is Red all of the above, but she’s also completely badass with an axe. You honestly are in awe of her. Red is resilient, she has had to learn to be ever since she lost half of her leg in an accident. She doesn’t take crap from anyone and she’s just as able bodied as anyone with two working legs – hell, she’s more able bodied than me.
We follow Red as she makes her way to her Grandma’s house, the only safe place she knows in the world.
The plot never tires, and this is because we have chapters changing from past to present, or as the book put it ‘before’ and ‘after’ the Crisis.
It flows between the two so well, you start questioning what Red is on about or why she won’t think about her brother Adam and then it’ll flick to ‘before’ and it tells you.
To say I didn’t see a lot coming in this book is an understatement, what happened to Red throughout this book, why she is alone, who she meets, what she does and of course all the craziness that is the Crisis. It’s twists and turns and disbelief – but in a good way – there’s a lot that will keep you on your toes.
My only pain point in this book was the ending – it happened so abruptly, we’d been on this journey with Red and learnt about the events that lead her to walking in the woods alone and then BAM! The end – I would have loved if the ending was a bit longer and didn’t feel so rushed.
This is my first Christina Henry book, but it’s safe to say it won’t be my last! I can’t wait to delve into her other books!