Red Hood's Revenge: A Review
October 20, 2010[Full disclosure: I personally know Jim C. Hines and have done work for him.]
Red Hood's Revenge is the third in Jim Hines' "Princess Novels". I used to describe this series as "Charlie's Angels meets Disney Princesses, but with plot." I'm not sure I'm going to be able to do that anymore - simply because this series has grown strong enough that such comparisons don't do justice to Jim's books.
Sure, the three main characters - Danielle, Talia, and Snow - are based on Cinderella, Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty. But they - just as with Roudette (Red Riding Hood) - are not the saccharine helpless maids marketed by the mouse. They are fully realized characters set in a rich world of thier own. Red Hood's Revenge is inspired by these fables the same way that O Brother Where Art Thou is inspired by the Odyessy. Familiar elements (a red cloak, a spell of sleeping) show up, but in a fully imagined original world.
I cannot recommend Jim's books strongly enough. They are a great blend of epic fantasy elements with fully realized characters and setting, while dodging the problems (and weight) of a typical fantasy epic.
One small note: Issues of sexuality and romance are addressed in this book. The action takes place "offscreen", so to speak. If it were a movie, I'd rate it PG, and I'm comfortable with my nearly 13-year-old reading it.
You can get the book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or your favorite bookstore.