Bad girls burn hot…
Red is the color of Kia Alcott’s hair.
It’s her temper, which blazes hot and always gets Kia into way too much trouble.
And it’s the color of fire. Fires that Kia can start…just by thinking about them.
When her latest “episode” gets her kicked out of school, Kia is shipped off to her grandmother, who works for the wealthy Blackwoods. It’s an estate shrouded in secrets, surrounded by rules, and presided over by a family that is far from normal…including the gorgeous and insolent Ethan Blackwood.
Ethan knows far more about the dangers of the forest surrounding the estate than Kia can ever imagine. For this forest has teeth, and Ethan is charged with protecting the outside world from its vicious mysteries.
But inside, even the most vibrant shade of red doesn’t stand a chance against the dark secrets of the Blackwood family…
Worldbuilding: There’s a really cool gothic element to the paranormal world of Red, the castle which holds so many secrets, the dark woods surrounding it which contain deadly ‘monsters’ ie fantastic creatures. Aside that, the whole Cabal bestiary notion was very intriguing and made for a very diversified fantasy element. Big like.
Characters: Kia was a fun MC. She was snarky, had attitude, but didn’t strike me as kiddish or immature at any point. I will come right out and say she read like mature young adult character, which is why I loved reading about her. I liked her from page one.
Ethan was a cool lead as well. The whole brooding hunter vibe, young alpha male kind of charisma really worked for him. I loved the fact he saw the right and wrong and tried to stick to what he believed had to be done.
They were fun as a couple, though I can’t say the chemistry struck me in any particular way. But it’s YA, romance never really works for me all the way in this age group. I will say that for this age group, Alyxandra Harvey presented a convincing, realistic connection, and I loved reading about it.
Plot: The story had a pretty rapid pace, enough action to keep me excited but not too much (as you know, I have an issue with agitate action most often). Of course, we’re dealing with an instance of good versus evil, but I loved the fact there were some blurred lines there, it wasn’t all uber clean lines. Plus big like for giving the “monsters rights” some respect. Damn it, they deserve to live free and roam, lol! The romantic tangent was also fun, and it was nicely woven into the story.
Writing: First person, past tense narrative, from Kia’s and Ethan’s POV. I liked their voices.
Curb Appeal: Lovely cover, hooking blurb – and though many will say insta-buy author name, this was my first Alyxandra Harvey. But it won’t be my last 🙂
All in all, this was a really fun read, fast-paced, entertaining, touching (Sloan…*sigh*), and I will say overall charming. I loved the world of Red and would also love to revisit in the future, maybe. If you’re into good writing, fast paced stories and believable young adult romances, give Red a shot – I think it’s totally worth it!