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Summary

From the national best-selling author of Alice comes a postapocalyptic take on the perennial classic "Little Red Riding Hood"...about a woman who isn't as defenseless as she seems.

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....

©2019 Christina Henry (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

"Satisfyingly upends the familiar tale of a clever girl, a dangerous wolf, and a brave savior, and folklore fans will enjoy this bloody near-future variation on a familiar theme.” (Publishers Weekly)

"The versatile Henry has reimagined another classic fairy tale, this time with a fascinating narrative about surviving the apocalypse." (Booklist)

"With The Girl in Red, Christina Henry once again proves that retellings don’t necessarily lack originality." (Kirkus Reviews)

What listeners say about The Girl in Red

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Poor read; disappointing; unfinished;

Started with some potential but author appears to want to tick every possible equal opportunity box with force. Abrupt ending and unfinished plots. Very amateur style. ‘He said, she said’ Didn’t warm to any of the characters. I could have skipped loads of chapters to read the last one as everything in between was meaningless. I recommended this book for to book club. Hope I’m still a member after this!

1 person found this helpful

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amazing

Loved it! Not what I expected at all. Pleasantly surprised. Can't wait to listen to the author books.

1 person found this helpful

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More irritating than I remember

I’ve read this book and enjoyed it but listening to it has left me feeling rather irritated. I don’t think I noticed before how often ‘said’ is used and how much I long for a ‘shouted, replied, stated’- anything that stops the overuse of ‘said’!
I also didn’t think Red was as angry when I read it, the voice artist (though v good) sounds just a little too strident and I began to dislike Red a little. I suppose that’s the risk you take when you listen to something you’ve already read yourself, the voices just aren’t the same.

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Not bad. A rushed ending though.

Pretty good. I liked the tough, female protagonist; not scared to wield her axe, and not prone to obsessing over the gruesome results.

Great narration.

It felt like it ended way too suddenly though, as if the author just gave up one day and fast-forward to the end. Left lots of questions unresolved.

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great - until the last page

It just stopped! No real explanation of what was happening. Really disappointing unfortunately as I was really enjoying it. I feel a bit cheated actually.

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Clever and poignant

I really enjoyed the style and pace of this audiobook. It took a less sensationalist approach than many other works in this genre and the protagonist was an interesting, believable character.

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  • Kryptonite451
  • 25-11-19

this seems like an unfinished 1st or 2nd draft

this seems like an unfinished draft that was published for some reason. like a creative writing assignment where she ran out of time.

The cover is misleading - this is not a modern fairy tale - it's a grisly post-apocalyptic sci-fi story.

Actually, maybe it is a modern fairy tale - a five foot tall, one legged, immature young woman wearing a bright red hooded sweatshirt who refuses to carry a gun and gets all her survival knowledge from horror movies treks 100+ miles through a post-apocalyptic world full of militias and killers, and never makes a mistake or falls down.

10 people found this helpful

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  • LLong
  • 04-10-20

Entertaining... but I expected more

Wow, talk about an appropriate book to read in 2020. Apocalyptic world reeling from a worldwide biological threat/pandemic. Found myself screaming at the main character a couple times: she was too in her head and not focused on the world around her, but from a story perspective she was our descriptor. Entertaining and easy read. Extremely vague connection to the red riding hood story. Would have liked more details on the sci-fi twists and more character development. Characters seemed... half finished.

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  • Kris Kidwell
  • 28-01-20

It's OK

There were moments I struggled to keep with this book. It is not nearly as good as theAice chronicles or Lost Boy. I found myself rolling my eyes at the protagonist at times because of how arrogant and immature she came across. At the end, the protagonist reflects on how she has changed but I found this very disingenuous, because I didn't feel that the character had changed at all during the story. And the part that was her anti gun rant irked me. Shes living in a world full of every kind of monster but acts like somehow hacking people to death is better then shooting them. And the constant "I'm not disabled!" followed by the character admitting that her prosthetic foot hindered her mobility. The supporting characters were better then protagonist. Overall, the book felt rushed to the end, the protagonist was not the most endearing, and it is not Henry's best.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-08-19

Left Wanting More ;) Satisfied if it's All I Get

Thus far, I've read the Alice series and this magnificent piece. I enjoyed Alice very much so decided I would begin slowly reading the rest of Mrs. Christina Henry's works. I'm thrilled by my lack of disappointment. Like many, I loved the twisted re-imagining of Alice, but the The Girl in Red was a new piece all it's own. I'm in love with the lead and the way she thinks. Red is as bold, fierce, and bright as her name.A sequel would be a gift, but even without one... I now have a new idea of what Little Red Riding Hood is to me and I love her story.

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  • A Judy Jones
  • 01-07-19

I was interested the whole time

This was a good story loosely based on Little Red Riding Hood. The narration worked for me and did the book justice. I enjoyed the extra twist to the virus that does away with most of the world. There was room for more details for this intriguing story. But I love a longer book in general. The main character, Red, was someone you would want on your side in an end of the world apocalypse situation.

3 people found this helpful

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  • klm
  • 05-05-20

so timely

Thought this must have been written within the last month. was actually eerie for the first half of the book

2 people found this helpful

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  • Evey Sanchez
  • 10-07-19

AMAZING!!!!

Holy monkeys this was an amazing book!!!I couldn't stop listening and the voice was behind wonderful. I really really hope the auther writes another. I would read/listen to it in a heart beat.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Jessie
  • 09-07-19

great revamp

I loved the revamp of the old little red riding hood story and the characters. The narrator did an awesome job!! I didn't want it to end and was sad when it did. So far I have enjoyed all of the books by this author!!

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  • Kevin Potter
  • 11-07-19

Christina Henry does it again!

I've said it before, and at this point I'm sure it will continue, that Christina Henry is the single greatest voice ever for fairy tale retellings!

This was my first time listening to an audiobook narrated by January LaVoy, and I have to admit she's a brilliant narrator. She has great voices (even her male voices are impressive), fantastic tempo, and near-perfect vocal inflections.

Only one thing kept this from being a 5-star performance: her voice just wasn't right for Red or Adam. Mama, Dad, the children, and all three other characters sounded great. But there was a major disconnect between the language choices and culture details and the voices used for these two characters.

Okay, honestly I was a little leery of the concept going into this book. Post-apocalyptic really isn't my thing, particularly if there isn't either magic or zombies involved. But having read Lost Boy, I already knew Christina Henry is a fantastic author.

And I'm here to tell you that while it did start off a little slow and the structure is a little different, this book is absolutely worth the time!

About an hour or so in, after we've had a chance to get to know Red a little bit, things really start to heat up and the story kicks into high gear!

I really enjoyed all the nerd culture references and I love that Red isn't just some heroic idiot that gets herself into trouble over and over.

I'm not going to comment on Red's ethnicity or disability as I don't have the background to know if either is presented with accuracy, except to say that both feel pretty authentic to me.

Without spoiling anything, let me just say that there are some really interesting things that happen later in the book that really got my attention and my one disappointment is that they weren't fully explored, though there is a story reason for that.

Now, apart from the usual prose issues I've come to expect from any author who's been publishing for more than 5-10 years (largely on account of the standards having drastically changed in that time... excessive adverbs, excessive dialogue tags, lots of passive voice and clunky phrasing, etc.), my only real critiques are

A, the use of proper nouns, particular in dialogue tags and action beats, is a little excessive. There were many occasions that a pronoun would have worked just fine.

And B, particularly in dialogue, there is a strange lack of conjunctions. Not an absence, but fewer uses than I would have expected. Especially for such a modern setting.

Now, the ending.
Although it did feel a bit rushed to me, at the end things came together quite nicely. There is a touch of Deus Ex Machina, and the fact that Red comments on this very thing does not lessen the effect. But all in all I'm pleased with how it came together.

Whether your interests lie in post-apocalyptic fiction in general or if you're a junkie for fairy tale retellings, this is one you won't want to miss.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Teague
  • 13-10-20

Struggle From the First Word

Poor plotting combined with an entirely unlikable protagonist and supporting cast. Maybe one of the least sympathetic protagonists I've ever read, every single character lacks even the semblance of charm.

The only highlight are the lines from "Macbeth" used for chapter titles.

I want my credit back.

1 person found this helpful