Cursed into the form of a wolf by a sorceress, Connor escapes into the wilds where dreams of a woman in a red cloak haunt him.
Bereft and alone after the death of her mother, Melody is plauged by nightmares. The only relief is the strange appearance of a grey wolf in her dreams.
Trevor the woodcutter is more than he appears. His purpose is to possess Melody for his malicious needs.
|File size:||446 KB|
|Age Range:||13 Years|
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The Cover Normally, I review books, not covers. However, have you ever experienced that sensation when a book's cover really grabs you and won't let go? Well, the cover of "Red and Grey" mugged me on Facebook. I was going along minding my own business when this fabulous image wrapped both hands around my throat and throttled me. Then it slapped me. And slapped me again for good measure. Wow! Seriously, wow! If I were Christine Brant, I'd have a framed photo of that cover on my desk. The artist has unbelievable talent. Okay, moving along... The Story “Yes, Grey, you’re a big bad wolf,” she said, acknowledging the growl with her words as she continued to move forward. ~Melody "Red and Grey" by Christine Brant is a recreation of the folktale "Little Red Riding Hood", which appears to be heavily influenced by other stories from the collection of the Brothers Grimm. I use the word recreation with deliberation, because this story is so much more than a simple retelling of the original. The author engages in extensive world-building to construct a mystical universe that contains a rich history and many layers of detail. The hero, Connor, begins the story as a human man who falls victim to the machinations of a malevolent witch. She curses him to the form of a wolf and attempts to enslave him. He escapes and runs deep into the woods where he learns to live as a wolf. In the forest, he becomes Grey, a name that aptly describes his loss of color vision, reducing his world to a palette of grey scale but rich in other sensory detail. The only shade he remains able to distinguish is red. As time passes, he truly becomes a wolf in every sense of the word. He learns to hunt, he acquires a small pack, and he avoids humans. So far as heroes go, Grey is strong and stoic. His primal charisma makes him highly appealing and I experienced empathy for what he suffers and is forced to give up in his quest to survive as a wolf. Melody is a miner's daughter, the only child of the wealthiest man in her small town. Her mother recently passed away and she has a crush on the handsome woodcutter. I'm unsure of her exact age, but I got the impression the heroine was mid-to-late teens, based on descriptions and the medieval era. Melody earns her nickname "Red" from Grey, thanks to her bright—you guessed it—red cloak. Red is a fairly typically teenage girl—somewhat self-absorbed, moody, and full of questions. She hasn't found her place in the world or even really identified who she's going to be. She suffers from the added burden of her father's neglect in the wake of her mother's death. Still, the heroine's brooding gets to be a bit much at times. I love wolves and I don't love teenage girls, so I guess it's obvious which way the wind is blowing. Fortunately, Red is at her best when she's with her grandmother or Grey. She also experiences a unique condition called synesthesia that enables her to hear, taste, and feel colors. The author's descriptions are vivid and evocative and definitely add to the magical mood of the story. The hero and heroine share wonderful chemistry. As the story progresses, Red and Grey communicate primarily via a surreal series of dream sequences. There is emotional conflict because the pair refuse to communicate, but they are also tender and sensitive toward each other in turn. I loved how protective Grey is of Red. The author tells the story with wonderfully descriptive language, which really recreates the magical mood of a fairytale. The villain is credible, sympathetic, and yet pretty darn scary. Love scenes are sweet. I believe "Red and Grey" would be suitable for a young adult (teen) audience. I felt the point of view switched too frequently between the hero and heroine. Near the middle-end, the plot pacing slowed down but it did pick back up. The author offers a satisfying conclusion. All in all, "Red and Grey" is a page turner. Don't start reading too close to bedtime if you want to get any sleep!