Kia has a bit of a temper and when you add in an uncontrollable talent for creating fire, well, you have a volatile mix. When she inadvertently injures her best friend, and is expelled from school, Kia’ s father sends her to live with her grandmother who works for the wealthy Blackwood family. While living in a castle on a vast estate seems like a dream, Kia soon realizes there is a lot more to Mr. Blackwood and his gorgeous yet inscrutable son Ethan, than meets the eye. When she discovers they’re hiding something in the forest that surrounds the estate, her curiousity kicks in and she determinedly sets out to unveil their secret. She also finds that there are far more dangerous creatures and beings out there than herself and any one of them could get her killed.
Red is the first book in what seems will be a trilogy or series. It reminded me of The Most Dangerous Game with an interesting mix of magic, supernatural, and myths from different cultures thrown in. Kia was my favorite character with her snarkiness and sass. She’s strong-willed, yet vulnerable because of her dismay and confusion over her fire-starting talent. Her relationship with her grandmother is great although I was a little surprised that her grandmother wasn’t more open with her about her family history. Ethan took a little longer to warm up to, as he’s very cold and aloof with Kia in the beginning. Once he confides in her however, he becomes much more likeable. The book is told in both of their voices and the always talented Alyxandra Harvey smoothly transitions them in alternating chapters. The mythology aspect was brilliant and intriguing and has left me wanting to read more. And therein lies the problem. There were some aspects of the story that were mentioned and then dropped completely such as the mysterious and sinister Cabal. I also felt the ending was rushed and it left me a little unsatisfied. But, ultimately I think this has quite a bit of promise, and I’m looking forward to reading more.