cover image The Girl in Red

The Girl in Red

Christina Henry. Berkley, $16 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-0-451-49228-9

Henry’s sharp, unsettling rendition of “Little Red Riding Hood” explores whether a healthy sense of paranoia and extensive knowledge of horror fiction rules will increase Red’s chances of post-pandemic survival, especially given her increased vulnerability due to her gender and prosthetic leg. Three months after the start of the Crisis—an illness that has killed most of the populace and is somehow creating creepy, monstrous creatures—Red is determined to reach her grandmother’s rural home, despite the obstacles of patrols (government and otherwise), devastated infrastructure, her determination not to use a gun, and the deprivations and hardships of the lengthy trek. Red (nee Cordelia) is a prickly but sympathetic protagonist, imbued with a fierce and admirable determination to protect herself and her loved ones, but even armed with resolution and a hand ax, she may not reach her destination. Henry (Lost Boy: The True Story of Captain Hook) 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. (June)