Review taken from my blog, The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia (http://hauntedorchid.blogspot.com/2012/01/arc-review-scarlet.html)
When I first heard about Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen I knew that I would have to read it. Mainly because it sounded like something I would absolutely love, and boy was I right in my guessing because I could not put Scarlet down until I had read every last page.
I really loved that the sense of action and adventure was present in Scarlet from the very beginning, and did not let up until the end. This book had me on the edge of my seat as Scarlet, Robin, and the rest of the cast tried to assist the residents of Nottinghamshire survive the Sheriff, as well as keep out of the clutches of the vile Thief Taker, Lord Gisbourne.
I thought that the author did an excellent job of balancing out the different aspects of the book-the action/adventure mixed with the secrets that the characters kept as well as adding an emotional element to the book. I thought that it was all handled quite well and done in such a way that it just blended nicely together.
One of the things that really pulls this book together, at least for me, was that it was not a walk in the park. It was dark, a little gruesome at points, but pretty much nothing was held back or softened and that just made it such an addictive read. On the other hand, I liked that there was minimal swearing and nothing that left me wanting/needing to skip paragraphs or pages.
Scarlet has to be one of my favorite characters of late. One of the things that made me like her so was that she was a force to be reckoned with. One of the things that drew me to Scarlet's character was that she was not the damsel in distress and that she could pretty much hold her own (and some time surpass) the male characters in the book. I also liked how as the book progressed you began to see that there was more to her story then you see at first glance, as well, as the way that her story unfolded throughout the book.
The Thief Taker, may just be the most vile villain to cross my reading; as well as the Sheriff. I loved that the villains of Scarlet were ones that truly deserved the title of "villain" and that there was no gray area where they were involved. While they both made for great adversaries for the heroes of the book, Lord Gisbourne took the cake. I thought it was intriguing that he and Scarlet had had a few run-ins before he showed up in Nottinghamshire, it definitely added something to the plot when he made his first appearance.
I liked that Robin's told was more of a secondary character and that he did not end up stealing the show. I also liked how there was a little more story behind his actions and that he came across as a pretty stand-up kind of guy (even when he tried to be cruel I still liked him).
What made Scarlet such a great read is that it grabbed me from the very beginning with the superb writing and story-telling of A.C. Gaughen, and kept me reading late into the night even though I had to be up early the next day. It was just one fantastic re-imagining of the classic Robin Hood story...you just have to read it for yourself because words cannot describe how good it is.
While this book was absolutely brilliant, I do have just one itsy-bitsy complaint...the end. While the end of the book was good, it left off were Scarlet could be a stand-alone but also left room for the story to continue in another book and I need to now if this is the end of Scarlet's tale or if there will be another book about her. So the end, good, but I was left with a few unanswered questions that I would like to see answered (will have to see if this is truly the end).
Final Verdict: Scarlet one incredible re-imagining of the classic tale of Robin Hood. A must read.
Scarlet earns 5 out of 5 pineapples.