I have a huge love of fairy-tale retellings. Particularly if they involve murder, liquorice, or bitter black coffee.
Which is why I fell hopelessly in love with As Red As Blood by Salla Simukka! It’s a Finnish (!!) murder mystery slash retelling and it. was. so. good. I even wrote a list of reasons why everyone should read it. And to recap, briefly:
- It involves, like I said, the delicious combination of dark, bitter coffee AND liquorice.
- The main character, Lumikki, has a thing for comic books. Bless her little heart.
- IT’S SET IN FINLAND, SO THAT’S AWESOME.
- There’s murder and money with blood stains.
What’s not to love about this book?! I, obviously, was thrilled when book 2 came out, titled, As White As Snow. It’s a retelling of the sisters Snow White and Red Rose. YAY. GIVE ME THIS DELICIOUS BOOK.
Thank you, Hot Keys, for acquiescing my request with a review-copy! I’m so so grateful!
Aaaand…I was disappointed with the sequel.
It’s only 200-pages but the plot took forever to unfold. Although it does have an epic plot twist so most things are forgivable, right?!
As always, I adore reading about Lumikki. Why? OH. I am so glad you asked. I have a list for you:
- She doesn’t get pushed around. Which is incredibly awesome of her.
- She knows what she wants so she does it. Does she want to go to a specific school? She goes. Does she want to backpack Prague alone? She does it. She’s so independent and intelligent and logical and I LOVE THAT. Gee, if only I was this awesome when I was 17.
- She has a personal bubble. She gets cranky when people stand too close. Seriously, this girl is my spirit animal.
- She’s not obsessed with romance. We get to find out a bit about her alluded to tragic love-life, but…at the end of the day, Lumikki isn’t a touchy-feely person and she’s all about compatibility not starry-eyed stolen kisses. She’s not going to fall in love with just anyone. (Although the romance was written in a retrospect/backflash style, which was slightly disappointing. I would rather be in the book instead of being shown it, you know?)
THAT IS ADORABLE.
Basically the story is about Lumikki taking a holiday to Prague and stumbling into a cult.
Also a girl randomly shows up and announces she’s Lumikki’s long lost sister. (Wow. Subtle.) So Lumikki is trying to figure out if this is true, while simultaneously getting embroiled in her “sister’s” cult and nearly getting killed and then learning just how psychotic the cult really is. It’s exciting! But…I’m not a fan of cult books. I just don’t like them! Since book one was about stealing money, I expected that kind of crime. But trust me, this has got murders and hit man and all the running-for-one’s-life. So that’s still exciting. Although, personally, I think Lumikki is WAY too trusting of random people. She got shot in the last book! Doesn’t she learn?!
The retelling vibe is very very subtle. It’s more like “based on” than “retold”. But I love it.
It’s exciting, but didn’t really keep my attention. I wanted more from the plot! I felt like it was too slow to start and then too fast to finish. (Am I too fussy?!!) It was nowhere near as good as book 1. STILL. Bring on book 3 ASAP, please and thank you.
Lumikki Andersson may be innocent, but she’s no Snow White…
Three and a half months have passed since Lumikki Andersson was left for dead in a snowdrift – a bullet wound in her thigh and frostbite creeping into her skin. But the scorchingly hot streets of Prague in summer provide a welcome contrast to that terrifying time, and now Lumikki just wants to move on – forget the events of the past year, forget about the Polar Bear’s crime ring – and escape her parent’s oppressive concern… She’s alone again, which is just how she likes it.
But Lumikki’s peaceful solitude is about to be shattered. She is approached on the street by a nervous young woman, who, unbelievably, thinks she might be Lumikki’s long-lost sister. Lumikki is unconvinced – although Zelenka’s story seems to ring horrifyingly true – but there’s something weird about her. Something jumpy, and suspicious.
Turns out Lumikki is right to be wary, as Zelenka is part of a dangerous religious cult who believe they are descendants of Christ – and that Lumikki is one of them, and must be ‘martyred’ alongside them. On the run for her life again, Lumikki must once more draw on her all her powers of resolve and strength if she is to survive.
who’s up for a finnish murder mystery?! YES! YES PICK ME! also, how do you feel about liquorice? and have you ever encountered “sequel blues”? tell me about the book!! PLEASE <– see? i have manners.
Cait @ Paper Fury
…is currently dreaming of coffee and trying to figure out what to buy for her sister’s birthday. Why are all the nerdy things so darn expensive?! ALSO. She is researching a book idea that involves a family of psychopaths and an “oddball” child with a marshmallow melting heart. It shall be interesting. She’s reading The Unlikely Hero of Room 13 B which is about OCD.