REVIEW: Scarlet (Scarlet #1) by A.C. Gaughen

Title: Scarlet
Series: Scarlet #1
Author: A.C. Gaughen
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Release Date: February 14, 2012
Pages: 292
Source: eBook

Many readers know the tale of Robin Hood, but they will be swept away by this new version full of action, secrets, and romance.

Posing as one of Robin Hood’s thieves to avoid the wrath of the evil Thief Taker Lord Gisbourne, Scarlet has kept her identity secret from all of Nottinghamshire. Only the Hood and his band know the truth: the agile thief posing as a whip of a boy is actually a fearless young woman with a secret past. Helping the people of Nottingham outwit the corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham could cost Scarlet her life as Gisbourne closes in.

It’s only her fierce loyalty to Robin—whose quick smiles and sharp temper have the rare power to unsettle her—that keeps Scarlet going and makes this fight worth dying for.

  • I loved that Scarlet was a retelling of the classic Robin Hood tale and it was so much more than that. Scarlet had history and passion and grief and cunning. There was a remarkable depth to this story that readers will appreciate.

  • The world and characters felt so real, you couldn't help but sympathize with these townspeople and root for the success of Robin Hood and his gang. And there were some serious monsters to root against. So much death and violence. Your heart does not get to take it easy during this reading experience. 

  • The band was so much fun. But Scarlet and Rob specifically were great, both individually and as a pair. Scarlet was a riot. She was sassy and stubborn and could hang with the best of them. The story is told from her POV, in a sort of lower-class broken English, which was perfect and really gave voice to her character.  Rob was a sweetheart but could be so dumb at times when it came to Scarlet. Men... *shakes head*

  • Who doesn't love a book with thievery and law-breaking, good guys vs bad guys? This book was so much fun and one big adventure. And the ending was perfect. Conclusive but still open-ended enough for the sequel. 

  • I didn't care all that much for the love triangle between Rob, Scarlet and John, primarily because I didn't care all that much for John. Whatever affections John might have had for Scarlet, and vice versa, did not feel genuine and only served as a distraction from Rob and Scarlet, which was perfect and meant to be. Plus, there was too much back and forth on Scarlet's part.

  • I didn't find the pacing to be all that fast. Most likely the love triangle focus slowed it down for me. Nevertheless, the book in its entirety was still immensely entertaining. 

I can understand why there is so much hype surrounding this book. It's a retelling done extremely well - sans the love triangle. The characters are memorable - flawed but great. The setting is thorough and the story is full of emotion. There is plenty of action and adventure and a fair share of thievery and lawbreaking. Who can say no to that? It was a smooth, enticing read from start to finish and I am looking forward to reading Lady Thief! 

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