Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Review: The Dragon's Apprentice - Dugald A. Steer

Synopsis: Daniel and Beatrice Cook, along with their parents and their dragon chick, Torcher, are getting ready to open an orphan dragon sanctuary near Castle Drake in St. Leonard's Forest. But then Dr. Drake brings news that several dragon members of the Society of Dragons have been attacked and it looks to be the work of the Dragonsbane Knights, a secret society of dragon slayers that was thought to have been eradicated centuries ago. If Dragonsbane is resurfacing, then no dragons in Britain are safe! When Torcher is kidnapped, Daniel and Beatrice are convinced that Dragonsbane is behind it, and, with the help of the Guardian Dragon's apprentice - an adolescent half-European, half-frost dragon named Erasmus - they race to bring Torcher home before it's too late.

Review: This is a great adventure series for young readers, full of the sorts of things I enjoyed when I was little: dragons, villains, mysterious artifacts, secret societies, booby-traps, and best of all - treasure. Let it never be said that the Dragonology Chronicles have disappointed when it comes to treasure.

The Dragon's Apprentice is probably the best so far, delving into the history surrounding the S.A.S.D (Secret and Ancient Society of Dragonology), and presenting the Reader with a new and better enemy. Daniel and Beatrice are once more agreeable heroes, though at times I found Beatrice a little prissy, and Daniel's stupidity at times was aggravating. They are intelligent children, and yet they miss some of the most obvious things! However, Erasmus - a truly entertaining new character - makes up somewhat for these shortcomings.

The adventure itself was filled with cliches, from the map scribbled all over with typically glaring "hints" about how to disarm booby-traps, right down to the end, where the villain falls into uncontrollable giggles at beholding the treasure trove. Most of the booby-traps bring back sharp memories of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and several times the characters act stupidly just to show the Reader what would happen if they solved the puzzle incorrectly. The dialogue during these parts reminded me of the games I used to play when I was little; children find it necessary to narrate everything that is happening, just in case their playfellow doesn't realize what is happening.

However, I wouldn't say that these things lessened the book's potential. Considering the age group that is targeted, I think these things will make any child squirm with glee, because it is exactly what adventuresome children like. So what it is rather cliche! There's treasure and dangerous traps, for crying out loud! The Dragon's Apprentice brought back lots of fond memories, and I enjoyed it thoroughly.

Overall Rating: 

Others in the Dragonology Chronicles:
1)The Dragon's Eye
2)The Dragon Diary
3)The Dragon's Apprentice
4)The Dragon Prophecy

Monday, August 29, 2011

Review: The Musician's Daughter - Susanne Dunlap

Synopsis: When her father is discovered dead in Christmas Eve, his valuable violin missing and a mysterious golden pendant found around his neck, fifteen-year-old Theresa is convinced murder is afoot. The key to her father's death seems to lie in his world of music, so Theresa sets to work as a copyist for acclaimed composer Franz Joseph Haydn.

Determined to uncover the mystery of his untimely end, Theresa gains access to the imperial halls of Prince Nicholas Esterhazy's court and delves into her father's secret life. The trail of blackmail and extortion she discovers leads her from the splendor of the royal court to the shadowy tents of a Gypsy camp. But it is the stirring love for a man she only thought she knew that might prove the most astonishing discovery of all.

Review: This was, by far, my favorite Susanne Dunlap book. It is an intriguing mystery with wonderful characters (especially Zoltan and his sister), fun references to historical people (Salieri, Mozart, Haydn, ect.), and even a likable romance which does not get in the way of the story! The Author's love for music rings clear in the writing, even making someone who isn't a musician or doesn't care for classical music feel Theresa's longing to be able to play the violin.

The content is very light, especially considering the Author's two other novels. There are slight references to rapes, a hint at one of the less important characters having a fancy for young boys, and one scene where Theresa is assaulted, but the latter goes nowhere, and the other things are not referred to in detail, and only mentioned in passing. The romantic element of the story is actually very pleasant, and once I was assured that it would not in any way impede the story's progress, I was fully supportive of the relationship.

The mystery, as I mentioned earlier, is highly intriguing and surprising. It is not necessarily filled with twists and turns, but it wasn't what I was expecting, and with the backdrop of Gypsies, court balls, the life of court musicians, and ancient instruments, this is a mystery that will keep anyone engaged.

Overall Rating: 

Review: Seer of Shadows - Avi

Synopsis: New York, 1872. Horace Carpetine has been raised to believe in science and rationality. So as apprentice to Enoch Middleditch, a society photographer, he thinks of his trade as a scientific art. But when wealthy society matron Mrs. Frederick Von Macht orders a photographic portrait, strange things begin to happen.

Horace's first real photographs reveal a frightful likeness: it's the image of the Von Macht's dead daughter, Eleanora.

Pegg, the Von Machts' black servant girl, then leads him to the truth about who Eleanora really was and how she actually died. Joined in friendship, Pegg and Horace soon realize that his photographs are evoking both Eleanora's image and her ghost. Eleanora returns, a vengeful wraith intent on punishing those who abused her.

Review: I am not a great fan of supernatural stories simply because I like things to make sense, but I am a great fan of Avi, and I am a great fan of the Victorian era. Seer of Shadows was definitely one of the best ghost stories I have read in a long time. Avi presents his Readers with brilliant, complex characters that have very distinguishable traits, and while he works with a very small cast, he pulls it off extremely well without making the Reader wish that there were a few more new people.

The story itself is, for lack of a better word, awesome. I got creeped out reading it on a sunny day! The pace is fast, but not so fast that the Reader feels like the story is running them over. The Author keeps things moving at an agreeable rate, ending each chapter on cliffhangers that actually work, and didn't make me roll my eyes and say, "Oh, well that's not typical." The Reader is also presented with historical and technical descriptions of photographical processes which manage to not bog the story down, but adds to the overall rich background of this novel.

Seer of Shadows is absolutely brilliant, and could have only been told by a truly masterful storyteller like Avi.

Overall Rating: 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Review: City of Secrets - Mary Hoffman

Synopsis: When Matt turns seventeen and acquires an old, leather-bound book, he's surprised by how drawn he is to it, especially since Matt is dyslexic and doesn't like to read. But the book turns out to be more powerful than he could have imagined: it is his talisman as a Stravagante, a person who can travel through time and place to a country called Talia, which is much like Italy. He is transported to Padavia University, where he meets other Stavaganti - including Luciano, a young man who's left his old world behind to live in Talia permanently, and Arianna, a beautiful duchessa in disguise as a boy. Together the three must fight the ambitious and dangerous di Chimici family, who are on the very brink of making a terrifying breakthrough into our modern world.

Review: This fourth book was a step up from the third; it was easier to follow, Matt is actually likable, despite being the jock-type, and events have started to move along, albeit at a very slow and creaky pace. I don't know how many books the Author is intending for this series, but it would be nice to see things start to develop a bit more, seeing as it's the fourth book. However, this one ends with the promise of new events - and very interesting ones at that.

Can't wait to read the fifth book.

Overall Rating:
Others in the Stravaganza Series:

1)City of Masks
2)City of Stars
3)City of Flowers
4)City of Secrets
5)City of Ships
6)City of Swords

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Review: Anastasia's Secret - Susanne Dunlap

Synopsis: For Anastasia Romanov, life as the privileged daughter of Russia's last tsar is about to be torn apart by the bloodshed of revolution. Ousted from the imperial palace when the Bolsheviks seize control of the government, Anastasia and her family are exiled to Siberia. Yet even while the rebels debate the family's future with agonizing slowness, and while the threat to their lives grows more menacing, romance quietly blooms between Anastasia and Sasha, a sympathetic young guard she has known since childhood. But will the strength of a love that exists in secret be enough to save Anastasia from a tragic fate?

Review: I am having trouble, even now, after several weeks since reading this book, in formulating my thoughts about this story. On the one hand, it is very interesting - what book isn't, when it concerns Anastasia Romanov? But on the other hand, it was massively disappointing. The majority of the first half is good - Susanne Dunlap presents the Reader with her usual rich descriptions and complex characters. But I quickly became frustrated with Anastasia's lack of political knowledge (though this is probably not an entirely inaccurate portrayal), and Sasha, her love interest, goes from a pleasant sort of fellow to downright vexing. His contempt for Anastasia's ignorance and always calling her a child is irritating, because he does nothing to enlighten her on what is going on, and then getting mad at her when she expresses her ignorance.

Content quickly spirals downhill from there, when the Author begins to describe French kissing in pretty thorough detail, characters grope each other, and then there is finally a bed scene in Chapter 21, page 203. While it is not horribly detailed, it is suggestive enough of what is happening to make it wildly inappropriate, and I actually found it rather disrespectful towards Anastasia's memory to have her sleep with someone. Thankfully, however, the Reader can avoid the majority of these nasty details - skip the parts where Sasha and Anastasia meet up, and enjoy the rest of the book, because all other occurrences in the story are interesting.

It is unfortunate that the Author put in so much lustfulness; Anastasia's Secret could have been both a good wartime novel and a good love story, were it not so bogged down with physical pleasure. When I think back on this book, I can only think disappointing thoughts.

Overall Rating: 

Friday, August 12, 2011

Review: The Iron Ring - Lloyd Alexander

Synopsis: When Tamar, the young king of Sundari, loses a dice game, he loses everything - his kingdom, its riches, and even the right to call his life his own. His bondage is symbolized by the iron ring that appears mysteriously on his finger.

To Tamar, born to the warrior caste, honor is everything. So he sets out on a journey to make good on his debt - and even to give up his life if necessary.

Along the way he is joined by a fast-talking troublemaker of a monkey, a headstrong and beautiful young herdgirl, and a bedraggled eagle on his own quest for the irreplaceable jewel called the Fire Flower. Others join Tamar's group as they travel through a rich landscape steeped in myth, where animals talk, spirits abound, and magic is everywhere. Tamar becomes embroiled in a terrible battle between warring kings - one side representing good, the other evil. He is tested in many ways, especially on the sickening battlefield, and ultimately he is left to die at the burning ground. Tamar, never losing his pride, learns much - about the real meaning of honor, about goodness, and about the sanctity of life.

Review: While I certainly enjoyed The Iron Ring, it was not my favorite Lloyd Alexander book. While having a clearly Indian feel, this story still felt very eclectic with its numerous characters whose names start to blend into one, and who appear very suddenly, tag along for a little while, then disappear just as suddenly, though I will not complain about their not hanging around. Tamar already has too much of a retinue. I will always be of the opinion that too large of a traveling group ruins any good journey story. Rajaswami, Tamar's tutor, began to grate on my nerves, especially when it became clear that he served no real purpose but to spout some little wise saying every once in a while. And the ending battle was so convoluted with every single character suddenly appearing for a "final bow"; it was really confusing. To top it all off, the Reader later finds out that a demon has been pursuing them this entire time, trying to steal away a gem that turns out to be really important.

However, not all of it was bad (even if the dialogue was very choppy). Hashkat, the monkey, and Garuda, the eagle, are hilarious, well-done comic relief, and I missed them as soon as I closed the book. I did not much care for Tamar, but other characters - Mirri especially - made up for the lack of a relatively likable hero. And though it is obvious that Tamar is not going to die in any of his dangerous encounters, the Author managed to add enough of an element of suspense that I actually wondered a little in the back of my mind.

With a beautiful female character along, it's obvious that the hero is going to fall in love, and I dreaded this happening because it almost always gets in the way of journey stories. And of course, with a journey, the romance has to be sped up to a point that if real people got married after knowing each other for so little time, they would either be miserable for the rest of their lives, one of them would end up murdered, or they would get divorced. Hence why I am not a fan of "instant love." However, it somehow worked between Tamar and Mirri; it did not feel cheap, hurried, or shallow. I was greatly in support of their feelings.

Unlike other Lloyd Alexander books I have read, the ending to The Iron Ring did not feel slapped together. With other books - not all, but some - it almost felt as if the Author got bored with writing the story one day and just cobbled together an ending that was bizarre, unexpected, and thoroughly unsatisfying. That is my biggest complaint about Mr. Alexander's writing: his endings have always felt weak. And though this book's ending is predictable and kind of silly, it felt planned. Like he had intended it to end thus from the very beginning, and for that, I was satisfied with it.

Overall Rating: 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Review: Ophelia - Lisa Klein

Synopsis: He is Hamlet, Prince of Denmark; she is simply Ophelia. If you think you know their story, think again.

In this re-imagining of Shakespeare's famous tragedy, it is Ophelia who takes center stage. A rowdy, motherless girl, she grows up at Elsinore Castle to become the queen's most trusted lady-in-waiting. Ambitious for knowledge and witty, as well as beautiful, Ophelia learns the ways of power in a court where nothing is as it seems. When she catches the attention of the captivating, dark-haired Prince Hamlet, their love blossoms in secret. But bloody deeds soon turn Denmark into a place of madness, and Ophelia's happiness is shattered. Ultimately she must choose between her love for Hamlet and her own life. In desperation, Ophelia devises a treacherous plan to escape from Elsinore forever . . . with one very dangerous secret.

Review: When I first read this book several years back, I didn't much like it because there are very few redeeming characters and quite a few sexual references. But I decided to give it a second chance, now that I am older and far more familiar with Hamlet, and more appreciative of the purposefully flawed characters therein.

My opinion has not changed drastically, but it has changed enough to make me keep it among my collection, rather than selling it as I had first intended. There are just as many sexual references as I recall, including two bedroom scenes, but the Author gracefully turns away from details and merely mentions that yes, they did it - let's move on, and she words it far more delicately than I did just then. Early on, a character pursues Ophelia with one intent only: to deprive her of virtue, but I assure you than nothing comes of it, and while the Author mentions a few more details than are necessary, she keeps even this to the smallest amount of words. Ophelia's going from childhood into womanhood (i.e. puberty) is mentioned with as much delicacy, and not dragged out into unnecessary details.

The majority of characters are flawed, but let us recall this Ophelia is based off of Shakespeare's Hamlet, which is all about flawed people, so when reading this book, one must take on the perspective that one does when reading the play: don't read it for the characters, but for the story. Even so, the Author manages to deliver some truly redeeming moments, when Ophelia realizes her errors and tries to amend them as best she can; when she determined to protect the life of her child; and finally, the Author presents us with Horatio, Hamlet's faithful friend, whom everyone will adore in the book. She plays upon all of his potential and really brings him to life.

Though I do rather wish Lisa Klein had toned down the sexual overtones, I have to admit that she handled them well nonetheless, and she offers us an ending far more redeeming and satisfactory than the ending of Hamlet. Had it not ended happily, where the villains and no-goods get the comeuppance and the good characters face their flaws and get on with life, I would have hated this book. But I would say that the ending alone makes it worth reading.

Overall Rating: 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Review: The Vespertine - Saundra Mitchell

Synopsis: The summer of 1889 is the one between childhood and womanhood for Amelia van den Broek - and thankfully, she's not spending it at home in rural Maine. She's been sent to Baltimore to stay with her stylish cousin, Zora, who will show her all the pleasures of city life and help her find a suitable man to marry.

With diversions ranging from archery in the park to dazzling balls and hints of forbidden romance, Victorian Baltimore is more exciting than Amelia imagined. But her gaiety is interrupted by disturbing, dreamlike visions she has only at sunset - visions that offer glimpses of the future. Soon, friends and strangers alike call on Amelia to hear her prophecies. Newly dubbed "Maine's Own Mystic," Amelia is suddenly quite in demand.

However, her attraction to Nathaniel, an artist who is decidedly outside of Zora's circle, threatens the new life Amelia is building in Baltimore. This enigmatic young man is keeping secrets of his own - still, Amelia finds herself irrepressibly drawn to him. And while she has no trouble seeing the futures of others, she cannot predict whether Nathaniel will remain in hers.

When one of her darkest visions comes to pass, Amelia's world is thrown into chaos. And those around her begin to wonder if she's not the seer of the dark portents, but the cause of them.

Review: The Vespertine is strange and a little hard to follow. This isn't because it is poorly written, because it isn't. The writing style is pretty and well-done, conjuring tasteful and beautiful pictures of dresses, scenery, and people. But with the visions and other otherworldly elements, it feels very surreal and dreamlike, and sometimes I was not certain that I read it correctly. It just barely worked for this particular story.

What surprised me most was how clean the story was. The entire time, from the very beginning to the very end, I expected someone to sleep with someone else (the main characters, mostly), but this never happens, and instead the Author just spends a lot of time describing Nathaniel and how his touch makes Amelia feel, which gets tiring in its own right, but it could have been worse. I admit that I hoped Nathaniel would end up being some creep with a villainous agenda of his own, because I found Nathaniel to be very disturbing and untrustworthy from the beginning, but as time wore on, I grew to like him a little bit more, though I was never fully supportive of his and Amelia's love. It reminded me far too much of the bizarre and rather wrong relationship of Cathy and Heathcliffe in Wuthering Heights. However, I believe that the Author intended that, so I was able to accept it.

Overall, I found The Vespertine interesting, and I will probably buy it, though it is not at the top of my list. I liked the writing style enough to ignore the majority of the storyline. I would neither recommend nor dissuade someone from reading The Vespertine, but I would warn them that it doesn't have much of a storyline.

Overall Rating: 

Others in This Trilogy:
1)The Vespertine
2)The Springsweet

Friday, August 5, 2011

Review: The Twin's Daughter - Lauren Baratz-Logsted

Synopsis: Lucy Sexton is stunned when a disheveled woman appears at the door one day . . . a woman who bears an uncanny resemblance to her own beautiful mother. The two women are identical twins, separated at birth and raised in dramatically different circumstances: one as a member of high society, the other in a workhouse. Lucy's mother quickly resolves to give her sister the kind of life that she had never known, and the transformation in Aunt Helen is remarkable. As time goes by, Lucy herself transforms into a young woman, falling in love with a childhood friend she was once sure she hated. But in what should be a happy household, something is very, very wrong. And as Aunt Helen and Lucy's mother become ever more indistinguishable, Lucy begins to suspect that her aunt's now familiar face may mask a chilling agenda.

Review: This story had a lot of potential for being one of the best stories of mistaken identity and revenge I have ever read. The Author keeps things moving very well from the very beginning, dropping hints to a future twist that the Reader will not forget. Lucy is a witty, but proper, narrator who won't allow her Readers to miss out on the action. But here is where the good factors end.

Enter Kit (Christopher) Tyler, the main young man. I was dubious about the romance in this story from the beginning - I always am, just to be on the safe side. But I liked Kit; he was a very nice, honest boy. So I didn't understand why Lucy was such a jerk to him. It's like the Author wanted to have the whole modern trend of "heroine thinks she hates hero, treats him like garbage, then falls in love with him," but was conscious halfway through that such behavior did not suit Lucy's personality at all (it was really out of place), so rather than just rewriting it, she decided that Lucy gets over her sauciness very quickly and becomes fast friends with Kit. All this does is make Lucy seem bipolar.

Things progress downhill rapidly from there. The Author continues to maintain the suspense, and I spent the whole time thinking, Any minute now, things are going to be unveiled. Well, things are unveiled all right - far more things than need be, and not the sort of things that I was expecting. Let us start with female puberty, shall we? I am not a great advocate for putting such private, though natural, details in a story. No female wants to read a detailed account of a character going through female changes, and no male should know about it - and they certainly shouldn't learn about it from a book. Sometimes such things must be touched upon, but the Author of The Twin's Daughter did more than just touch upon it, all the while attempting to write it in delicate words, but there comes a point where one goes into so much detail that no amount of polite phraseology is going to rescue it.

Next up is the sexual content. For the most part, this remains in the "reference only" category, where things are alluded to when talking about certain people, and that is about it, with the exception of kissing scenes that start to progress into a little too much intimate touching and "mysterious" noises emitting from bedrooms. But in Chapter 42, page 366-369 we have an actual bedroom scene that is not horribly explicit, but comes so close to being thus that it's a wonder the Author didn't go into full-fledged descriptions. The only positive thing I can say about this absolutely unnecessary - and very private - scene is that at least the characters were married. But that gave me very little comfort, because books just should not include such intimate scenes even between married couples. Some things need to be left behind doors and not shared with the public, even in fiction. Leave it to the Reader to conclude that marriage usually leads to the sort of wonderful love that produces children, and don't literally spell it out.

Finally, the twist is revealed - and it is not at all what I was expecting. And I don't mean that in a good way. It reminded me of a perfect plot for a soap opera, actually, and in the end the characters are either completely immoral or go through a complete change of personality as to leave the Reader feeling like the only thing they can side with is that poor houseplant in the corner which has had to witness everything right along with you.

The Twin's Daughter could have been so good, but in the end, it is just one big letdown with way too many intimate moments that no one should have to read.

Overall Rating: 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Review: In the Shadow of the Lamp - Susanne Dunlap

Synopsis: It's 1854, and Molly would give anything to change her circumstances as a lowly servant in a posh London house. So when she hears of an opportunity to join Florence Nightingale and her nurses in the Crimea, the promise of a new start - and perhaps even adventure - is too tempting to pass up.

The work is grueling, the hospital conditions are deplorable, and Miss Nightingale proves to be a demanding leader. But before long, tending to sick and wounded British soldiers becomes more than just a mission of mercy; it becomes a mission of the heart when Molly finds that she's falling love with not one, but two young men. With the battle raging ever nearer, one of the men will fall victim to the great guns. Will it be the dashing young doctor who sees Molly as more than just one of Nightingale's nurses, or the foot soldier who has left everything behind and joined the army to be near to her?

Review: I was, at first, uncertain whether or not this would be a good story with the "duel romance" element thrown in for good measure. In my experience, such details are only irksome and end up making the Reader hate everyone, and finally attaching themselves to That Guy because said Reader is fed up with everyone else.

The romance isn't as annoying as I was anticipating, but it wasn't my favorite. For once, however, I actually had nothing against the two men Molly Fraser finds herself mixed up with - Will Parker and Dr. Maclean. They were fine. Will was honest and gentle and clearly cared for Molly deeply, while Dr. Maclean cared for his patients and tried to do his best at his job. And while, for the most part, I liked Molly as a heroine, her indecision between the two got a bit on my nerves. Though both good young men, the infatuation between her and Dr. Maclean seemed rather sudden, while the relationship between her and Will felt right, and there was something just slightly off about Dr. Maclean that had me totally rooting for Will Parker. I saw it so clearly that I wanted to scream at Molly (and quite nearly did, but was reading in a public area and thought that maybe it would scare a few people if I yelled at the book), and towards the end of the book, I started to think her as a bit selfish for pushing aside Will's affections so many times because she liked the "danger" feeling she got around Dr. Maclean rather than the "safe" she felt around her friend.

However, this does not get in the way of the overall good storyline too much, and if I were not inclined to like both Dr. Maclean and Will, as well as Molly, I would say that it didn't belong. But it does because all three really are likable characters, and the Author wraps up the "love struggle" neatly and satisfactorily (managing to make it sad, but happy at the same time) in the end.

The writing is good, though not spectacular (I mean this as a compliment. Few authors' writing styles are spectacular; good is a thing to be proud up in a world where hardly anyone can write anymore). The Author conveys clearly the nitty-gritty of the hospital in the Crimea and the gristliness of the work therein, but without unnecessary details. I was able to munch on a molasses cookie easily enough while reading some of the meatier bits without my stomach flipping. Her historical detail is rich and accurate, though she takes a few acceptable liberties. While I knew quite a bit more about Florence Nightingale and the Crimean War before reading In the Shadow of the Lamp than most people, I find myself far more curious about it now, and intend to do some deeper research.

This book comes very recommended.

Overall Rating: 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Review: Cloaked in Red - Vivian Vande Velde

Synopsis: So you think you know the story of Little Red Riding Hood, the girl with the unfortunate name and the inability to tell the difference between her grandmother and a member of a different species? Well, then, try your hand at answering these questions:

- Which character (not including Little Red herself) is the most fashion challenged?

- Who (not including the wolf) is the scariest?

- Who (not including Granny) is the most easily scared?

- Who is the strangest? (Not we're not "not including" anyone, because they're all a little off.)

- Who (no fair saying "the author") has stuffing for brains?

Review: In this thoroughly witty book (written by the twenty-times accomplished author Vivian Vande Velde), we the Readers are presented with eight different - and far more logical - looks at the Grimm brothers' most famous (or at least one of the most) stories Little Red Riding Hood, things being first kicked off with a hilarious Author's Note in the beginning, which must absolutely be read.

We are presented with an intelligent Little Red with an agreeable name, and a not-so-well-intentioned-woodcutter; we get a glimpse at a few rather odd versions that are so different that they are startlingly hilarious; and we also get to see the story from the woodcutter's perspective, Granny's, and yes, even the little red riding hood itself (although it's a full-fledged cloak and not just a riding hood).

Cloaked in Red is every bit as humorous as The Rumplestiltskin Problem, and anyone who is familiar with the Red Riding Hood story will get a kick out of it.
Overall Rating: