**I received the ARC (advanced readers copy) of As Red as Blood at Yallfest this past year and decided to read and review it before it’s translated English release on January 17**
Are you a fan of thrillers?
Of corruption, scandal and cryptic criminal organizations?
Did you read and enjoy The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo?
Then this novel is perfect for you.
Let’s start off with the basics of the plot:
As Red as Blood follows Lumikki Andersson, our lone wolf heroine who gets tangled up in the criminal mistakes of three classmates after discovering a bag of bloody money in her school’s darkroom.
From there, she finds herself playing detective, helping a group of people she never thought she would associate with, and being sucked into the dark world of an underground, criminal empire.
Now, what I thought about the plot:
I had little to no qualms with the storyline. It’s been a long while since I’ve read a crime/thriller novel, so this was a nice pick me up to get me back into that genre.
I was very impressed with the way the antagonists operated. It was clear to me that Simukka did her research while writing this novel.
The way the villainous organization operated was believable and frightening, and I often found myself growing concerned for the main characters as they had to deal with the situations they’d been swept up into.
Now, onto the characters:
I really enjoyed Lumikki’s character, which is a big deal.
I tend to nitpick when it comes to characters, especially main ones, but I honestly found no flaws with Lumikki. There is a logical reason and explanation presented for every action she makes, told through carefully placed memories and flashbacks.
Lumikki’s personality also works well for the type of character that she is within the context of this storyline. She is cautious and level headed, she heavily weighs her options and picks up on other characters and their personalities with ease. Even in moments where any other girl her age would have no clue what they are doing, Lumikki is able to achieve the impossible because of the fact that she worked hard to make herself that way.
It’s always nice to read a novel with a kick-ass main character, one that can stand up for herself and can carry the story entirely on her own, and Lumikki filled all the required boxes to meet that status
As for the other characters:
I found them to be equally well rounded. While we spend most of our time with Lumikki, we also get to see what’s going on with the other characters in the novel. We get to meet Elisa, Tuuka, and Kasper, three classmates of Lumikki’s that get her into all this trouble. It was nice to see that they were more than just pawns within the full expanse of the story. We get to see how they react to the same situations as our main character, and we even get to see a major growth as a person within one of them (to put it lightly. I’m remaining vague in order to avoid spoilers.)
We also get to see some things from the perspectives of the bad guys, which is always a really unique aspect to any novel that utilizes it. I was very impressed by the way that Simukka was able to show us a little bit of the antagonist’s side of things while still keeping the suspense alive and well.
The layers of the novel:
There were reoccurring motifs used throughout the novel that really added to the experience. There is a small emphasis on things like time and dates within the story, but the main reoccurring element of the storyline had to do with fairy tales.
This was a nice touch because the fairy tale idea served as a great foil to the darker elements that presented themselves more and more as the book continued. The emphasis on fairy tales and fantasy elements grows as the plot thickens, but remains subtle enough to allow the main plotline room to breathe and thrive. We even see this subtle referencing within our main character, who’s name means Snow White.
The only complaint I have:
Some of the translation/spelling mistakes led to continuity errors.
For example, I was a bit confused with Lumikki’s sexuality.
I 100% understand that she is a lesbian, through most of her flashbacks and through other characters referring to her as a “lesbo”, but there were a couple moments when it seemed like the past lover that haunts her was, in fact, a “he.”
I found this particularly confusing at the end of the epilogue where it says that “he had loved Lumikki.” The epilogue also refers to her ex as a “he” a couple more times, when throughout the rest of the novel the ex had been a “she.”
This may just be a translation/editing error, but I wanted to point it out in my review either way.
Overall, I gave the novel a 4 out of 5 stars.
I’m anxiously awaiting the translated publication of the second and third book in the trilogy! I can’t wait to see where Lumikki’s story goes.
As always, thank you so much for reading my review!
Let me know what you thought about it in the comments below. Your feedback is greatly appreciated.
Do you think you’ll pick up a copy of As Red as Blood? Let me know!