Review: Red Delicious by Kathleen Tierney

Posted March 3, 2014 by B. in Rating B, Reviews, Urban Fantasy Tags: , , ,

Red Delicious
Author: Kathleen Tierney
Reviewer: B.
Rating: B-

What I’m Talking About:

In Red Delicious, Quinn (don’t call her Siobhan) is our tour guide once again through her memories of the events that shaped her up to an undefined present. This time, she finds herself in an even more complicated situation, involving battling succubi, a necromancer’s daughters, inter-dimensional shifts, and a mystical phallus. Surrounded by both new faces and old, Quinn will have to be stronger and quicker than ever before if she’s to survive—except that, technically, she’s already dead.

There’s something very likable about a character that is so keen to use her un-likability as a tool to bludgeon everyone around her, including the reader. Quinn is no darling. She is resentful (with reason), brutal in every respect, apathetic, utterly self-serving, and a murderer. But, as a “werepire,” the girl’s gotta eat, so she doesn’t have a lot of options on that count. She is also much more clever than she lets on, has a soft spot for a very few specific others that she’d rather not have, and usually holds up her end of a bargain, even though the latter is mainly only true if it helps keep her “alive.”

While very entertaining for most of the story, Quinn’s loathing of nearly everyone around her, characters and audience alike, did wear a little thin in the second half of Red Delicious. As I don’t blame Quinn for her disposition towards the other characters in the story, this is mostly due to her repeated suggestion that the unsatisfied reader should simply stop reading, as it’s no concern of hers. Quinn has never had an easy life, even when she was alive, and, for the most part, has nothing to lose. Blackmailed into the service of the mysterious “Mean Mr. B,” Quinn’s non-life isn’t even her own. She’s a weapon: the baddest one there is. And the growing list of those who wholeheartedly believe they’ve got the right to use her for their own purposes is downright insulting. I’d be a little testy, too, if I were her.

As to the story itself, Red Delicious is both dark and amusing, Quinn’s knack for getting out of a situation (not entirely) unscathed proving to be almost mesmerizing for all the destruction left in her wake. But, while they were necessary to get all the players onboard, the dimensional jumps caused me to fall out of the story a little, as did the lengthy short story in the middle of the bigger story. Great pains were taken in the narrative to make sure I understood that my like/dislike of its inclusion was thoroughly irrelevant, and maybe that’s what didn’t quite sit well with me, even though the entire situation was completely tongue-in-cheek. Otherwise, I thought the story was a keeper. Watching Quinn’s narrow escapes and her ability to turn the tables on everyone else truly was a lot of fun.

Red Delicious is a well written, smart, and unapologetically snarky follow-up to Blood Oranges. Nothing should work out okay for Quinn in this story, and yet I found myself reveling in the uneasy relief that it does. Quinn is wonderfully awful, and, despite a few issues with parts of the story, I still like her quite a bit. The ending of the story left me feeling more hopeful for Quinn than was possible throughout the rest of the narrative, as well as the entire previous story, and I would very much like to see what she will do with the next part of her journey.

Rating:  B-  Liked It, but I had a few small issues


About the Book:

Half-vampire, half-werewolf Siobhan Quinn survived her initiation into the world of demons and monsters. But staying alive as she becomes entangled in underworld politics might prove to be more difficult. When the daughter of a prominent necromancer vanishes, it’s up to Quinn to find the girl. But her search will land her directly in the middle of a struggle between competing forces searching for an ancient artifact of almost unimaginable power…

Release Date: February 4, 2014
Publisher: ROC Trade
Series: Siobhan Quinn #2
ISBN: #978-0451416537
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Format(s): Paperback (288 pgs), e-book
Book Source: Publisher

Purchase Info:
Red Delicious (Siobhan Quinn #2)

Reviews in the Series:
Blood Oranges by Kathleen Tierney (Siobhan Quinn #1)