I met Jim C. Hines at Penguicon 2010, and got a copy of The Mermaid's Madness from him. I read it, I loved it, I blogged about it, and Jim quickly sent me an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) of Red Hood's Revenge, in which yet another member of the fairy-tale pantheon gets Hines' quirky, creepy, this-is-how-it-really-happened treatment. Little Red Riding Hood is, of course, an assassin. As has been mentioned before, Jim's princesses -- Danielle, Talia, and Snow, (aka Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White) -- are a lot like Charlie's Angels. They're three butt-kicking belles, each of whom has a separate set of gifts that make her invaluable to the others. They're also people, with their own voices, personalities, quirks, and failings. They are, more simply put, well-written characters. In this third installment they again find themselves faced with a threat, and they again kick lots of butt. This particular story is far twistier than I expected. The plot turns, the betrayals, the plans within feints within foils within shams -- all these combine and conspire to deliver on that most satisfying of authorly accomplishments: Surprising, yet inevitable. If that's not a strong enough recommendation, let me add that my fifteen-year-old daughter is making her way through the second of Jim's three Princess novels and is loving them. She'll have finished my ARC of Red Hood's Revenge long before the book hits stores, which it is due to do tomorrow, July 6th, 2010. Yes, I wrote this in advance, and delayed posting it so that you, fair reader, would not be frustrated by the unavailability of a book that I got to read before you did.