As Red as Blood Review

As Red as Blood
Rating: 3.5/5
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: NetGalley (Copy from publisher)

In the midst of the freezing Arctic winter, seventeen-year-old Lumikki Andersson walks into her school’s dark room and finds a stash of wet, crimson-colored money. Thousands of Euros left to dry—splattered with someone’s blood.

Lumikki lives alone in a studio apartment far from her parents and the past she left behind. She transferred into a prestigious art school, and she’s singularly focused on studying and graduating. Lumikki ignores the cliques, the gossip, and the parties held by the school’s most popular and beautiful boys and girls.

But finding the blood-stained money changes everything. Suddenly, Lumikki is swept into a whirlpool of events as she finds herself helping to trace the origins of the money. Events turn even more deadly when evidence points to dirty cops and a notorious drug kingpin best known for the brutality with which he runs his business.

As Lumikki loses control of her carefully constructed world, she discovers that she’s been blind to the forces swirling around her—and she’s running out of time to set them right. When she sees the stark red of blood on snow, it may be too late to save her friends or herself.

As Red as Blood is the first installment in the Snow White Trilogy by Salla Simukka. It was originally written in Finnish but has been translated into English and this installment was released in August 2014.

I’ve seen a few reviews of this book that say it’s suitable for 13+ but I’d say it was more 16+. There’s quite a lot of swearing and crude language in this book, which personally I don’t think is suitable for readers so young.

This story begins with a woman being brutally killed for reasons that we are not aware of. We don’t realise how important this character is until around halfway through the book where Natalia is mentioned again.

We are then introduced to Lumikki Andersson. She is 17 years old and lives in Tampere, Finland, away from her family and hometown. Lumikki is a strong female character that has learned to defend herself in more ways than one and struggles to make friendships or trust anyone. One morning, she discovers something that changes her life rapidly. She walks into her school’s darkroom and finds thousands of euros hanging to dry, covered in blood.

The story then takes a dramatic turn and Lumikki is pulled into a world of darkness, to which there seems no escape. After discovering who the money in the darkroom belongs too, she becomes friends with a girl called Elisa who is caught up in this situation more than Lumikki initially realised. Lumikki suddenly finds herself being chased and shot at on multiple occasions. Who are these people chasing her? Why are the chasing her? What do they want?

The story continues with Lumikki trying to discover where the mysterious money has come from and who is behind it all. Elisa finds the answer to both those questions is much too close to home...

After finishing this book, I felt that it could have been a singular book, as opposed to a trilogy. The only problem that doesn’t really get resolved in this book is the mystery of Lumikki’s ex-boyfriend, who is suggested as being the cause of Lumikki’s reclusiveness. I feel as though the ending would have been more exciting if so much hadn’t already been revealed, so there was some form of anticipation for the next book.

I think my favourite part of this book is the dark fairy-tale element that accompanies the central mystery/crime genre it is based around. You find Simukka has added many suggestions that she wanted to create a fairy-tale element as throughout the book, there are many times where she will start sentences with, ‘Once upon a time’ and many smaller, cleverer clues such as the name Lumikki which in English, translates to Snow White.

I did enjoy this book and I am excited to read the second installment (As White as Snow), which is already downloaded onto my Kindle but I couldn’t help but want more from this book. The plot and the characters were both brilliant but I wanted to know more about the characters and read more description about what was happening. This book was only 274 pages long, which I found was relatively short for a story that required quite a lot of detail. Saying this, I did enjoy it and would recommend any young adult to read it. 

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