Review: Ryder by Greta Maloney

Posted 2 April, 2012 by Heather in Blog, Book Review, Heather, Heather Book Review, Kristen, Pushy, Pushy Book Review / 9 Comments


Genre: YA, Fairy Tale Reboot
Publication: February 11, 2012
Purchased by reviewers
Get your own: Amazon | FREE April 2nd – 4th!
synopsis from goodreads

Everyone has a secret. You’re lying if you don’t. Fourteen year old Piper has tried to keep her secret hidden. Everyone who finds out always winds up dead. Only the man in the dark suit knows the truth. A man she only met once. The man who made her what she is today. The man who bit her.

But that’s all about to change.

Piper Glendale is on the run from the moon as her secret Sister Wolf wars with her. Fighting for control, Piper tries to keep her buried deep inside. But sometimes her sister breaks free.

Escaping from an institution, The Sister Wolf claws her way out. On the run her powerful body runs dry. The sun has finally risen. Piper has regained control.

Awaking in a cemetery, she prowls through the grave stones in search for food and shelter. Overlooking a hill, Piper sees a boy. A boy who is about to change her life. A boy in a faded red hood.

Based on the beloved children’s classic Little Red Riding Hood, Ryder is a modern retelling with a twist.

Lace up your cape, because Greta Maloney takes us into a deep, dark, lovely wood with this Little Red Riding Hood reboot!


Into The Forest…

Pushy: Hello, ladies!!! I’m so stoked that we’re reviewing this awesome book together!! *claps hands* Okay, so let’s dive into it! I’ve really been enjoying the trend of fairy tale reboots, but I haven’t seen one yet that’s such a dark retelling, like Ryder is. In this book, we get such a unique perspective on the traditional Little Red Riding Hood story, because the wolf is our heroine! I loved that aspect of this story.But what I absolutely, flat out, truly loved about this book was the writing. Greta Maloney’s prose reads partly like poetry, partly like a song. It’s visual and visceral and just pulled me into this story like she was weaving a magic spell. If for no other reason than to read a book written so differently, so lyrically, than any other book I’ve read before, readers should pick up this book!
Heather:I’ll admit upfront that I read this book as a beta reader for Greta when she was done with it. We’re critique partners on novels that we’re both working on right now too. But I just beta read Ryder, and it blew me away when I first read it. I purchased it when it first hit Amazon and read it again to do this review, and Ryder was even better the second time around. I’ve been recommending this book to all of my friends and coworkers who have Kindles. The writing style is poetic, the atmosphere is dark and realistic but full of hope, and the twist on the classic fairy tale we all know and love is fresh and entertaining.

Kristen: Yes Yes Yes! I was both excited, and a bit scared, to review a friend’s book. Would I read it, OF COURSE! But would I like it? That is the question. And Yes! Yes, I did! Just like Pushy said, I loved the style of writing, the prosey (yeah, I made up a word!) and lyrical style was the sweetness to the dark and meaty plot of the story. I was hooked from the very beginning, and I kept reading bits of it aloud to my mother-in-law and husband. You would think they would have been annoyed by that, but they loved it too!

Who’s Afraid Of The Big, Bad Wolf?

Pushy: So as I said before, I love that Piper, our heroine, is the wolf in this tale. And I truly enjoyed the juxtaposition of Piper the girl and her “sister-wolf” who lives inside her head. The true big, bad wolf is Piper’s not-so-dear sister. The telling of the story from alternate POVs (although mostly Piper’s) definitely gives us a look into what’s going on in everyone’s heads, but Piper’s POV in particular is so heart-wrenching! From her run in with the true big, bad wolf at an early age to the results of that encounter, Piper’s life has been truly hellish, and it’s a wonder that there’s any shred of her humanity left to her. Still, she not only continues to survive, once she meets Ryder, she actually begins to hope!
Heather: You really can’t help but feel for poor Piper throughout this story. She’s been dealt such a crummy hand from such a tender age, but she’s made the best of it and learned to control the inner wolf just waiting to bust out whenever the full moon is high. But then she meets Ryder, and everything changes…

Kristen: It was fun because there wasn’t just one wolf in this story. We had the scary ticky-clock wolf, the physical wolf that Piper turned into and then contained, but ever-present wolf in her head. I could just hear that “sister-wolf” biding her time and cackling wildly in Piper’s POV. And then meeting Ryder…oooh swoony swoon. I loved it!

Good Guys Wear Red!

Pushy: So seriously, how much did I fall for Ryder? Not only did he have a rough past (which he survived and is coping with), he took a chance on Piper, showing her compassion and gentleness when he easily could have turned a blind eye to her plight. The romance in this book is ever-present, although definitely handled with a deft, light touch, but still, when I think of how, at their young ages, these two soul mates find each other. *big, swoony sigh*
Heather: Ryder could have easily left Piper out in the cold, not wanting to make his life any harder for himself or his grandmother than it already was, but he has such a kind, gentle soul not seen in most teenaged boys that he couldn’t stand to see another person suffer as much as Piper was. Their relationship developed very realistically, much more so than most YA books, and it was refreshing to be immersed in a relationship that was missing most of the angst and miscommunications that fill these books.
Kristen: I totally jumped the gun on the swoony! I really enjoyed how it started as a friendship, but with the thinnest thread of something more.  The idea of two people finding each other and being so young, but knowing how right it was, was really refreshing. I think a lot of YA books seem to either cut to black (ie. shield those young’uns eyes!) or go a bit too far (ie. YA for people in their 20s) with the romantic stuff.  And my dear Greta perfectly implied the heart-thumping wonder of a first kiss and the electric heat of fingers touching.  I loved that!  And Ryder was such a kind soul, despite his not-so-great past. And his grandmother? Pure awesomeness. I loved the idea of the ‘give away’ pile just happening to have things in Piper’s size. Little details like that definitely made me swoon about this book.

Big Bads Left & Right

Pushy: The bad guys are just SO EVIL in this book. The wolf that bites Piper, condeming her to a life of helpless murder, does so when she’s merely a toddler! And the bite gives her the parasitic “sister-wolf” who roams inside her head, howling constantly to be set free! Throughout the book, we get glipses into their POV’s but no sympathizing with these two. They’re killers, creatures of instinct, with no remorse or empathy for those they consider beneath them.
Heather: As Pushy said, the evil ones in this book are just that. But the bad ones just aren’t the wolves in this book. Greta Maloney doesn’t shy away from showing us the darker sides of humanity–from the evils of teenaged boys to drug addicted mothers.
Kristen: The foreshadowing in dreams of what may come totally freaked me out! And I also felt in the dark when Piper would wake up knowing she had changed into the wolf and had no idea what she did in her wolf form! And yes – just like Pushy said, the bad guys are BAD! And not just the wolves, but some of the other darker characters were bad to the bone.

Bewitched Rating

Bottom Line

Pushy: This book will take you for the best ride over the river and through the woods you’ve ever had! You must read this!
Heather: Ryder is a great fairytale retelling which will make you wonder what you liked about the original in the first place. Check this out right now, you won’t be disappointed.
Kristen: This is a must read for those who enjoy a darker fairy tale flip, and enjoy a different style of writing. You will like it! I promise!

Additional Notes

As you may have noticed in the information at the top of the page, you can check this book out for FREE from April 2nd – 4th! Do yourself an enormous favor and pick this book up TODAY!!! And after you read it – please chat it up! We love supporting Indie Artists!
Now go and get lost…in a book!


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I'm a PhD chemist who loves sarcasm, music, and books-paranormal, mystery, thriller, suspense, horror, and romance. Most of my free time is spent at the martial arts studio these days--whether practicing Combat Hapkido or reading books while watching my son's Taekwondo classes, or even working up a sweat with Kickboxing for fun. Goodreads

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9 Responses to “Review: Ryder by Greta Maloney”

  1. Wow! I is so honored! I really wanted that horror tab… ANd I gots it!! YAYS!

    And attention Bewitched Bookwormians without Kindle action!

    If you go to my blog:

    I am offering PDF copies of Ryder to all who ask while “Ryder” is free on Amazon.

    Just follow the simple instructions and I’ll be more than happy to hook you up 🙂

    Thank you Pushy, Heather, and Kristen for the most awesome review 🙂 You made me howl with delight ^..^

    Reply »

    Pushy 4/2/2012

    So awesome, Greta!!! Thanks for thinking of our non-Kindle book lovers!!! You rock!!
    Pushy recently posted..Review: Ryder by Greta MaloneyMy Profile

    Reply »

  2. Darkfallen

    I couldn’t agree with you ladies more! Great review:-) This is definitely a fairytale retelling that leaves you breathless while staying true to the “big bad scary” side of the lore.

    I absolutely love this book!

    Reply »

  3. Greta at PW

    Remember the week that GR was acting wompy and wasn’t sending out updates? That was the week that I released “Ryder”. I’ve been waiting a bit to re-announce it. Didn’t want to seem to… Pushy 😛

    Reply »

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