Seventeen year old Lumikki Andersson is hardly your average teenager She lives by herself in the city of Tampere, Finland, and has a firm rule to mind nobody s business but her own But that rule is put to the test when she happens upon five hundred washed euro notes hanging up to dry in her school s darkroom, and it is shattered once Lumikki realises who owns themCaught in an increasingly tangled web of deception, corruption and danger, Lumikki finds herself navigating the Tampere s dark underbelly in the search to expose its shocking connection to the international drugs trade Lumikki is smart, but is she smarter than a master criminal Can she bring down the infamous Polar Bear or will she become another one of his victims The first part of a thrilling new Nordic crime series, AS RED AS BLOOD will have you on the edge of your seat until the last page is turned and then some 4.5 starsThanks Penguin Teen for the early copy of the US edition This doesn t affect my review or opinions.This is out 1 17 in the US and already is out internationally I didn t think I would like this book At best I thought it would be a quick, average read While it isn t a favorite, I m surprised by how much I enjoyed it It s my first mystery in some time and after this I ll have to look forI can t think of any books to compare it to, but it was a fun, intense, and mysterious story 4.5 starsThanks Penguin Teen for the early copy of the US edition This doesn t affect my review or opinions.This is out 1 17 in the US and already is out internationally I didn t think I would like this book At best I thought it would be a quick, average read While it isn t a favorite, I m surprised by how much I enjoyed it It s my first mystery in some time and after this I ll have to look forI can t think of any books to compare it to, but it was a fun, intense, and mysterious story what I liked The writing was wonderful I could imagine the different settings of Finland easily and there was a kind of slight wittiness to it The way the mystery was done The POV changes were really cleverly placed It didn t switch at a cliffhanger, but each chapter would tempt you with information so you could guess, and then havequestions Elisa s character development In the beginning she s a spoiled party girl that seems scared of her own shadow I won t specify, but as the story went on she grew and I liked the new version of her muchI liked that even when she was afraid, she knew what had to be done Kasper reminded me slightly of a modern, Finnish Kaz I didn t like him too much, but the similarity was there and that made my inner Six of Crows fangirl VERY HAPPY No romance One of my goals for the year is to find books with no romance or a protagonist that stays single inspired by this post on my blog and I found that in this book I really liked Lumikki s I could care less attitude toward boys, even if it s not the most original character trait The fairy tale elements I can t really explain, but it was a really cool, interesting addition to the story what I disliked Lumikki was kind of a plain lead She had a minimalist attitude and didn t fit in or stand out at her school I liked her toughness and mindset, but I think she could ve used a little bitpersonality and a quirk or two The ending The last 75 pages or so were intense and I loved them, but the ending felt loose in a way I know this is the first in a trilogy and it should be set up for later books, but I just wasn t satisfied It was kind of abrupt, too One minute Lumikki is catching criminals and then it s the epilogue.I wouldn t say I m dying to read the sequel, but I definitely want to continue this trilogy view spoiler I was so shocked and nervous when Lumikki got trapped in the freezer I assumed she d get out but had no idea how, and I think the way she got out was just epic.Also, can we talk about how she handled that creep at Polar Bear s party She handcuffed him to the bed, locked the door, and threw the keys in the snow I like the way she thinks I don t know what that says about me as a person, but don t judge, hahah hide spoiler Source I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read to review basis Thanks toPublishing and NetGalley I found this book really boring It didn t suck me in, I didn t really get the fairy tale references, and the main character made some pretty suspect decisions The other characters all seemed less than intelligent, and why anyone would think that finding a bag full of blood covered money was a good thing I don t know.I really don t want to read the sequel.4 out of 10 1.5 StarsLumikki is a loner She has built walls around herself as a form of survival She was ruthlessly bullying during elementary middle school years and couldn t even find solace at home To her, home was just as bad but for different reasons She knew her parents loved her, but always felt they kept her at arms length Now she is living alone while she attends a prestigious art school Here she has finally been able to find a place where she is truly happy, the school s dark room She is on 1.5 StarsLumikki is a loner She has built walls around herself as a form of survival She was ruthlessly bullying during elementary middle school years and couldn t even find solace at home To her, home was just as bad but for different reasons She knew her parents loved her, but always felt they kept her at arms length Now she is living alone while she attends a prestigious art school Here she has finally been able to find a place where she is truly happy, the school s dark room She is one of the few students who uses the room So imagine her surprise when she finds thousands of blood covered euros hanging up in the dark room Once she finds out where the money came from, she wants nothingthen to forget she ever saw it Unfortunately, life has other plans for her.I feel like something must have been lost in the translation of this novel I notice most of the reviews written in Finnish and or Swedish are pretty high, while a good number written in English are kina low Lumikki was a strong, likable character I just couldn t believe her back story She is a 17 year old who has super ninja skills and spy skills the would put the FBI to shame Why Your guess is as good as mine There was never any mention of training in her past, and only one incident of her standing up to her former bullies There is mention of Lumikki working out in the gym, but do not try and tell me she learned everything she knows at Planet Fitness The villains in this are out right laughable You have a Finnish Mafia that can be taken down by small group of teenagers All the side characters were pretty flat, with the exception of Elisa She didn t have a fully fleshed out feel to her, but she at least strong presence and had something about her to make you care Elisa is the one who brings out the best elements of Lumikki s personality I had a hard time connecting with Lumikki until she became entangled with Elisa When you get down to the bare bones mystery, I liked it Average people get in over their heads with a crime syndicate, one mistake misunderstanding is made, big chain of events is set off, innocents are dragged in, people die Its a story line that s been used thousands of times, but its one that works Kind of like a Choose Your Own Adventure I fully believe you could give it to a hundred authors, and they s turn it into a hundred completely different books Its the author s personal pixie dust they add that makes them so different Simukka had all the elements for a unique, edge of your seat mystery Sadly, the execution fell flat.I would be willing to try another book by Simukka if it was translated by someone else Even though I didn t like this particular book, I liked everything Simukka brought to the table You have two female characters who could have carried the slacking parts of the story if the characters had been just a little bit stronger There is a touch of fairy tale to it The fairy tale connection wasn t very strong, or needed for the most part, but I still liked it And even if it is over used, I still enjoy the story layout used If I was a teenager, or maybe even early 20 s, I would probably give this book 4 stars, or possibly even 4 1 2 But as an adult and a writer, there were a great many details in plot and writing style that bugged me, and I feel 3 stars is being slightly generous It is difficult to know whether these annoyances are because of the author herself, or because of the translation, which can sometimes screw things up I am trying to be fair here.As with all the books I receive throughs Kindle If I was a teenager, or maybe even early 20 s, I would probably give this book 4 stars, or possibly even 4 1 2 But as an adult and a writer, there were a great many details in plot and writing style that bugged me, and I feel 3 stars is being slightly generous It is difficult to know whether these annoyances are because of the author herself, or because of the translation, which can sometimes screw things up I am trying to be fair here.As with all the books I receive throughs Kindle First program a choice between four books each month before they are published , I stepped into this one extremely wary and ready to set it down before I got too deep The fact that I did not set it down is a huge plus for Salla Simukka As a whole, I enjoyed the story Simukka has a vivid imagination and a wonderful eye for detail She writes with clarity, showing the scenes and actions, and only leaving out what she wants to show later She kept me captivated and interested even through the problems I had with it And I do like how Simukka uses classic fairy tale references, even though that has been getting a bit old lately She made it unique enough for me to not groan, Oh, not another fairy telling retelling What annoyed me most was Simukka s attempt to create her own Lisbeth Salander with main character Lumikki Andersson Lumikki even says once, as a joke, I m the secret love child of Hercule Poirot and Lisbeth Salander It is amusing, and good of Simukka to acknowledge her inspirations and pay respects where they are due, but I feel she should have gone for aunique character, instead of using someone else s At seventeen, Lumikki seems too good to be true, too knowledgeable, too perceptive, too lucky She gets herself into a number of tight situations no pun intended , and escapes from them with ease and grace, like a Finnish Robert Langdon She is too un believable, and the fact that three teenagers are able to outmaneuver mafia bosses and henchmen at every turn made it too difficult for me to take this story seriously I do try to keep in consideration, though, that this was written for a younger audience.My other nitpicking s are minor, and have to do with Simukka s writing or the translator s translating There are quite a few unnecessary repetitions throughout the book, and some awkwardly written sentences, which brought me out of the scene and my imagination, as I had to stop and reread it to gather the full meaning Also, there are a few instances where Simukka uses multiple different sentences in a paragraph that essentially say the same thing This usually interrupted the flow and pacing, which are otherwise very well done