Abiding Perdition is another spin on Little Red Riding Hood, but it’s different enough from the countless other retellings that it maintains some independence. It does utilize the some of the same mechanics, as in making Red more of an action hero and, of course, this book also has the big bad wolf.
Abiding Perdition is what would happen if Disney made a Dungeons and Dragons animated movie, but with less music and a surprisingly fractured plot. I say “surprisingly” because Abiding Perdition really seemed like it was going to hold up all the way through. However, the roof caved in by the second act; the foundation crumbled, and the mortar holding the walls together melted away.
It’s unfortunate really, because this book could have been great. The artwork throughout is just amazing and, again, very Disney-esque with vibrant colors and characters that are disproportionate but well drawn nonetheless. It just has that great comic book, adventure cartoon feel to it, and you would expect the story to match up. It’s one thing to have a great story and bad art, but to have all this great art with a story that falls victim to convenience and time restraints is a shame.
When it starts, Red, our heroine, is a young girl traveling with her grandmother. Their carriage is attacked by DeGrey, aka the Big Bad Wolf, and Red is eventually rescued by a giant Norseman who adopts her as his own.
These plot elements are all fine and dandy, as they’re put together well, not rushed, and are a good set up for what we assume to be an action-packed revenge story. As it moves on, new characters are added, two of which are apparently related to Red, and the others are a complete wash.
It’s at this point in the story where things just start happening with little-to-no explanation at all. Characters die and pages are wasted on very pointlessly following them through the afterlife. There’s a witch that I can’t figure out exactly why she is evil and what she has against Red.
DeGrey, the wolf, is all but forgotten, and the battle between he and Red is basically nonexistent. All that build up is for nothing. Literally nothing.
There is a handful of other happenings that I won’t even go into because it’s just not worth it, and the other characters are just filler. They have no background but they do seem to know a lot about what’s going on, but they also never explain it. I began to wonder if anyone knew exactly what was happening.
Really, everything was just a bit convoluted, choppy, and too convenient. Let’s see if I can explain this “too convenient” for you–because lord knows someone needs to explain something going on with this comic.
At the end of The Wizard of Oz, Glinda reveals that the ruby slippers had the power to take Dorothy home whenever she wanted–that she just had to learn her lesson about love and the power it holds over you. If I were Dorothy, I probably would have punched Glinda for that one, but at least the ruby slippers played a major role in the plot of the film.
However, in Abiding Perdition, items that are never given a second glance (hell, not even a first glance) are suddenly all powerful. Just out of the blue, an amulet has the power to destroy some meddling imps and you’re left thinking, “Really? Since when?”
Since forever, I guess. I think I shook my head so many times that I may have knocked my brain loose.
It’s a real pity when a story just doesn’t shape up to what it should be. When it came to rating this book I really flip flopped in giving it a lower score. Ultimately, I was nice and gave it three bullets because it isn’t without its merits. If the story had kept up with the art, the book would have been a spot-on action adventure story.
The end is left open for the story to continue–and I can honestly say it should, as so much was left half done or unanswered. Despite its flaws, I continued on to the end because the general plot was interesting, and I would certainly be willing to check out a second book.
With a little tightening and tweaking, I think Abiding Perdition, and any sequel it might spawn, could really take off.