Announcing our Top 20 Books of 2022 and Award Winners

Reading guide for Something Red by Douglas Nicholas

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Something Red

by Douglas Nicholas

Something Red by Douglas Nicholas X
Something Red by Douglas Nicholas
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Sep 2012, 336 pages

    Paperback:
    Jun 2013, 336 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs
Buy This Book

About this Book

Reading Guide Questions Print Excerpt

Please be aware that this discussion guide will contain spoilers!

Introduction

A haunting blend of history, fantasy, and suspense, Something Red takes readers deep into the dark woods of thirteenth-century England, where something vicious is lurking. Hob is a boy on the verge of manhood, making his way through the woods with a small troupe: Molly, a middle-aged Irishwoman highly respected for her healing powers; Jack, her strong and silent partner; and Nemain, Molly's granddaughter. Molly leads this adopted family and their wagons across the Pennines mountain range, but they soon come upon evidence of unmistakable evil. What kind of beast could slash and tear so gruesomely at human flesh and take out an entire inn full of robust men and the fiercest guard dogs? With fear rising in their hearts and the heavy snow beginning to fall, there is no more time to run or hide - the evil must be conquered, and in the process, long-held secrets revealed. 

Topics & Questions for Discussion 

  1. The setting plays such an important part in Something Red. Discuss the ways in which time and place affect the action and plot twists in the narrative. 
  2. Molly and Nemain seem to have some sort of sixth sense. What are some examples of when they use this sense to determine their next move? 
  3. Throughout the story, Hob's feelings about women are continually shifting. Compare his feelings towards Margery and Nemain. How do his feelings for Nemain change and evolve? Do you think the outcome of Something Red would have been different if Margery were still in the picture? 
  4. At several points in the novel, the main characters are seeking refuge—from the weather, from the evil being waiting to devour them. Think about where you would seek refuge in a crisis. Does the kind of hospitality shown at the monastery, the inn, and the castle exist today? 
  5. Many of the characters in this story are powerful in either a physical, mental, or supernatural capacity. Who do you think is the most powerful character? Why? 
  6. Discuss the gender roles in the novel. Are they what you would expect of English society in the thirteenth century? Why or why not? 
  7. In what ways do the four main characters function as a family? In what ways do they not? 
  8. Looking back, can you identify any instances of foreshadowing that could have revealed the Beast's identity? Were there any other characters that you incorrectly suspected? 
  9. There were so many unexpected twists and turns throughout the story—what was the most shocking or surprising to you? 
  10. Reread the three paragraphs on page 281 beginning with: "'Or else the sickness was in among them…". What exactly do you think Molly means when she agrees, "Like myself"? What kind of power do you think she has? 
  11. Throughout the novel, Jack is the strong, silent type. He does seem to communicate with Molly, but there is a lack of dialogue on his part. Why do you think the author wrote him this way? How does his character come through in his actions? 
  12. Jack's Beast physically takes down the Fox. However, how do the other characters help conquer the evil shapeshifter? 
  13. Discuss the ending of the story. Were you happy with where it concluded? Do you think there are unanswered questions that could be dealt with in a sequel? How would you have felt if the story ended after the Fox was slain? 



Enhance Your Book Club 

  1. The Pennines is a low-rising mountain range, described as the "backbone" of England. To learn more and to see pictures of this historic, scenic part of England, visit: www.northpennines.org.uk. 
  2. Watch one of the many movies featuring werewolves and shapeshifters after your book club discussion. Consider a classic, like Werewolf of London, or a more modern take, like An American Werewolf in Paris or The Wolfman. After the viewing, compare how the shifters are presented in the movie of your choosing versus in Something Red
  3. Lady Svajone's alternate form was that of a fox, while Jack shifted into a beastly gorilla. What do you think your animal alter-ego would be? Go around the group and decide what animal each member of your book club would turn into if they were a shapeshifter.


Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of Atria Books. Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  Thirteenth-century England

Join and Save 20%!

Become a member and
discover exceptional books.

Find out more


Award Winners

  • Book Jacket: Horse
    Horse
    by Geraldine Brooks
    Voted 2022 Best Fiction Award Winner by BookBrowse Subscribers. Geraldine Brooks creates a ...
  • Book Jacket: In Love
    In Love
    by Amy Bloom
    Voted 2022 Best Nonfiction Award Winner by BookBrowse Subscribers. In 2019, author Amy Bloom and her...
  • Book Jacket: Remarkably Bright Creatures
    Remarkably Bright Creatures
    by Shelby Van Pelt
    Voted 2022 Best Debut Award Winner by BookBrowse Subscribers. Shelby Van Pelt's debut novel, ...

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Scatterlings
    by Resoketswe Martha Manenzhe

    The debut novel of a gifted storyteller who has become a sensation in her native South Africa.

Wordplay

The Big Holiday Wordplay

Enter Now

Book Club Discussion

Book Jacket
The Ways We Hide
by Kristina McMorris
From the bestselling author of Sold On A Monday, a sweeping tale of an illusionist recruited by British intelligence in World War II.
Who Said...

No matter how cynical you get, it is impossible to keep up

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.