Thursday, October 16, 2014
Review: Stitching Snow by R.C. Lewis
Princess Snow is missing.
Her home planet is filled with violence and corruption at the hands of King Matthias and his wife as they attempt to punish her captors. The king will stop at nothing to get his beloved daughter back—but that’s assuming she wants to return at all.
Essie has grown used to being cold. Temperatures on the planet Thanda are always sub-zero, and she fills her days with coding and repairs for the seven loyal drones that run the local mines.
When a mysterious young man named Dane crash-lands near her home, Essie agrees to help the pilot repair his ship. But soon she realizes that Dane’s arrival was far from accidental, and she’s pulled into the heart of a war she’s risked everything to avoid. With the galaxy’s future—and her own—in jeopardy, Essie must choose who to trust in a fiery fight for survival.
Goodreads | Source: ARC provided by Disney-Hyperion in exchange for an honest review
I think the initial response is going to be to compare Stitching Snow to Cinder/The Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer. It’s not totally unfounded. There are similarities. A mechanic, hidden princess, heroine and a few other bits that I don’t want to spoil. But the writing style is completely different. For one there’s only one pov. That could be a plus or minus depending on your own preferences but for me it was welcome. The one thing I don’t like about Meyer’s Lunar Chronicle series is how much it spins out of control with all the different pov’s. It also can be read as a stand alone. I have no idea if Lewis plans on writing another retelling but Stitching Snow is a complete stand alone story.
So now onto the actual retelling part. I liked but didn’t love it. Essie has escaped her home planet and spends her days working by coding & repairing (stitching) the seven drones that help workers in the coal mines. On her off time she fights the men in cage matches to earn money for spare parts. Essie is pretty kick ass and I liked her a lot but this book plunges you right into the world without any preamble. It took me about 70+ pages to get a handle on what was going on and the slang.
The seven drones are supposed to be the seven dwarfs but they are drones – therefore lacking in the personality department. They do add some humor and they do have a certain loyalty to Essie but they feel more like – oh we need seven of something to be like the seven dwarfs in the book. Fun idea, but they don’t ever feel like true friends, and we only find out the name and personalities of a few. Kind of a let down.
The romance is enemies to friends which I enjoyed. Dane is kind of an ass at first but has really good reason to be. It’s slow brewing and cute but then rushes to “I love you” and I felt like I missed a step. The story takes a modernized retelling route for most of the book then tacks on a throwback, rushed fairytale ending. I believed in it but it seemed forced.
Now there’s one thing that really bothered me about this book and I’m not sure how to deal with it without spoiling. Snow has to deal with her father and evil step mother. This takes a turn into something rather serious and sinister that is merely hinted at a few times before the big battle. It was so subtle that I had to go back and re-read to see if what I thought happened really happened. Then when I thought back to earlier in the book & things that happened to Essie it angered me even more. More on that below under the spoiler button. To be fair – most people on Goodreads don’t even mention it and only two were upset so maybe I am (once again) being over sensitive. Wouldn’t be the first time.
So overall – I LOVED Essie. The romance was sweet, a little rushed, but cute in a fairytale kind of way. I didn’t think it did a great job incorporating the Snow White elements from the original but the world Lewis created was interesting anyway. The villains are mostly off page and so damn evil that it deserved more page time. That is some seriously f*cked up sh*t and shouldn’t just be glossed over imo. But I also had friends that didn’t even notice anything happened or weren’t bothered so everyone reads a book differently. Ya know?