Young Adult Book Review: Stitching Snow by R.C. Lewis
Title: Stitching Snow
Author: R.C. Lewis
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Age Group: YOUNG ADULT
Genre Type: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Fairy Tales, Retellings
Publication Date: October 14, 2014
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.
Stitching Snow takes elements form Snow White and creates an entertaining read with a clever and fun mix of science fiction and fairy-tale. Although I have not read the exceptionally well-loved Cinder by Meyers yet, and cannot compare writings, I would say the Stitching Snow is a sister tale, similar in theme and style, and should be enjoyed for its own uniqueness.
In the popular world of retellings, where bits and pieces are taken, re-spun and "stitched" together, it's always interesting to see what new pieces and re-imaginings are done in the creation of a new tale. In Stitching Snow the reader is flung out into space where our heroine Essie (Princess Snow) survives on the cold and barren planet Thandra stitching (programming and repairing) mining bots (drones) to help assist the local mining crews. When a rogue ship crash lands on Thandra, Essie hesitantly agrees to help Dane, the handsome and mysterious pilot, to fix his ship. But, things are never as easy and simple as they seem. When Essie discovers that the crash land was more than just an accident, she'll have to decide if she is willing to accept the challenge and face the deadly secrets she's been running from. As war looms ahead, can Essie trust Dane and risk herself once more? This time around losing is not an option. This time around Essie chooses to fight back and take what was stolen from her.
I love looking for clues in retellings, ones that give hints to the original tale and seeing how they're re-imagined. I found many uniquely tweaked for Sci-fi in the forms of Snow White, dwarfs, the prince, the huntsman, an evil queen, the poisoned apple, as well as themes of suppression, jealousy, and a darker themes of abuse.
Stitching Snow creates fascinating settings as well. In this case, R.C. Lewis creates a hostile and dangerous environment on the planet Thandra for Essie to grow-up and survive on. And as you read further into the story, it completely contrast with the wealth and decadence of her own home world that is even more deadly with its dark, political intrigue and evil queen. The plot is more complex that I expected. Beyond the bare bones of a Snow White retelling is an underlying one of political mechanisms with a great a sci-fi slant that I enjoyed.
Essie is no damsel-in-distress and is smart, kick-ass, and completely independent. I loved the fact that she was a cage-fighter, earning extra money and at the same time keeping some unsavory and unwanted advances at bay by literally kicking their asses. She deftly codes the mining bots, drones (think seven dwarfs) and each has its own unique personality. I adored sweet Dimwit and got a kick out of Cusser who is aptly named! In the beginning, Essie seems harsh, cold, and distrusting, but as the story progresses and the reader learns of her terrible childhood environment, it becomes very clear why. There's a dark and insidious figure beyond the evil queen that surprised me and added a whole extra layer to Stitching Snow.
The slow friendship that turns to romance was one of my favorite kinds. I loved seeing Dane and Essie's relationship go from hardly trusting, and at times down-right love-hate relationship, to one that builds slowly to trust, admiration and hesitant yearning. So sweet! Seeing Essie change and learn to emotionally trust Dane, and tackle head-on the problems lying in her own Kingdom was wonderful to see. Dane of course was as complex as well, and brought out so many good qualities in Essie. I loved seeing her through his eyes, and he deserves a swoon or two.
Stitching Snow cleverly brought together the elements of Snow White and gave it a fun and fascinating Sci-fi spin that I really enjoyed. Perfect for fans wanting a touch of science fiction within a beautifully told rendition of a loved fairy tale.
My Rating: 4 stars. I liked it!
PLEASE NOTE: A courtesy review copy of this book was provided by Disney-Hyperion in exchange for my fair and honest review. Thank you Disney-Hyperion for the review opportunity!