(Author Note: I was going to have this posted yesterday, but my internet went down and I couldn’t figure out how to get it back up until late last night. Anyway, here it is now!)
Essie survives on the cold, isolated planet of Thanda by making herself useful. She builds and “stiches” codes for drones that make mining on the planet safer for everyone. Seemingly happy with her lonely lifestyle, Essie is unprepared for the day a young man from Garam crash lands his shuttle on Thanda. The arrival of this stranger eventually sets off a chain of events that forces her to confront all of the darkness that lurks in her past.
I’m going to do my best not to spoil anything in the story because I believe the way the plot unfolds is part of the immense appeal of this book. Stitching Snow by R. C. Lewis is a wicked cool, science fiction, fairy tale retelling that is now among my top three favorite YA books of all time (rivaling The Hunger Games and The Cure for Dreaming). It is a refreshing take on the fairy tale of Snow White—but I cannot emphasize enough that it is its own unique story.
That being said, this book is not for the faint of heart. There are a lot of mature themes. However, I will say that these instances of intensity within the novel are handled in a way that I found to be mostly realistic—completely unlike other media that may slap a mature label on their cover and then be totally unrealistic and completely harmful (*coughs* Grand Theft Auto). It’s hard to go into any more detail without spoilers.
Overall, this book is fantastic. I found myself longing to read it. Most everything I have to say regarding the novel is positive.
Lewis carefully crafts her characters to be multifaceted and mostly unpredictable. Essie is not your typical heroine (a refreshing change from the weak princesses ever present in other YA books). She is a strong female character and I don’t mean just in the ways of fighting, although she does that too. The minor characters of the novel are pretty interesting as well and this includes Essie’s drones. Even though they are programmed, they possess personalities that are downright endearing and often comical. I loved them so much I was tempted to draw fanart and send it to Lewis—but I’m such a bad sketcher she might take it as an insult.
The use of technology, familiar Snow White story aspects, and the changes in scene were all well done. Again, I cannot elaborate on this without giving away major parts of the story. Know, though, that these elements are well crafted and believable enough to keep the reader immersed in the novel.
I was curious to see how others reacted to this book, so I checked out the Amazon reviews. I was pleased to find only one one-star review. I was amused that the reviewer was looking for a Twilight-like romance among the characters. Suffice it to say this book avoids a romance like the one found in that young adult, paranormal travesty. You won’t be joining teams of sparkly vampires or morphing werewolves within the pages of this narrative.
The only thing I was bothered a bit by was actually a character flaw on Essie’s part and it wasn’t really that annoying. The flaws were part of her development. Besides, perfect characters are boring and unrealistic.
I highly recommend this book and hope it garners more attention. Go in prepared for the mature themes (possible trigger warning). It’s definitely worth the read.
R. C. Lewis can communicate in sign language and teaches math. Stitching Snow is her debut novel.
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