Title: Stitching Snow
Author: R.C. Lewis
Release Date: October 14, 2014
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fairytale Retelling, Romance
Princess Snow is missing.
Her home planet, once known for lush landscapes, is now filled with violence, fear, and corruption at the hands of King Matthias and his new wife as they attempt to punish the princess’s captors. The kings 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, Essies 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.
My First Thoughts:
I actually never liked Snow White as a kid, well more specifically the Disney version of the story. However, when I saw the cover of this book, I knew right away that it was going to be a retelling with Science Fiction being a heavy influence on the story and that immediately drew my attention. And when I saw that this was the first book for the author, I thought: What the heck? Let’s give them a try!
Essie is the main heroine of this retelling, and let me tell you she deserves that title. She is everything that I wanted Snow White to be when I was a little girl. Essie is tough and independent, you see her taking on men twice and thrice her size in cage fights to earn some extra cash and she lives by herself in a settlement full of men. Well, she doesn’t live completely by herself; she has her seven drones which are pretty much the seven dwarves’ rougher robotic counterparts. Essie can also think on her feet and solve a lot of her problems on her own. She is definitely a heroine that I can stand behind, especially because she doesn’t need Dane to save her all the time. In fact, I think he saved her from a few situations, but even he had help in the rescues.
Speaking of Dane, he’s the other main character in the story. I believe that he is a nice middle ground between valiant knight and dark rogue/outcast. What I mean, is that he isn’t overly knightly or completely dirty. He’s a character that grew up in tough times, learned how to solve his problems in the noblest way possible, but isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty when he needs to. Dane is a very realistic character that doesn’t fall into the two main categories for guys in current books, hot valiant knight or irresistible sexy bad boy.
Looking at the size of this book, I never would have imagined going to four different planets, having quite a few sub-plots, mini-story arches, and meeting so many different characters, especially more than one bad guy! In this retelling you get to travel with Essie and Dane to four different planets, staying there long enough to get a good picture in your head of what the planet looks like, what their society, people and living conditions are like. Lewis definitely spent the time to make sure that each planet was different enough so that you don’t get them confused. The fast pacing in this story makes all the different events flow together quite well, and there’s hardly any wasted time, so it definitely doesn’t lull. Now, just because the pacing of the story is fast doesn’t mean that the romance follows suit. In fact, the romance in this story has a slow build that is very realistic and doesn’t give you whiplash!
For a first novel, this author absolutely blew me away. She crafted not only one, but four different planets with enough detail to make each of them believable and easy to picture for the readers. Her detailing and descriptions are perfect, just enough to paint the scene but not overkill either.
I can’t say this enough, but I absolutely love Essie. She follows her head and her instincts. She’s tough, independent, and doesn’t rely on other people to fix her problems, but that doesn’t mean that she’s macho-woman or the next Wonder Woman. Essie asks for help and accepts it when she needs it, but only when she can’t overcome an obstacle on her own, but she tries hard to solve it on her own first. And I have to say that I absolutely love her drones even though you don’t spend a lot of time with all of them. Each one has a different personality that is expressed in the names that she gives them. One of them is named Cusser, and that’s all I’m going to say!
The romance is slow, and she goes through realistic stages of love. She didn’t experience “love at first sight”, it was a slow burn that started with caution and distaste. The plot spends no time meandering around, waiting for the action to pick up. Instead, the plot gets to where it needs to be without delay or getting into sub-plots that might show up in a sequel.
I would love to see a sequel to this book, but honestly I don’t see one coming. The author ends the book without a cliffhanger, like many books nowadays seem to do, and all of the plot-points are tied up. There’s nothing really left for the author to use for a sequel, but as I have found in Science Fiction you can make a sequel out of anything.
If you love fairytale retellings then you are going to love this book, especially if you enjoy strong heroines and realistic ‘princes’. Snow White has needed a make-over since before I was born and this totally takes the cake. If you liked Snow as she was, then maybe you might not like Essie, but if you were a tomboy, then you’ll connect with Essie in the first chapter.
If you love Science Fiction, then this is right up your alley. Not much of a fan of Sci-fi, you still might like it because the technology in the story isn’t overly complicated. There are no aliens but it is set in space, and there is space travel. Actually, looking at this story it has elements of a Space Opera, like Star Wars, so it isn’t pure Science Fiction.
Finally, if you like a slow build romance then this book will make you happy. If you like love at first sight, Disney-style romances, then sorry but there’s nothing I can do for you.
The only reason why I put this book down when I was reading was because I had classes to go to and homework to finish. If it weren’t for those things, I would have read this book in a day and happy to skip my meals. Unfortunately, life does take precedence, but this book was amazing and made it hard to finish my work. For a first novel and being a Calculus teacher, R.C. Lewis did a fantastic job creating a story full of amazing characters and worlds. I will definitely be looking for her next book in October of 2015!