Review 20. Stitching Snow by R.C. Lewis

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Title: Stitching Snow
Author: R.C. Lewis
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Published: October 6th 2015
Pages: 352 pages

"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.

In her enthralling debut, R. C. Lewis weaves the tale of a princess on the run from painful secrets . . . and a poisonous queen. With the galaxy's future-and her own-in jeopardy, Essie must choose who to trust in a fiery fight for survival."

Essie has made home in the wintry Thanda, spending her days taking care of her seven drones and being part of cage fights to earn some extra money. She lives a lonely life, never trusting anyone, but one day it all changes when a spaceship crashes in Thanda. Inside the spaceship is Dane, a treasure hunter looking for something more valuable than merinium. When Essie's secrets slowly come to surface, she realizes that must face her past or let the galaxy succumb at the hands of a tyrant. 

Writing: I read Spinning Starlight a few months ago (yes, I know, I should have read Stitching Snow first) and I wasn't very fond of it because of the confusing world-building and the technological "mumbo jumbo". However, I decided to give Stitching Snow an opportunity - how could I not with such a beautiful cover? - and I'm so glad that I did. 

 “Brave is being scared and doing what needs to be done anyway”

I loved R.C. Lewis' writing-style (which I wasn't able to appreciate before), with all the little details that created fascinating settings. The plot is more complex than it initially seems. The story is fast-paced, there isn't a dull moment, and every scene connects perfectly together.    

Characters: How can I describe Essie? She is independent, smart (she's a codding genious), strong and stubborn; she's a survivor (she fights miners bigger and stronger than her to earn some money). And no matter how difficult her childhood was (I just wanted to hug her), Essie keeps moving on. There isn't a bit of self-pity in her. However, Essie also has her silly moments, being Dane responsible for them.

Dane is simply swoon-worthy. He does have flaws. I mean, he did kidnapped Essie, but it was to save his people, so his mistake was forgiveable (even Essie understood his reasons and felt sorry). And, after admitting his mistake, Dane wanted to do all in his power to protect Essie. He was always there for her, no matter what.

The antagonists were very despicable. There was nothing good inside Matthias and Olivia and I ended up hoping for their black hearts to be severely punished.

Romance: One thing I love about fairytale retellings (at least, about all those I've read until now) is that there are no love-triangles. Essie is so badass that I probably wouldn't have been fond of her if her heart was always jumping ship. I also love foes-to-lovers relationships, so I was more than meant to  ship Essie and Dane. Their romance is sweet, but not overwhelming because they both understand their priorities (to save their people and the galaxy).  
“...My choice wasn't supposed to include you coming along and getting killed, too, and when I'm probably going to die anyway, you shouldn't waste your feelings on me.

You're brilliant, Essie, but you're still dim on a few things. Feelings can't be wasted. Knowing they're real for however long they last makes them worth having.”

Worldbuilding: I found the world-building simply splendid (where in Spinning Starlight I thought it confusing). I loved all the futuristic planets crafted by R.C. Lewis: the wintry Thanda, the desert-like Garam, the haunted by natural disasters Candara and the imperfectly-perfect Windsong. Every planet is perfectly created. I also loved in the world-building how the elements of the original tale, Snow White, were written into the story. There is the Huntsman and the Evil Queen and the poison apple. The seven dwarfs became seven drones - Dimwitt was very adorable. *.* The classic elements are intertwined with futurist settings, creating an alluring sci-fi retelling.

Stitching Snow is a fascinating sci-fi retelling of Snow White that every retelling fan should read.  

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