Monday, October 27, 2014

Review: Stitching Snow (R.C. Lewis)

Stitching Snow
Title: Stitching Snow
Series: standalone
Author: R.C. Lewis
Publisher: Hyperion
Release Date: October 14, 2014
Genre: Young Adult Future Sci-Fi Fairy-tale Retelling
Told: First Person Singular (Essie), Past Tense
Content Rating: Older Teen (violence, parental sexual abuse [see Trigger Warning below])
Format Read: ARC (publisher)
Find It On: Goodreads


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.

*          *          *

Why I Read It: I'm always interested in fairy-tale retellings, and I got Ms. Lewis for the 2014 Debut Author's Bash (you can read my interview here).

Series: A standalone with a complete arc and ending.

Setting: A far-flung future in a new galaxy, where a branch of humans have developed body-hopping (Transitioning) abilities. While at first I thought the galaxy was quite large with many inhabited planets, by the end it seemed there were only four human inhabited, widespread planets. We visited four planets anyway, and each had their own unique living arrangements and structures.

Writing & Story: Plain and simple. There wasn't much to the story, which I normally like, but here I found it lacking. It read like a two-book story condensed into three-fourths of a novel, covering only the bare necessities (which left me feeling as if I'd missed a lot of the interesting bits) and trimming the characters down to pretty much one basic emotion (rendering them rather flat and unrelatable for me). And despite the first person viewpoint, I felt distanced from the characters and the story, which made it hard to invest in either. Even the spikes of danger and emotion didn't resonate with me, except perhaps right at the end. But while I connected to the climatic scene a little more, it was only in the last two chapters that I felt any kind of emotional connection at all with the characters.

Characters: Essie and Dane read and acted very young, more 13 than 17, until the last two chapters. Essie was all hardened fear - while she occasionally acted brave, it always felt more like instinct than actual bravery. I didn't get anything other than different shades of fear from her, which made her rather one-dimensional and I just couldn't connect with her. Dane got better as the story progressed and I came to like him, but because of the plot he was a bit of a rollercoaster as his loyalties constantly shifted. The only bright spot were the drones (the dwarves), which unfortunately didn't have a very big part except one, but what they touched shone a little brighter. The evil step-mother queen didn't have much of a part either, which was disappointing for the story. As for the kingly father...

Trigger Warning: While it may be considered a bit of a spoiler, I need to mention the streak of red in this otherwise beige story: Essie's father sexually abused her. Although I'm sure there were subtle hints throughout the story (I'm not good with noting subtle hints), I didn't catch on until Dane pretty much spelled it out, and even then I was still wondering if I'd gotten some signals mixed up until the father finally attacked her near the end. While he didn't get very far, it was a dark scene. The sad thing was, other than the abuse, while the father was overall a pretty evil man he wasn't personally horrible. But the story needed him to be personally horrible for a very specific reason (definite and unmentionable spoilers), so it seemed like making him an abuser was the only way. And, really, it probably was. But that didn't make it feel right.

Romantic Relationship: On Dane's part, chivalrous and sweet. On Essie's part, confused and erratic. Her previous abuse was a good reason for her reluctance and distance, but while I knew this, I never felt it. The end was sweet, though.

Conclusion: While I normally like plain and simple, there wasn't enough of the story for me, and I had a hard time connecting with the characters. Abuse aside it wasn't a particularly bad story though, so if you like sci-fi fairy-tale retellings maybe give it a try.

For Fans Of: Sci-fi fairy-tale retellings

Scribble Rating
2 of 5 Scribbles


  1. I hate it when authors rush a story! I just feel like, you have that story in your head! Couldn't you please spend a little more time putting it on paper. The characters being written super young is really irritating too. I've been on the fence about this one and I'm still not sure, but it sounds like you really didn't like it. Thanks for sharing!

    Tracy @ Cornerfolds

  2. Well, bummer. I had this one high on my tbr. We'll see...