Thursday, September 18, 2014

Review: Stitching Snow (Lewis)

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AUTHOR: R.C. Lewis
SERIES: none
PUBLISHER: Disney-Hyperion
PUBLICATION DATE: October 14, 2014
ISBN: 9781423185079
PAGES: 336
SOURCE: NetGalley
GENRE: sci-fi/fairy tale
GIVE IT TO: MS, HS
SUMMARY: Eight years ago, Princess Snow fled her home planet and created a new identity on the frigid planet Thanda. Princess Snow, now called Essie, lives in disguise with seven droids that she built and modified to work in the dangerous merinium mines. But when she saves a mysterious boy from a fiery shuttle crash, her past begins to catch up with her.

IF THIS BOOK WERE CLOTHING, IT WOULD BE: knockoff jeans

REVIEW: If Stitching Snow were published three years ago, I would be praising its originality. A sci-fi Snow White? Wow, but that's different! But in case you were visiting the moon for the past two years, there was this little book called Cinder that came out back in 2012. And it was huge: critically-acclaimed, winner of literary awards, and incredibly popular with readers. Since Cinder's publication, author Marissa Meyer has published two sequels, based on Red Riding Hood and Rapunzel, both of which have achieved massive critical praise and popularity with readers. Oh, and Winter the 4th book in Meyer's Lunar Chronicles series, set for publication next year, is based on--wait for it--Snow White. Stitching Snow is so much like Cinder that it feels like a copycat effort rather than something incredibly creative.

Don't get me wrong, I really loved Essie's toughness and her survival instinct. I loved that the seven dwarfs are seven droids (with distinct character traits!) that Essie built herself. I loved the world-building of Planet Thanda's isolated, frigid stillness. Life there would certainly be difficult, but it really does sound lovely in an Antarctica-in-winter kind of way.

Pacing is good for the most part. It is gripping at times, slow at others. Sometimes excessive mechanical detail overruns the plot, and I found myself skimming a little. The story was a little difficult to get into at the beginning, but once Essie saves Dane from the crash, the events happen much more quickly.

But the similarities to Cinder are just too huge to ignore. Cinder/Essie are both uber-talented mechanics. Cinder/Essie both have droid "pets" that Cinder/Essie both repair themselves. Cinder/Essie are both lost princesses trying to escape an evil queen out to murder them. Cinder/Essie both meet a handsome prince who may or may not be trustworthy. Both are fairy tales with a sci-fi twist. I liked the story, but I would have liked it more had I not previously read Cinder.

THE BOTTOM LINE: Stitching Snow is a fun read, but its similarities to Cinder are just too huge to ignore. Readers who finished the Lunar Chronicles series and want more will find a great match in Stitching Snow.

STATUS IN MY LIBRARY: Despite my lukewarm reception, I will absolutely order this for my school. It's (mostly) clean and will help satiate Cinder fans hungry for more.

READALIKES: The Lunar Chronicles (Meyer)

RATING BREAKDOWN:
  • Overall: 3/5
  • Creativity: 3/5--awarding some points for the 7 droids (love Dimwit!)
  • Characters: 3/5
  • Engrossing: 4/5--I did have a hard time putting it down in parts (skimmed others though)
  • Writing: 3/5
  • Appeal to teens: 5/5--there is definitely a teen market here
  • Appropriate length to tell the story: 5/5--neither too short or too long

CONTENT:
  • Language: none
  • Sexuality: mild-medium--some kissing; a few allusions to rape, prostitution, and incest (nothing described but all unnecessary)
  • Violence: mild-medium--poisoning, war scenes, gun violence
  • Drugs/Alcohol: mild--poisoning

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