Stitching Snow: Review

November 11, 2014 2.5 star books, 2014, fairy tales, Peyton, sci fi or futuristic 26 ★★½

Stitching Snow: ReviewStitching Snow by R. C. Lewis
Published by Disney Hyperion on October 14, 2014
Genres: fairy tale, science fiction
Pages: 338 pages
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
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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. With the galaxy’s future—and her own—in jeopardy, Essie must choose who to trust in a fiery fight for survival.

I have read a lot of fairytale retellings recently, many of them sci-fi, a lot of them doing very interesting things with the stories they are retelling. I wasn’t sure what to expect with this one, but I was excited for a science fiction story that did something different with the Snow White tale. I will be honest: Stitching Snow was not the book for me.

Stitching Snow is about Essie, the princess of Windsong, the planet that rules the galaxy. She runs away to the mining planet of Thanda after her step-mother tries to kill her and lives there somewhat peacefully for eight years until a mysterious boy, Dane, crash lands near her home. Also, she is something called an Exile, an otherwise normal human with the genetic quirk that she can enter another person’s consciousness and know everything they’re thinking.

The premise was interesting enough, but I found I did not enjoy reading this book. It was all plot, and everything moved so quickly that there was no time to dwell on new information or characters. Revelations, like Essie’s true identity, the boy she meets, and one huge development near the end are not given any of the time or depth that they deserve. Everything was about hitting the next plot point, the next destination. Because of this everything felt surface-level to me. Really interesting things, like the different planets and the concept of body-hopping, are given very simplistic explanations because as soon as the ideas are introduced the plot has already moved on to the next thing.

I couldn’t connect with most of the characters either. Dane doesn’t have a whole lot to him. He’s given some motivation for why he does the things he does in the beginning, but for the most of the book is defined by his role as the love interest. The side characters are for the most part one dimensional, particularly the king and step-mother, who are just so evil that there isn’t much else to say about them. The only character I cared about at all was Essie. She was a refreshing twist on the Snow White character, strong and more than a little harsh from her time spent on Thanda. At the beginning of the story she is a kind person, but she doesn’t want to be. She has her selfish moments where she wants to stay out of what’s going on with the rest of the world and just stay on Thanda. The few subtle moments in the story are when the focus is on her love for her mother and her fears regarding intimacy and her Exile heritage. I liked when the story was about Essie’s personal growth, but there just wasn’t enough of it.

The world building wasn’t particularly detailed either. We go to four different planets over the course of this book, but I didn’t get that epic feel I like in interplanetary sci-fi. There just wasn’t enough to them for them to really stand out as entire planets in their own right. Thanda is cold and rugged and full of mining settlements. Garam is technologically advanced and self-serving. Candara is where the Exiles live, and has one of the only interesting details—there are so many fault lines on the planet that there are frequent earthquakes. Finally, there is Windsong, which is a lot like the Capital in The Hunger Games: lots of extravagant outfits and political machinations. I think a part of the problem is that there isn’t enough time to give this world the development it needs. It’s only 338 pages and is a standalone book. I think science fiction, particularly science fiction that is trying to show the cultures of four different planets, a large cast of characters, and a politic-heavy plot, needs to be much longer so everything can get the depth it really deserves.

This book wasn’t my favorite. There were a few good details, but overall I didn’t like the world-building and one-note supporting characters, and thought the fairytale aspect wasn’t particularly needed for the story being told.

What did you think of Stitching Snow?


An advance copy was provided by the publisher for this review.


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26 Responses to “Stitching Snow: Review”

  1. Karen

    I agree with everything you’ve said. I loved Essie but it wasn’t enough to carry the book.

    It plunged you right into this really cool world but never explained it. There are really horrific things happening/that happened to Essie but is never explored like it should be. I was disappointed with that.
    Karen recently posted…Entangled Publishing .99 Black Friday Sale!

  2. Summer

    I think you called said the perfect term while describing it “surface-level.” Surface-level type books are some of the worst IMO. I want to feel for the characters, get to know what’s going, and not feel like I’m hitting a brick wall when I try to connect. It’s too bad that it wasn’t enjoyable for you!
    Summer recently posted…Review: KILLER INSTINCT by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

  3. J. Oh

    Great review! I still want to read it, but I suspect that the lack of depth will throw me off, too. Good to go in prepared :)

  4. Layla A

    What a bummer, because the premise sounds interesting to me – like … how do you build a relationship with anyone when you can enter their consciousness at will? (Is it just like mind-reading – i.e., she knows everything they’re thinking – or can she affect the things that they do – exert control over their bodies? Do people know when she does it? In a Snow White retelling, is that what clues her into the fact that her stepmother wants to murder her? That could potentially be super interesting, in that it’d take the agency for that away from, like, the Huntsman and give it to Essie.) So interesting, and I could see lots of potentially interesting ways for this to play out, esp. w/ a romantic subplot – so it’s unfortunate that her love interest is one-dimensional and that Essie herself doesn’t get as well-developed as you might’ve liked. Bum.Mer.

    And re: the world-building – ugh, I feel this way a lot. (Tell me more about this world you’re buildingggg, but also like, why it looks the way it does, and what this has to do with the story you’re telling. And it seems unclear how this relates to the rest of the book – or what any of this have to do with Snow White. Do you think you would’ve liked it more had the fairy-tale retelling not been tacked on?)

    Great review, Peyton!
    Layla A recently posted…Otherbound

  5. A Canadian Girl

    I have this one for review but haven’t started it yet … and I guess I won’t be. It’s disappointing to hear that most of the characters are very one-dimensional and that the worldbuilding is lacking. Great review though, Peyton!
    A Canadian Girl recently posted…Review: Talon by Julie Kagawa

  6. Carina Olsen

    Great review Peyton. <3 I'm sorry you didn't love this one :\ but glad you didn't hate it either, hih :) It was a two star for me.. just.. not good enough :( I cannot even remember what happens in it, lol. Okay. If I think about it, I can. But I don't want to :) Just not a book for me. And I'm kind of glad it wasn't a book for you either, hih ;p Thank you for sharing. <3
    Carina Olsen recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday #161

  7. Pili

    I have been really drawn to this one for its gorgeous cover and because anything science fiction always piques my interest, but it seems that most of the reviews I’ve seen for it have been mostly meh or slightly positive but nothing more than that… Moving the plot along and not enough character development or world building doesn’t work for me, so I think I will be giving this one a pass after all…
    Thanks for your honest and great review Peyton!
    Pili recently posted…Last Will And Testament by Dahlia Adler: Excerpt!!

    • Peyton

      Your welcome! Yes, I really wanted to like this one because science fiction and Snow White could be such a cool execution, but it was mostly meh for me. Needed more world-building and character development, less plot points.
      Peyton recently posted…Stitching Snow: Review

  8. Angel @ Spare Reads

    Oh no :( Really?? I was really looking forward to it. It’s a shame to see that it is not what I have hoped. I mean Snow White + Star Wars is an odd combo but a intriguing one, so I definitely have some highish expectations for it. Slow plot development is bad, but moving too fast really isn’t any better either. I can imagine how hard that would be to build connections with the characters and develop feelings for them. I guess I will wait and check out more reviews on this one!
    Angel @ Spare Reads recently posted…Review: Perfect Lies (Mind Games, #2)

  9. Brenda

    Stitching Snow and Snow Like Ashes were two books that I was interested in reading. I do like a story with some world building in it, so I’ll have to see if there is some previews online before deciding.

    • Peyton

      I think Amazon will let you read a bit of the beginning on their website and e-readers will let you preview if you have one. I really wanted to read Snow Like Ashes too. Stitching Snow didn’t end up being my thing, but I hope you enjoy it if you decide to read it. :)
      Peyton recently posted…Stitching Snow: Review

  10. Nikki

    I haven’t read this one but based on your review, I’m most likely going to skip it. There are too many good books in these genres that I want to read rather than going into one that I’m not really feeling. I like the sci-fi/fairy tale cross-over but this one just doesn’t sound that interesting to me. If you like fairy tale re-tellings you should check out author Cameron Jace. He does quite a few and I have found them to be quite entertaining.

    • Peyton

      I will definitely check out that author because I do like the re-tellings. This one was just okay. It dragged a lot for such a short book and I didn’t care enough about what was going to happen for it to really resonate with me. Thank you for the recommendation!
      Peyton recently posted…Stitching Snow: Review

    • Peyton

      Yes, I completely agree with you. It just didn’t go as deep with the world and characters as I would have hoped. It did remind me of Cinder, but I wasn’t sure how much of that was just because it was also a sic-fi fairytale.
      Peyton recently posted…Stitching Snow: Review