Released: October 14th 2014
My Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Find it 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. (from Goodreads)
Stitching Snow was a really fab book. It has been compared to Cinder quite a lot, and while it may not be quite as good (how many books are, really?), I still enjoyed it and am definitely looking forward to the next book.
I really liked Essie, the main character. She had done well to make it as long as she had by herself, especially considering all the horrible things that happened in the past, and she had to go through a lot just to stay alive. Her days were spent working on drones and fixing stuff for the miners, who all just resented her, and the only other way she could make money was by fighting. And while she did win her matches most of the time, she had to deal with constant injuries. But despite everything, she never grew bitter (I mean, she was sarcastic but that was funny and not the same) and she eventually realised she wouldn't be able to live with herself if she didn't try to help Dane. She was really, really intelligent - like, the first person to create such advanced drones - and she hated being patronised by others who thought that everyone living on Thanda was an idiot. I like that she stood up for herself, and for the people of Thanda, even though she hadn't been treated well by a lot of them.
Dane was not as boring as I initially thought he'd be. I thought he would be the typical prince rescuing the princess type (this is a retelling of Snow White, so it's not really a spoiler, it was obvious Essie was Princess Snow) but he actually turned out to be a lot more interesting. I did like his chemistry with Essie and the romance parts of the book were generally good, but I do wish characters would stop announcing their love for each other after five minutes. Why can't people just LIKE each other? I'm never going to believe that characters love each other after knowing each other for such a short period of time, but so many books seem to go down this insta-love route. Like is fine! Like is good! Like can eventually lead to more! We don't need cheesy love declarations to understand that the characters have a connection!
Plot-wise, I really liked that the seven dwarves in this retelling were Essie's seven drones. Some of the drones actually played quite a big part in the book (my favourite was Dimwit) and their capability to learn and interpret the orders they were given definitely makes me think they'll play an even bigger part in future books. I also really liked the world-building and the way R. C. Lewis portrayed the inter-planetary politics. Essie's father, the King (who, by the way, was sick and I hated him so much) had such a hold on all the other planets and was basically orchestrating everything that was going on, deceiving his people for his own gain. The worst part was that most of the soldiers working for him were innocent and had no idea what was really going on and they were carrying out the King's evil plans without realising. It made things much more difficult for Essie and Dane but was great to read about. My only real issue was I never really got why Queen Olivia wanted to kill Essie so much. I mean, I knew part of her reason, but I think her character wasn't really developed as much as she could have been; she only really had one mode which was "kill Essie at whatever cost" and we didn't get to learn much else about her.
Overall, Stitching Snow was a really enjoyable read and I definitely recommend it if you like fairytale retellings and sci-fi.