Published by Disney Hyperion on Oct 14, 2014
Genres: Science Fiction, YA
Find the book: Amazon, 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. With the galaxy’s future—and her own—in jeopardy, Essie must choose who to trust in a fiery fight for survival.
Initially I liked this book. The setup was good, the world building was interesting, and the action starts right away. At the onset the main character, Essie, is introduced as a tough, no nonsense girl with serious fighting skills and limited social skills. Which is fine, it’s just I’ve seen this type of main character so many times. It doesn’t feel very fresh to me anymore. But I was willing to let that go because hey, maybe her character would develop more so she’d feel more unique.
Unfortunately, it didn’t happen for me. As the book went on, Essie’s character just showed more and more traits I’ve seen before in so many other novels. She hates pretty dresses and schmoozing at parties, and basically all the other girls she meets are painted as silly and frivolous.
One of the reasons I picked this book up was because it reminded me of Cinder from The Lunar Chronicles. And in a lot of ways, it was similar. It didn’t bother me that Cinder and Stitching Snow were similar, I just felt like everything in Stitching Snow was a little less clever, a little less interesting. And for me, Essie’s character lacked the charm that Cinder had. (Also, and this was just a personal thing, it bothered me that the author chose to name her character Essie, since it’s also the name of a popular brand of nail polish. It’d be like naming your main character Nike or something. But I wouldn’t have cared about that so much if I’d liked her character better).
My other issue with the book was that outside of the main character there are no other prominent female characters in the entire book. Most of them get hardly any page time, even the villain. It’s like the author wanted to make her main character look stronger, and therefore made all other female characters weaker. Essie is the only girl in the mining colony where she’s been living in hiding. All the other woman on the planet are described as either mothers, children, or prostitutes. In a futuristic world where droids help the miners work, an entire planet of women has been reduced to wives, little kids, and hookers. Except Essie.
We meet two other women who are portrayed in a good light, but they come and go after only a few pages. And then of course when Snow gets to court we get the obligatory silly girls who just care about dresses and parties and Essie is so much better than them. These girls don’t even have names, they’re just written as a mass of dresses and giggling. It felt very cliché.
Dane as a love interest is fine, but he doesn’t have much of a personality. Other than him and Essie, there wasn’t a lot of secondary characters to care about.
The other thing that I found really off putting was the introduction of (this isn’t a spoiler, it doesn’t affect the plot) sexual abuse in Essie’s childhood. Throughout the book, Essie acts skittish around Dane and other male characters, and doesn’t like to be touched or be alone with them. And that’s understandable without much back story. But it’s not until almost the very end of the book that you find out she is this way because she was abused as a child. I really didn’t like that because an issue this big shouldn’t just fly in at the end with only the smallest of hints.
Overall, this book was a lot of little things that bothered me that added up. Two stars.