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Stitching Snow


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About the Author

R.C. Lewis (www.rclewisbooks.com and @RC_Lewis) teaches math to teenagers-sometimes in sign language, sometimes not-so whether she's a science geek or a bookworm depends on when you look. That may explain why her characters don't like to be pigeonholed. Coincidentally, R.C. enjoys reading about quantum physics and the identity issues of photons.


Essie has lived much of her life on the desolate planet of Thanda. She spends her time stitching up her trusted androids and fighting the miners who control the cold, barren terrain. Essie has many secrets; Dane, a young stranger, wants Essie's secrets. With Dane's help, Essie decides that she must take control of her life, and not be afraid of her true identity. Lewis's novel is an interesting take on the Snow White fairytale. Those familiar with the tale will instantly recognize the parallels; however, Lewis has truly made this story her own. The science fiction elements add an extra layer. Some elements of the world building are glossed over, and the reader is left with more questions than answers. Those students who gravitate towards science fiction/fantasy will not be disappointed. Jonatha Basye, Senior Library Technician, Bateman Library, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia Recommended Library Media Connection"
For eight years, the frozen tundras of the planet Thanda have been Essie's home, and the seventeen-year-old girl is mostly content to tinker with her seven drones and serve as impromptu mechanic for the local mines. Her desire to help trumps her usual self-preservation instincts when a mysterious boy, Dane, crashes his spaceship near her home, and soon she finds herself kidnapped and brought to Candara, Dane's home planet. There Essie admits to being Princess Snow, whom everyone thought was kidnapped years ago, but who really ran away from King Matthias, her father and rapist, and Queen Olivia, her stepmother and attempted murderer. Now Dane and his planet's ruling council plan to use Essie to end Matthias' reign of terror-whether she's a willing participant or not. Several of the Snow White motifs are satisfyingly turned on their head here, and fans of Marissa Meyer's The Lunar Chronicles (Cinder, BCCB 2/12, etc.) will feel right at home with the combination of sci-fi and fairy tale elements. The pacing is lightning quick, with our planet-hopping heroes moving from one obstacle to the next, and while that may at first cause readers a bit of whiplash, it also allows the story to wrap up in one installment. Lewis doesn't sacrifice world-building for plot, either, deftly incorporating details about both the interplanetary conflicts and Essie's history as the action moves swiftly along. Essie's got the wit and strength to compete with any YA heroine, but it's her conflicted feelings toward her father and her willingness to finally save herself that make her memorable. This will certainly ease the wait for readers anxious for Meyer's next installment. KQG BCCB"
4Q 4P J S Essie would be very happy to continue her bare but hidden existence troubleshooting tech glitches with her seven drones on the frozen mining planet of Thanda. Earning extra cash with the occasional cage fight and improving the efficiency and safety of the dangerous mine operation keep her mind off the life she fled eight years ago-a life of royalty on Windsong. Her equilibrium up-ends when Essie rescues crash-landed Dane, a rebel fighter from Candara, Windsong's enemy twin-planet. Dane is seeking leverage to gain the release of his imprisoned father and when he discovers Essie's identity, he is pretty sure he has found it. His plot to kidnap her quickly becomes more complicated when their journey is waylaid and Essie's tech skills make her valuable to the ruthless government on the desert planet of Garam. Essie discovers that the war raged by her father, Mathias, king of Windsong, and his murderous wife, Olivia, has kept this corner of the universe in upheaval since her flight, and her escape might be considered the cause. Beyond the basic set up, Lewis's retelling of the classic tale re-imagines Snow White as a self-determined, whip-smart young woman. Lewis has found the sweet spot of building a plot with reasonable intrigue and complication without getting bogged down in detail. Her knowledge of math and science-both real and futuristic conjecture-is liberally sprinkled throughout the story. Essie, aka Princess Snow, has built up walls of personal self-preservation eight years thick and Lewis realistically depicts her readjustment to a world that offers and expects empathy. This includes the romantic development between Essie and Dane, which Lewis appropriately puts on a slow boil on the back burner. Two of Essie's drones, Dimwit and Cusser, are characters Lewis might have done well to develop further, along with the world building. Overall, Stitching Snow is a satisfying read for those who appreciate strong female protagonists embedded in plots of intrigue.-Lauri J. Vaughan. Stitching Snow is an interesting spin on the story of Snow White, placing the fairy tale in a technologically advanced setting. The romantic part of the novel is somewhat predictable, though not overdone; the narrative is not buried under Essie's changing feelings about Dane. As a whole, Stitching Snow is an engaging read, combining a dystopian future world with a familiar story set in the past. 4Q, 4P.-Allison Wang, Teen Reviewer. VOYA"
"Snow White" gets an upgrade in this clever, surprisingly gritty science-fiction version. Essie has spent eight years hiding in the hardscrabble mining settlements of Thanda, cage fighting for cash and "stitching" machine code, especially for her seven autonomous drones. When Dane, the charming offworlder she rescues from a shuttle crash, discovers that she is the long-lost Princess Snow, he can't leave behind such a valuable pawn in the ongoing interplanetary war. But what if Essie refuses to go home? Elements of the classic fairy tale are skillfully woven into this update, with a particularly delightful nod to the Disney dwarves. But Essie is no passive, pretty princess; she is tough, cynical, paranoid and prone to violent rages-rough edges that gradually make sense as the horrific truths about her childhood are revealed. Dane, in contrast, is the perfect prince: strong, gentle, devoted and (irritatingly) slightly better than Essie at everything. Sweet romance and graphic violence, earthy humor and chilling abuse, space-opera settings and vintage derring-do-they all intertwine with unexpected panache. If the wicked king and the downright monstrous stepmother are cartoonishly evil, their villainous schemes implausibly over-the-top and the climactic revolt against their tyranny ludicrously simple well, the source tale is hardly free of plot holes, either, and who cares when it's so entertaining? A fine addition to the ever popular subgenre of fairy-tale adaptations. (Science fiction. 12-18) Kirkus"
Essie, a part-time cage fighter and repairs genius on the subzero mining planet Thanda, has her life thrown into upheaval when a ship crash-lands. Inside, she finds the mysterious Dane, a young man from the planet Garam. They clash immediately, he from the upper echelons and she barely scraping by, but their romance builds gradually and irresistibly. Together, they seek a treasure that could change the galaxy and both their lives. They travel to other planets and meet revolutionaries while narrowly avoiding immigration control, which could imprison both of them, as well as hired killers with eyes out for anyone who could disrupt the status quo in the capital city of Windsong. Readers are thrown right into the action-the novel opens with a cage fight between protagonist Essie and a miner-but progress from there is slow. There's a definite learning curve to the invented vocabulary, which may deter causal readers. It's a gripping story with lots of moving parts and will likely appeal to fans of genre fiction. Stacey Comfort Booklist"
Even by the rough-and-tumble standards of the frozen planet Thanda, Essie is unusual-she likes to cage-fight angry men just back from working in the mines, and when Essie isn't fighting, she's a mechanic, fixing ships and tinkering with drones. After a stranger named Dane crashes on Thanda, Essie tries to help him, but ends up getting kidnapped. She's taken to Dane's planet, Candara, where his people plan to trade her to the king in exchange for the release of Candaran prisoners, one of whom is Dane's father. Essie is a valuable find-she's actually a young princess who escaped the clutches of the stepmother who tried to kill her when she was nine. In this interplanetary retelling of Snow White, debut author Lewis reveals a talent for worldbuilding and creating complex, memorable characters. As Essie owns up to her past and takes control of her fate, SF and fairytale fans alike will enjoy watching her beat the odds and find romance in the process. Ages 14 up. PW"
Gr 7 Up Essie is the only female living in mining settlement Forty-Two and earns her keep by "stitching" or repairing junk-tech for the local miners. She is an unwelcome presence, despite her much-needed expertise, and leads a precarious and solitary existence. When a shuttle crashes, leaving a stranger named Dane without a functional ship, Essie begrudgingly agrees to help him. It turns out that Dane is on a search for Princess Snow, the royal heir who went missing eight years ago. Once he realizes that Essie is indeed the princess, he kidnaps her, intending to use her as a bargaining chip in a prisoner swap. Forced to divulge secrets that she has long guarded, Essie convinces Dane that she is no friend of the court and the two join forces. This is a superb sci-fi retelling of "Snow White." Lewis does a marvelous job of slowly revealing the backstory of Essie's royal childhood, her incestuous relationship with the king, and the mystery surrounding her real mother. Inventive nods to the original fairy tale, such as the seven droids Essie built and the death scene of the evil queen, are expertly done. This has strong appeal for sci-fi and fantasy lovers and fans of Marissa Meyer's "Lunar Chronicles" (Feiwel & Friends). Amy Nolan, St. Joseph Public Library, St. Joseph, MI SLJ"
40 new titles to feed your YA book addiction: http: //www.cnn.com/2014/09/17/living/fall-young-adult-book-releases/index.html?iid=article_sidebar CNN Living"

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