By RC Lewis
Publication Date: October 14th, 2014
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.
RC Lewis’s debut was a delight. Essie was a fantastic character from her sometimes surly attitude to her ability to take care of herself to her fascination with ‘stitching’ electronics. It had its parallels to the fairy tale it was based on, Snow White, and these were easy to pick out and I loved finding them, but the story was also one all its own, which is just how I like my fairy tale retellings.
The really fun part about the book was picking out the parallels with the original Snow White story. Not only were there seven drones to match the seven dwarves, but the queen’s ending in the book matched up nicely with her traditional ending, but with it’s own little twist. And by “traditional ending” I don’t mean the Disney version. There is also the inclusion of the poison apple, the “kissing awake,” or in this case spurring Essie to action, and the “huntsman” tasked with killing her, but allowing her to escape.
Besides being a great sci-fi retelling, and a standalone story I might add – so no cliff hangers, the characters in the story had heart and sass by the buckets, especially our dear Essie. I loved how, once she was kidnapped, she took matters into her own hands and tried to save herself. She matched wits with her captor, and even though she failed to free herself before it was too late, she faced her fate head on and with no little amount of attitude. Essie refused to be a doormat for other people’s plans for her and what she meant to the kingdom and the solar system. She was determined to set her own path and if she agreed to go along with her kidnapper’s plans, it was because it was her decision. Also, you have to admire a character that, when given the chance to save the love interest or numerous people she picks the numerous people when the love interest urges her to GET THE HELL OUT OF THERE. Not many YA ladies would have made that decision, sadly enough.
Dane was another excellent character. While his attempts to save his people, especially his father, may have not been well informed, his heart was in the right place as he seemed to sincerely think that he was helping Essie by returning her to her home and saving his people at the same time. My only issue is that his optimism and his planning seemed slightly naive. He was smart enough to track down the missing Essie, but I don’t think he contemplated fully what her disappearance meant besides its ramifications on his own people.
The supporting characters were equally wonderful, with Kip being absolutely fantastic and the King and Queen being fantastic villains, each in their own unique ways. The world was well developed, with a focus on tech and “stitching” of electronics. While there is obviously a happy ending for our two main characters, this is a fairy tale retelling after all, I am very much looking forward to Lewis returning to Essie and Dane’s world and seeing what other fairy tale centric tales can be found in this fictional solar system.
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Disclaimer: The synopsis and cover picture were pulled from the book’s Goodreads page. Neither belong to us.