We’ve all been there: a close friend keeps bugging you, telling you a book is just wonderful and everyone who reads it thinks it’s the best thing since The Hobbit. Often, the recommendations are for works which really aren’t that great. That’s how I found out about Stitching Snow, by R.C. Lewis, and this book is a very big exception to my previous experience.
Essie lives and works on Thanda, a backwater mining planet where she takes care of a herd of mining robots and keeps everything electronic or mechanical at Mining Settlement Forty-Two running much more smoothly than before she arrived eight years prior. She mostly keeps to herself, and doesn’t have any real friends outside of her bots. This all changes when a Garamite shuttlecraft crashes nearby and she rescues the single occupant, a young man named Dane.
Stitching Snow captured my attention from the beginning. Essie was a very interesting protagonist, and her robots, especially Dimwit and Cusser, made perfect foils for her at the beginning of the story. Everything felt very real, and it was fun to see the world of Thanda through her eyes. Most of the secondary characters had depth, grit, and individual personalities which enriched the story.
This was a unique, futuristic take on the Snow White story. I had wondered if it was based on the Snow White fairy tale due to the cover and title, and Lewis did an amazing job weaving in elements of the fairy tale while also making the story her own. This is how fairy tale adaptations should be: recognizable enough, but not necessarily too obvious. The story was strong all the way through.
I really enjoyed the tech and linguistics in Stitching Snow. Hints are given (fairly subtle hints that not everyone will find) that the people on these worlds originally came from Earth, and it’s fun to see how tech lingo and dialects have changed over the unknown number of years since leaving Earth. I especially liked the “stitching”, which is a combination of hacking code and hardware, and Lewis made it very believable.
The only parts which felt a little off was the romantic relationship, or rather the beginning of it. It seemed to pop up suddenly to me, and stumbled and tripped along rather than growing organically. The ultimate villains also didn’t seem to have solid motivations other than, “Power!”, and they ended up feeling rather flat and somewhat oblivious to reality. I would have liked to see a little more development with them. These are very small quibbles, however, in an otherwise excellent novel.
Now, as a friend, I’m telling you to go out and buy Stitching Snow now. It is a very good book, and highly enjoyable for anyone from preteens up. I strongly recommend it, and I am glad I finally listened to my friend. I look forward to future works from Lewis.
Release Date: October 14, 2014 (USA)
ISBNs: 1423185072 (9781423185079)
Alcohol/Drugs: 1 (some drunken miners, other minor mentions)
Language: 1 (very minor)
Sexuality: 2 (one intense but non-graphic attempted assault, one other minor)
Violence: 2 (cage fighting, fisticuffs, martial arts, non-graphic descriptions of death)