STITCHING SNOW can definitely sell itself without the fairy tale aspect at all - it is a well-written science fiction adventure featuring a strong and quirky protagonist, a complex male counterpart, and a lot of political intrigue, fighting, and cool technology.
What I loved: The main character, Essie, is different from most heroines. She's a fighter - literally. Essie participates in weekly cage fights to make money. She's a programmer, a mechanic, and is more acquainted with the inside of a drone robot than her own emotions. I loved watching her grow and change, discovering things about her past, and seeing her be such an amazing kick-ass heroine.
The Verdict: STITCHING SNOW is highly recommended for fans of The Lunar Chronicles and other fairy tale retellings, or those looking for a solar-system-sweeping sci-fi adventure.
Unfortunately, that's where my excitement ends. I really couldn't get into Stitching Snow. It was just lacking something, and I can't put my finger on it. The book starts with Essie (Snow) kicking some major butt in a cage fight. It's obvious she is a strong female character. She's clever, hard working, tough as nails, and completely self-sufficient. That should have been enough for me to like her, but we never connected. Dane wasn't much better. I had a few more surprises and glimpses into his complicated past, but not enough for me to grab a t-shirt and declare "Team Dane". I didn't think the interactions between these two were much better. There were clever moments of witty dialogue that kept me reading, but I never bought the slowly building romance.
I guess the biggest plus for Stitching Snow is that the setting is unique; it takes place on several planets in a new solar system. That's pretty cool if you like that sort of thing. I don't. It was also a pleasant twist that Snow's father is a tyrant. Not your typical dead father that was worth his weight in gold story.
To be very honest, I stopped reading this book at about 70%. It just wasn't for me. I do love the cover though. I think it was perfect for the type of character Snow/Essie is, and the title clicked once I figured out what stitching was.