First kisses sometimes wake slumbering princesses, undo spells, and spark happily ever afters.
Mine broke Bale.
Seventeen-year-old Snow has spent her life locked in Whittaker Psychiatric—but she isn’t crazy. And that’s not the worst of it. Her very first kiss proves anything but innocent…when Bale, her only love, turns violent.
Despite Snow knowing that Bale would never truly hurt her, he is taken away—dashing her last hope for any sort of future in the mental ward she calls home. With nowhere else to turn, Snow finds herself drawn to a strange new orderly who whispers secrets in the night about a mysterious past and a kingdom that’s hers for the taking—if only she can find her way past the iron gates to the Tree that has been haunting her dreams.
Beyond the Tree lies Algid, a land far away from the real world, frozen by a ruthless king. And there too await the River Witch, a village boy named Kai, the charming thief Jagger, and a prophecy that Snow will save them all.
Stealing Snow was one of my most anticipated reads for 2016. A retelling of The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen sounded so exciting and exactly what I needed, but I can’t help but feel a bit let down.
Danielle Paige’s technical writing style is wonderful. She’s whimsical, magical, not overly wordy – everything I love in an author – but the story itself fell flat for me.
I think the main problem for me was that I couldn’t figure what this story wanted to be. Was it a romance? Was it a fantasy? Was it a heist story? Was it a coming of age story? Was it an overthrow-the-throne story? Instead of focusing on one or two of those, we got a tiny bit of everything which made it feel underdeveloped and thin.
The first few chapters, which took place at the mental asylum, I found pretty decent. However, they could have been outstanding if a bit more time was spent developing Snow. She seemed too ‘sane’ to be constantly kept in an institution with her only illness being that she sometimes bites people. We also meet Bale, her boyfriend, at this institution who snapped her wrist after their first kiss. Despite the abuse, Snow vows to save him when he gets dragged into the magical realm of Algid.
Onto the boys.
There were WAY too many boys. I’m all for romance in books, but I couldn’t see how the three boys moved the plot forward to feature so strongly. First Snow loves Bale, then she loves Jagger, then she loves Kai (all within the first 90 pages), then she loves Bale again, and then she loves Jagger. The love-rhombus was far too prominent in the story and took too much time and focus away from the actual plot.
Kai seemed unnecessary to the story progression. Cutting him out may have put the focus back on Snow and her journey and make it less cluttered overall.
Snow is supposed to be bringing down the King and working on her powers, yet she fawns and gushes over boys throughout the story.
“I was going to be his robber girl.”
This was the quote that made me lower my rating down to 2.5.
Instead of spending pages on the romance, we should have been given insights into how Snow developed and mastered her powers. She seemed to have got the hang of how to manipulate snow and ice so quickly that I was sure I had accidentally skipped over a chunk of pages. One page she was struggling, then next she was able to perfectly control the snow.
The phrase “for a beat” or “after a beat” was used too many times throughout the book. Enough for me to notice the repetition.
Now, that was a lot of negatives so I come bringing a basket of positives!
I probably will carry on with the next book as I am curious what will happen to Snow. I’m a sucker for Throne Battle stories and this certainly fits the bill.
As I mentioned earlier, I am a fan of Danielle Paige’s writing style. I do believe I’ll give her Dorothy Must Die series a chance because I have heard fantastic things about that series. I have a feeling that series shines a bit brighter than this one.
And I leave you with my favourite quote from the story:
“Help me,” I said, clinging to her.
“You will help yourself,” she replied.