Welcome to the Honest Gamer Blog! I try to post reviews on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, sometimes more often, sometimes less. (I am a parent so things do come up) I play on all platforms, and if I'm not reviewing here I'm streaming at twitch.tv/honestgamermike
If you would like to email me for questions, comments, or if you have a game you'd like me to review, you can reach me at : firstname.lastname@example.org
Author : Danielle Paige Genre(s) : Young Adult, Fantasy, Fiction Publication Date : September 20, 2016
A young girl, Snow, knows nothing but the life she has lived in the white-walls of the Whittaker Institute. She knows Whittaker, and she knows that she doesn't belong there. One night, she finds out there's a new orderly at Whittaker, and soon after her dreams are filled with a tree which awakens in her an urgency to escape find the truth about herself.
After causing a distraction, using her truest and closest friend, Snow breaks out and takes off into the nearby woods. Yet, as she's running away things start to seem and feel different, and she finds herself before the tree in her dreams. She finds herself home, in Algid.
Snow doesn't get much time to get acclimated to home as she's thrust right into the heart of a prophecy...about her. King Lazar has ravaged the world with his snow powers, and the prophecy says that she will be the one to either stop him and save Algid, or join him and lay it to waste. To top it all off, King Lazar is her father, and she's supposed to have the same snow powers but doesn't know how to use them at all. Can she rely on the new people she's met in Algid to re-learn her powers and do what's right?
One thing I want to point out before diving into my first book review, is that I generally don't read the back cover or inside-flap synopses. Too many times, I've found that semi-big details get spoiled that I would have preferred weren't. Just to give an example, one of the books I read recently followed a character who wasn't themselves and was unaware of their real identity, an identity that doesn't get revealed until about a quarter of the way into the book. But, this identity was revealed in the back cover synopsis.
So it's safe to say I go into most books without any clue what's going on. Or, at the most, a very minimal clue, which was the case when I picked up Stealing Snow. I knew it was about a girl dreaming about where she belonged, and that mixed with the imagery from the cover had my interest.
As I started reading the book, I caught the blurb on the cover pointing out that Danielle Paige also authored the Dorothy Must Die books. While I haven't read that series (yet), it instantly made me recognize "Snow" in the title of this book, and I expected some parallels to Snow White, to which I was not disappointed. In the earliest part of the book, when Snow is receiving her medications she likens the different pills to the classic dwarves, and how they alter her mood. There are some other parallels later in the story too, but I'd rather not give them away. But if you're familiar with the original or Disney story, you'll see them.
Being a YA book, Stealing Snow was paced exactly as I expected it to be. The story carried on consistently and strongly to encourage every single page turned until the end that left me hungry for more. Again, I don't look much into the books that I read if I can help it, so I started this one not knowing if it was a standalone or part of a series.
Well, to be fair I assumed for most of it that it was just a standalone. And it wasn't until about the middle point of the book I started wondering if there was an intent for a sequel, because it was either that or it was fixing for a very rushed and cheesy ending. Thankfully, it ended up being the former.
While it's a fantasy title, there aren't many of the stereotypical tropes of this genre that get put on full display. There are a couple of battle scenes that mostly wind up focusing on magic abilities, and when actual physical weapons are featured nothing too graphic is given in the details. Romance does play a small part in Snow's story but again it's never given a very loud voice. In fact, I found this latter part to be one of the stories best features, as I feel like too often in these types of stories the character is forced to find love, or ends up falling madly in love in the middle of their quest. So love does feature for Snow, but it isn't a driving force.
The only thing I wasn't a fan of with Stealing Snow was how cramped everything felt. Snow spends the start of the book in Whittaker, and after she first arrives in Algid she is with one group of people before some time later joining up with a different group of people. Algid seems like a very incredible place, and the characters are very interesting, but I felt the little teasing of each in this book wasn't enough. There are some prequel novellas that focus on some of these characters, so it's definitely a reason to check those out too but I would have loved just a little bit more within these pages.
Missing that though, this is still a great book. It's a fun read and again, there are other stories tied into this one, so if you're hooked on Algid there is more of it to soak in. For me personally, there's no sense of urgency surrounding this title. I enjoyed it, but I won't really throw it in anybody's face as a "you need to read this", and that is solely due to the lack of attention some of the characters get. That could change after reading the prequel novellas though.
It's a good book, well-paced with lots of great scenes. Features a great main cast, and a supporting cast that leaves you wanting to know them more, all set in a world that's incredibly intriguing but only brings you to a small sampling of locales. It's a quick read since it's aimed at the Young-Adult audience, but can absolutely be enjoyed by adults too. Every page passes and turns with ease and culminates in an ending that will have you aching to pick up a sequel immediately.