I love when an author writes a truly interesting main character. Essie is a teenage girl with a painful past and secrets to keep as a result. She has a natural affinity for tinkering and programming, and with the help of her seven trusty robots, can ‘stitch’ just about any machine together or hack into any network. She has no problem getting dirty and can spot BS a mile away. She’s tough, but kindhearted. This girl definitely had to grow up early.
The relationship she has with her ‘bots’ is wonderful to follow. I especially had a few laugh out loud moments with Dimwit, the sweetest bot you’ll ever meet. They are kind of her creations, if you count taking spare parts and coding them with personalities and specialized areas of expertise. I do, so I guess I’d say they are her mechanical children.
Since this is a retelling, readers will have a general idea of what to expect. That being said, I thought the science fiction addition to the story of Snow White was really interesting. Side note: I didn’t read The Lunar Chronicles so I don’t have anything to compare this to. There are a few different planets where our adventure takes place, with some space travel in between, and technology that almost makes the story feel futuristic at times.
While I enjoyed the story in general, there were a couple things I just couldn’t get past. The first being a serious lack of believably real relationships throughout the book. I know it’s a retelling, so I’m not looking for any new groundbreaking information. But when I know, let’s say, there’s going to be a love interest somewhere in here, please make me believe it. Unfortunately, it just seemed very slapped together for the sake of the audience, except this audience wasn’t asking for it. The same goes with her stunted and distrustful relationships with her father and stepmother. Most of Essie’s relationships just felt very rushed, with not enough back story to illicit an emotional response from me.
There also came a point where I could accurately pinpoint when something significant was going to happen in the next couple pages based on something like an obvious glare, or smirk. The author practically hones you in on it. And then Essie, who is an extremely intelligent fictional human, makes it clear to the reader that she is aware significant things could, and therefore will, happen at any minute so she stays alert, but is utterly shocked and thrown off-guard when said things actually happen. There came a point when I just wanted to sit her down and say, “Stop it.”
Apart from those eye rollers, I really did enjoy most of the book. Blending science fiction with a fairy tale normally told in a medieval setting was really cool, and I think I would like to give The Lunar Chronicles a try as a result. If any of you have read any of these, let me know what you thought. I’d love to hear your feedback and bookish thoughts on these stories. Thanks for reading!
You can find the Goodreads link here.
~May your books be massive and your reading time infinite.~