304 pages | Expected publication 4th April 2013 by Razorbill
When Camille was six years old, she was discovered alone in the snow by Enrico Vultusino, godfather of the Seven—the powerful Families that rule magic-ridden New Haven. Papa Vultusino adopted the mute, scarred child, naming her after his dead wife and raising her in luxury on Haven Hill alongside his own son, Nico.
Now Cami is turning sixteen. She’s no longer mute, though she keeps her faded scars hidden under her school uniform, and though she opens up only to her two best friends, Ruby and Ellie, and to Nico, who has become more than a brother to her. But even though Cami is a pampered Vultusino heiress, she knows that she is not really Family. Unlike them, she is a mortal with a past that lies buried in trauma. And it’s not until she meets the mysterious Tor, who reveals scars of his own, that Cami begins to uncover the secrets of her birth…to find out where she comes from and why her past is threatening her now.
New York Times bestselling author Lili St. Crow thrilled legions of fans with her dark paranormal series Strange Angels. Now she has crafted an evocative update of Snow White, set in a vividly imagined world and populated by unforgettable new characters.
Review: 3 stars
This is a dark fairy tale retelling that has everything! It’s got witches, fairies and vampires. It’s a really cool concept! When I first received this book I was so excited to read it! The cover is amazingly cool, the synopsis sounds dark and interesting, and Lili St. Crow has a very good reputation for writing excellent young adult series. While I did really like this story and I found myself very intrigued by the world that Crow has created, at the same time there were a lot of things that I just struggled with.
The characters are very cool and dark, much like the story. I particularly love the supporting characters Ellen and Ruby who are modeled after Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood. They were fun characters who I thought added a very interesting touch to the story and am wondering if each of them is going to get their own story which could be very cool. I wasn’t a huge fan of the main character Cami though. She’s one of those characters who just wants to “know where she belongs” even if that kills her. It sounded like she was just constantly whining about how she didn’t fit in and that if she disappeared no one would even notice so of course she does and of course they all notice. Ugh. I hate this sort of attitude in people and don’t really enjoy reading about it. It just makes me want to slap her!
The love story is a bit of an odd one too. First off, I enjoyed that this story isn’t at all about the love story. There isn’t even a kiss which is a nice change in YA literature. BUT I found everything to be a bit odd. At first you’re thinking Nico is the love interest, then you’re thinking its Tor the garden boy and then you’re just confused. Now, after finishing I’m looking back and just thinking “what?“. It really seemed like she was attracted to Tor, there was electricity when they touched and he bought her presents!! But now that I know everything it all just seems very very weird.
The adaptation of the traditional Snow White story is done very loosely. So if you’re expecting a full on obvious Snow White story, don’t. I didn’t really see the similarities with Snow White until the very end. Even then the story is a lot darker and way more twisted than any Snow White I’ve seen before. For example the Queen totally marries her sons. Yeah. Weird and twisted. But I did really enjoy the direction that this was going in. I’ve heard a few complaints about the lack of parallels but honestly Snow White has been told a lot and I like that this one mixes it up a bit!
Ok but here’s the thing – do you ever have those moments when you don’t fully understand what’s going on but you nod and smile anyway? That was what I felt like for a lot of this book. This world that Crow creates is totally new and abnormal but she really doesn’t pause to fully explain everything. There are so many characters, creatures and words that I still only have a fuzzy understanding of even after finishing. For me, this was the major flaw of the book because if everything had been a lot more clear I’m pretty sure I would have given this one at least 4 stars.
This ARC was given by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.