Title: The Stepsister Scheme (Princess #1)
Author: Jim C. Hines
Publisher/Pub. Date: DAW/January 2009
Summary: What would happen if an author went back to the darker themes of the original fairy tales for his plots, and then crossed the Disney princesses with Charlie’s Angels? What’s delivered is The Stepsister Scheme—a whole new take on what happened to Cinderella and her prince after the wedding. And with Jim C. Hines penning the tale readers can bet it won’t be “and they lived happily ever after.
Fairy tales & retellings seem to be in right now. There’s been an influx in the number of books, movies, and television shows dealing with fairy tale characters and I fully support this movement. I think it’s awesome and I’m really loving retellings with new takes on familiar stories.
I first came across this book at work a few months ago and it immediately caught my eye. Admittedly, I’m usually not one for an all-female cast of characters, but the artwork was decent enough and I was intrigued by the plot.
Earlier this week I finally sat down and read it. I had read some disappointing reviews and I completely see where the readers were coming from. The entire book could have greatly benefited from some major editing. Entire chapters read more like fanfiction than an actual, published work.
One thing I wasn’t too fond of were the names. Cinderella’s real name is Danielle, Sleeping Beauty is Talia, and Snow White is Ermilina (although she prefers Snow). I did enjoy, however, the world building and the creatures that inhabit it.
Despite being a relatively short book, it took me nearly a week to finish due to the writing. I’m debating whether or not to continue the series – they certainly seem interesting enough, but I’ve learned in the past that a good plot isn’t enough for me if the writing is horrible.