In this fairly conventional retelling of Snow White, ‘Snow’ is Jessica, the daughter of a duke in a corner of Wales, assumedly in the mid- to late-nineteenth century. When her wicked stepmother, convinced that she needs to eat Jessica’s heart in order to have a child, tries to have her killed, Jessica makes a run for it into London and takes up with a band of, well, definite misfits.
The writing in this fairy tale retelling is fairly bland. While the word-to-word writing is fine, the characters are flat, and the style lacks vibrancy. Unfortunately, Lynn avoids any real innovation of the type that can make retellings of traditional stories such fun to read. The few bits which she does change (the setting, the identity of the ‘dwarves’) come across as contrived and pointless, as do the random forays into social issues (e.g. the stratification of London society in the nineteenth century). Such themes could definitely prove interesting and worthwhile if Lynn were fully committed to setting this story in that era and employing the requisite originality. Instead she avoids emphasizing the setting except occasionally, leaving the reader with no sense of depth behind the setting or the story itself. I was disappointed with the conclusion, too — its take on the ‘positive power of love’ theme was clichéd and kind of lame, since Jessica didn’t seem particularly to love the guy with whom the positive power was extracted.
Morally, well, the evil witch is evil. The good guys are good, except some of them are thieves for a living, which makes them COMPLEX, because stealing is bad. Yeah. Again, there is a lot of shallowness going on here.