Stitching Snow by R.C. Lewis
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What't it about?
Essie lives on the planet Thanda, known for its freezing temperatures and its dangerous mining business. She arrived there as a runaway when she was little girl, but she's made a home for herself, despite the freezing temperatures and less than friendly natives. After all, they owe her. She's a gifted mechanic who's seven drones have made mining safer for the men of Thanda, but she's also given them a lot more free time. Oh, well, all the better to take their money as they bet against her in her other hobby...cage fighting. She may be a girl, but she's tougher than most men and always up for a fight. She uses her winnings to buy parts for her drones, so the men basically pay twice for their safety. They mostly leave her alone, unless there's alcohol involved, so Essie still has to watch her back. Besides being on guard against threats on Thanda, she also fears that someone will one day discover her secret identity. For Essie is not her real name. Her real name is Snow.
One bitterly cold day, a ship crashes on Thanda and Essie races to help. Inside is one man, Dane, who she agrees to help. She's the only one capable of fixing his ship, but by doing so, she might be sealing her own fate. Dane isn't there by accident. He's been looking for her. He knows who she is and he knows that her father, King Mathias, and his new wife, Queen Olivia, would do anything to bring her back to her home planet, Windsong. King Mathias has been using his army to brutally punish those he believes are responsible for her abduction, and Dane's own father was caught in the crossfire. Dane knows that the wrong people are being blamed, but he doesn't know that the true culprit is right under the King's nose. Essie and Dane become involved in a web of lies, corruption and violence, and they will have to make a choice between fighting for what's right or running away, just like Essie did so many years ago.
It sounds like it should be interesting, and it had the potential to be, but it just didn't work for me. There was a lot of mechanical mumbo jumbo and pretty much ZERO world building. It's sci-fi and they travel through space (not much mention of space though) and end up on several planets, but all I know about them is that one is cold, one is hot, one has earthquakes and one is filled with rich people. The best part of the book was the cage fighting angle, but that was forgotten halfway through. It took me forever to read this, too. It just seemed like there was too much information and not all of it was really necessary and the information I wanted was left out. I wanted to love this. It wasn't bad, it just didn't maintain it's momentum and was in desperate need of world building. OH! There was also a romance in it that was slow burning, and I did like it. Dane and Essie are actually great characters and they did have good chemistry. The ending was a little cheesy and Disney-ish, but hey, it's published by Disney-Hyperion, so I guess that's to be expected!
I had a few issues with this book, but I guess if you like creative fairy tale retellings and romance you'll probably enjoy this. A lot of people did like it, so it's up to you to decide.