Jessica is pale, lonely, and headstrong, and quick to learn that she has an enemy in her stepmother. "Snow," as she comes to be known, flees the estate to London and finds herself embraced by a band of urban outcasts. But her stepmother isn't finished with her, and the wicked witch threatens her very life.
Genre: historical fantasy; fairy tale
Challenges: European Reading Challenge
A retelling of Snow White with a slight steampunk flair, Jessica is the unloved daughter of a duke in Wales who wants nothing more than to be accepted by her father and new stepmother. Unfortunately her father wants nothing to do with her and her stepmother is evil. Running off to London when she finds that her stepmother wants her heart for a youth potion, Jessica sets up camp with a group of half-human, half-animals and comes to see them as her new family. Suddenly her stepmother shows back up professing goodwill and it is up to her new friends to save her.
This isn't bad for a fairy tale retelling. It's something different and the stepmother's reasoning is never clearly explained though there does seem to be something more to her as the argument of a woman being in a man's world is thrown out especially dealing with science. The duke is notably unrealistic in his neglect of his daughter and literally allowing the stepmother to do whatever and the Lost Ones are never properly explained other than a sort of rush at the end, but the book wasn't predictable, which is saying something for a novel based on a fairy tale. It's a nice introduction to light steampunk for girls as there is an element of that thrown in and I think the thinner appearance would tempt some reluctant readers. Of course it's marketed specifically to girls, something I found all the Snow White retellings to be, but the pretty cover and short length might tempt some readers other books wouldn't.