This may be the best retelling of Snow White I've ever read. Although it deviates a bit from the traditional story, all the key elements are there—the...moreThis may be the best retelling of Snow White I've ever read. Although it deviates a bit from the traditional story, all the key elements are there—the apple, the mirror, the glass coffin—spun together into a new and compelling story, which really shows off Jennifer Diemer's skills as an author.
I think the best fairytale retellings take stories, characters, and symbols we're familiar with on a basic, subconscious level, and twist them. Seven does this wonderfully, and the story it tells is creepy and touching in all the right places. Snow White has never been one of my favorite fairytales. I don't dislike it, but it's never resinated with me personally. But Seven has changed my mind. There is so much in this fairytale to play with, and such lovely and powerful symbolism to rework.
I'm really falling in love with Jennifer Diemer's writing. I've read a few of her short stories in Project Unicorn, and bunch of her wife's writing, but this is the first longer story of hers I've read. And I have to say, I love her voice. It's richly detailed, and just a little bit sad, which makes the happy moments shine all the brighter. I will be watching her career eagerly.(less)
This book was so satisfying! It's one of those books I'm been looking my whole life for. I wish I could back in time to high-school-me and go "here, h...moreThis book was so satisfying! It's one of those books I'm been looking my whole life for. I wish I could back in time to high-school-me and go "here, have this book...its got handsome fairies and kick-ass reimaginings of princesses, and girls falling in love...read it, now!"
Ash is a really interesting reworking of the Cinderella tale. While some aspects have been seen before, most of them were new and exciting, and really broadened the story. Instead of a Fairy Godmother, Ash has a handsome fairy who seems inexplicably drawn to her. Instead of a prince, she falls into a slow romance with the King's Huntress. She gets lovely fairy trinkets, but even when all her dreams are coming true, she feels like somethings slightly off. This book isn't about her finally being recognized by royalty, or being rescued from a long abusive life; it's about her figuring out who she is, and how to rescue herself.
My one real complaint is that I wish the beginning could have been a bit shorter, and the end a bit longer. It took be awhile to really get into the book, and I think that was because we needed to be really grounded in this version of the fairytale--we really needed to know how her childhood came about, in order to really understand Ash. However, the book picked right up once it jumped forward to teenager-Ash, and only got better and better. I just wish the end could go on forever. It doesn't need a sequel per se, but I want to know what happens next!
I wasn't sure what to think about this book at first. Although the premise is awesome, the beginning was a bit slow. It starts out with a sort of remo...moreI wasn't sure what to think about this book at first. Although the premise is awesome, the beginning was a bit slow. It starts out with a sort of removed, fast pace to it, and initially I had trouble getting drawn into it. But that all changes after Persephone gets to the Underworld. The pacing slows down, and gives you time to get attached to each of the characters in turn. By the end, I was in love.
I've always been fascinated by the Persephone myth, and also disturbed by it. This was a wonderful retelling. It wove all the traditional pieces together, without feeling forced or convoluted. I didn't have any trouble buying Hades as a goddess, and I found her relationship with Persephone very believable and very sweet.
I really loved that of all Persephone's many problems in this book, none of them had to do with her loving women instead of men. It was a non-issue (as it should be). It was very refreshing to read a straight-forward paranormal romance that just happened to be between two woman. Ultimately their relationship was second to Persephone's quest to come into her own as a woman and as a goddess, and the characters balanced each other very nicely.
There were some technical issues in the book, some consistent grammatical and style errors, and I think that's one of the reasons it took me awhile to get into it. I could see just how close this book was to being great instead of good. But the writing is truly beautiful at times, especially in the second half of the book, and the plot and characters well make up for the occasional technical error.(less)