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The Stepsister Scheme by Jim C. Hines

  (3 ratings)

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Book Information  
AuthorJim C. Hines
TitleThe Stepsister Scheme
SeriesThe Princess Series
Book Reviews / Comments (submitted by readers)
Submitted by Heresy 
(Jun 19, 2009)

So I thought, hmm, the style in terms of description is a little under-developed, but the ideas seem to flow with an inviting energy. This is definitely not in the bracket of authors who write thick books filled with explanation and detail into every socket. Don’t expect to see rich backgrounds into the characters, what you learn is what you either get told “word of mouth” or what is off-handed shown by way of the first person character’s pov. (Most of their history is lifted from older versions of the fairytales.)

I was actually “ok” about the first part of the book even though I felt that the lack of description was balanced only by the energy and flow in the story. My concern was that if the energy did falter which it did near the middle to end, a visibly topple affect would reveal the weakness of the tale. The fact that he was able to keep himself afloat so long because of the energy of the story was a lucky stroke for him - just too bad he lost it near the end otherwise it could have gone a lot better.

Which leads me to point out what I thought went wrong with the book near the end. Almost as if he was just trying to finish and forgetting to read back and to polish his work, there’s an entire long scene of giveaway plot. The stepsister comes in and just tells the captive how to break all spells and basically what’s in store for her. Personally, the entire scene just killed the energy that had been the moving force of the story, making it feel like the author had no other way of continuing. It’s like the “And this happen next” and “it was stopped like this,” and then”but instead they had this, so they were okay now,” kind of story from the old days - episodic. I didn’t think that scene worked as well as it should have. Sure the main character needed to know how to break the spell, but a lot of what happened was being “given” to her... she didn’t really earn or figure it out on her own.

A last thing, I really didn’t like the way Snow’s dwarves were brought in as deus ex machina nor the connection to her mother which I felt was added for TWANG affect, but left me feeling rather empty. Oh, so it’s really her mom, right. The development to even hint at this was developed where?

2.5 stars

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