ARC Review: Stealing Snow

stealing-snow


Title: Stealing Snow

Author: Danielle Paige

Series: Stealing Snow, #1

Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens

Release Date: October 6th 2016

Rating:

Two Stars

Seventeen-year-old Snow lives within the walls of the Whittaker Institute, a high security mental hospital in upstate New York. Deep down, she knows she doesn’t belong there, but she has no memory of life outside, except for the strangest dreams. And then a mysterious, handsome man, an orderly in the hospital, opens a doorβ€”and Snow knows that she has to leave…

She finds herself in icy Algid, her true home, with witches, thieves, and a strangely alluring boy named Kai. As secret after secret is revealed, Snow discovers that she is on the run from a royal lineage she’s destined to inherit, a father more powerful and ruthless than she could have imagined, and choices of the heart that could change everything. Heroine or villain, queen or broken girl, frozen heart or true love, Snow must choose her fate…

A wonderfully icy fantastical romance, with a strong heroine choosing her own destiny, Danielle Paige’s irresistibly page-turning Snow Queen is like Maleficent and Frozen all grown up.

– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

My Thoughts On…

…The Plot

“Bale is on the other side of the Tree.”
When I woke a few hours later with dirty fingers and charcoal dust all over my bed, I knew two things: where Bale was and that I was going to follow.
I knew the boy was right. Because drawn over and over, page after page in my sketch pad, was the same image: the Tree with the carvings from my dreams.

Snow has been an inmate at the Whittaker Institute ever since she was five years old and tried to walk through a mirror. There are scars all over her from that experience, and after being fed a cocktail of drugs in the asylum Snow is not well adjusted. The only friend Snow has is Bale; she loves him but ever since he broke her wrist after their first kiss he has been kept away from her, and she is alone. Until a strange and beautiful boy appears in her room one evening; calling her a princess and offering her an escape if she stops taking the drugs.

But Snow won’t leave without Bale, only when she sneaks into his room one night to free him he is pulled through a mirror and into a world beyond her grasp. Knowing that following the instructions the strange boy gave her are the only way for her to save Bale, Snow escapes from the Institute and heads for the tree he described. On the other side of the tree isn’t New York anymore, it’s Algid; a land trapped in eternal winter under the rule of a power hungry, evil King who is also Snow’s father.

“There was a prophecy spoken on your birth to the three most powerful witches in the land. Remember, you are the daughter of magic on both sides of your lineage. You have magic within you. Powerful magic, probably the strongest that Algid has ever seen.”

When she was born a prophecy was foretold about Snow, when the aurora borealis fades from the sky Snow will either increase her father’s power or kill him and rule in his stead. Her mother escaped with her to New York when she was only a baby but now Snow has found her way back to Algid and the clock is ticking against her as every night the lights in the sky seem to get fainter and fainter.

Already scared and confused Snow quickly loses Jagger, the boy who brought her to Algid, when they are chased by snow wolves. She has no idea how to navigate this new world, no idea what she is capable of or how her powers work but she needs to learn quickly. She trains with the River Witch, Gerde, and Kai, and later the Robbers, in an attempt to control her powers. Snow is adamant that she wants no part of the prophecy or her father’s land. All she wants is Bale, but after seeing more of the people and their situations under her father’s rule she wonders if she can really leave them to their fate.

I really wanted to enjoy this book. I have an all abiding love for fairytales so as soon as I saw this book on Goodreads it had to go on my to-read list. I originally thought it would be a Snow White retelling, though I’m not sure why, and when I discovered it was actually inspired by the Snow Queen I was even more excited to get my hands on it. However Stealing Snow completely failed to live up to my expectations. Snow’s journey through Algid didn’t have any cohesion; the events that happened felt like they could have been from two books but there wasn’t enough development to make them properly fill one. Stealing Snow was slow to start and by the time it got to the end it felt like all the action had to be crammed into the handful of chapters left.

…The Characters

“She brings the snow with her touch, they think she’s gone, but we know she will come again,
She will reign in his stead,
She will bring down the world on his head. Oh come, snow, come…”

Snow is the main character and this book is told solely from her POV but I couldn’t connect with her character. Her emotions and resulting actions always seemed to go back and forth; she was set on going one way and then, without any real reason, changed her mind again. It made her actions hard to understand because by the time I got my head around one of her thoughts she’d thrown it out the window and gone in the other direction.

I felt like most of this book was about Snow trying to learn about her powers but, with very little learning, she seemed to master them. We saw very little of her development from a powerless girl locked in an asylum to a powerful princess who had dominion over the snow.

“I saw him in the Other World. No offense meant, but there was nothing special I could see. What did he do to make such an impression on you? To make you come from one world to another for him? To put yourself in such incredible peril?”
His look was insecure, as if he did not know that in one breath he had insulted Baleβ€”and me, for choosing him.

There is a love square in this book between Snow, Bale, Kai and Jagger, but it fell completely flat. There was very little development to Kai and Jagger so their relationship with Snow didn’t work. In fact that only part of this love square that had any kind of development, that made me believe in the feelings between the two characters, was Snow and Bale. Bale was absent for most of this book but we saw him through Snow’s eyes, and although his character was kind of skewed by her love for him it worked for his development.

Snow believes she loves Bale beyond all others but the feelings she had for both Jagger and Kai kind of made light of what she shared with Bale. I feel this book could have worked as a love triangle, but as a love square there just wasn’t enough development of the male characters for me to believe in it. In fact most of the secondary character didn’t have a lot of development, certainly not enough for me to connect with any of them in any way. Once they were out of Snow’s line of sight they were pretty much forgotten about.

…The Setting

“Algid wasn’t always covered in snow,” the River Witch said. “It used to have seasons. And then Prince Lazar was born, which would change the course of our world.”

We don’t spend much time in Whittaker’s Institute in New York but in Algid the world is a different place. It’s covered in snow and ice, and people live in fear of the King and the enforcer he sends to do his bidding. We don’t see much of the world itself but we are given a lot of back-story into the situation Snow finds herself in; the prophecy and her role in it, her mother’s escape and the witches that helped, the power that makes up the elite of Algid. I would have enjoyed seeing more of the world itself but the back-story behind it was well done. Everyone from the King, to the witches, to the Robbers have a story that is told.


I felt this story had a lot of potential but it failed to live up to it. I’ll still pick up the second book in this series, simply because the ending has left me hopeful for the next instalment. Hopefully the development of Snow will improve, and we’ll see more of the other characters and I’ll be able to connect to them.

What did you think of Stealing Snow? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.

All quotes have been taken from an ARC and may differ in the final publication.

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39 thoughts on “ARC Review: Stealing Snow

    1. Oh there are people out there who did love it, and the book did have its positives don’t get me wrong, but for me it just wasn’t what I thought it would be and wasn’t enjoyable either. I’ll be looking forwards to seeing what you think of this one though, when should you be getting it from your library?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m number 3 on the Overdrive list. That and I requested Replica and Vassa in the Night. I have The Heart of Betrayal to read on Overdrive and Poisoned Blade, so I have those too, in addition to my physical books!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I already have so many books to read! I’m drowning!
        If they weren’t all so good, I would be able to return some and take it a little slower. But you should see how many good ones I have checked out. I can’t believe my good fortune sometimes! I haven’t had to buy a book full price…I did with Corruption by Shirvington, but that’s only because I didn’t like the idea of waiting to read a book that was already available to a whole other country! Didn’t make sense to me…
        But I might as well have waited because, like usual, since I own it I’m not reading it right now. I am ridiculous. I even have books that I bought during the sales that I could read for two months and not need to check anything out, but since I’m so used to working at a job that allowed me to read on my downtime, I have more books than hours in the day.
        I miss answering phones. I got SO much reading done. πŸ˜‚

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yeah I feel a little like that, do you have monthly TBR lists, they sometimes help me feel like what I have to get through is a little more manageable.
        I’m assuming it’s a lot then, and it’s great you haven’t had to pay for a book in ages, I am honestly the opposite, I haven’t been the library and got a book for free in so so long. Then again I’ve seen some of your library hauls and I know I’d never be able to find books that good at my local library, and going further out is just a lot of hassle when I can order on Amazon from the comfort of my home!
        Yeah that’s the thing with books, you wait ages for one to be released and then it sits on your shelves for ages until you get around to it. I have a few like that at the moment. I read a lot during my commute but lately I’ve just been so busy with work I’ve been using my commute to catch up on sleep! πŸ˜€

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  1. I agree with everything you said, Beth!! This book had a lot of potential, but it just fell so flat. The moment a love square started happening I knew it wasn’t going to be for me. I enjoyed Dorothy Must Die too so I thought I’d like this one, but nope haha. Fantastic review!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly, and it’s so disappointing because I love fairy tale retellings and wanted to love this one as well but…it just didn’t happen.
      I was the same, when the love square started to form I was like ‘NOPE!’
      Dorothy Must Die was a good start to a series but the second book just went downhill for me, and I haven’t gotten around to any more of the series either actually.
      Thanks Lauren! πŸ˜€

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  2. I have this on my TBR, but I’ve been wary about t because I didn’t like the Dorothy Must Die series. I’ve also heard a lot of negative feedback about this book… I think this one is pretty far down the TBR list …

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When I requested it from NetGalley I didn’t realise the same author wrote both books, I think if I had I would have been more wary of it.
      Yeah there are more than a few negative reviews on Goodreads, mine will be one of them when I create my GR profile. I wouldn’t recommend it but if you do get around to Stealing Snow I’ll be interested to see what you think of it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I knew that she wrote both books … but I didn’t enjoy her first series, and I’ve heard some really negative reviews about this one – so it’s pretty far down the TBR! Be sure to add me as a friend when you do create it πŸ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I enjoyed Dorothy Must Die but (and bear in mind I haven’t read past the second book) I wasn’t keen on the series when it continued so I just stopped.
        Honestly I wouldn’t recommend Stealing Snow, I just can’t because I really didn’t enjoy the book at all. And from the amount of negative review I’ve seen I’m not the only one who feels that way.
        Don’t worry I will do. πŸ™‚

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  3. Oh I’m sorry to read that you didn’t enjoy this book but you’re not the only one. I’ve read tons of other reviews with the same problems. I also heard some not so great things about Dorothy Must Die. It sucks when us the readers can’t really connect with a character nor really understand them. I don’t really have a problem with a love triangle but a love square??? Uhh that sounds a bit much. I do hope that when you read the second book, it has the potential you said the book has. I love love love your reviews. Sorry that I have been absent from your blog. xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah it’s a shame because it sounded amazing, and I love fairytale retellings as well, but it just didn’t live up to my expectations. I’ve seen a fair few negative reviews for this one as well now, and with the Dorothy Must Die series too.
      It was an issue in this book because the main character I couldn’t connect with was the person whose eyes we were reading the book through. I’ve read a book with a love square before and that was actually well done, it just wasn’t in this book. I think even if you enjoy love triangles you won’t enjoy the love square in this one!
      I hope so too, I’m willing to give it another go just in case it does improve but if it doesn’t I won’t pick up the third.
      Nah that’s all right, I feel like I have a few posts I need to catch up on as well! πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes I know exactly what you mean when reading 1st person POV and cannot connect with the character at all. It’s such a bummer! I also love reading fairy tale retellings but sometimes things don’t work out =/

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      2. There have been a few others books I have similar issues with. I couldn’t connect with the characters and because the stories were told in first person POV I just didn’t enjoy them as much.
        Loving fairytale retellings is one thing but you still want a good story don’t you?

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  4. Really good review, Beth! You’ve basically summed up everything I’m feeling about this book. I’m struggling through it at the moment and it is PAINFUL. I agree with you totally when you say it lacks cohesion. None of it feels connected for me?! Hope the next ARC is better for us both haha. πŸ˜‚ x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Sammie! Ohh did you get an ARC for this book as well then?
      I actually tried reading it once when I was first approved on NetGalley, but didn’t get very far into it before giving it up. Obviously I read it again all the way through but I couldn’t get invested in the storyline or the characters at all. It’s a shame because the blurb sounded great and there was a lot of potential as well.
      Ha, yeah, I have a few amazing ones on my to-read list that I have high expectations for. Hopefully you do as well! πŸ˜€

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  5. Sorry you did not enjoy this story :-/ The blurb does make me curious but after reading your review, it is clear the potential of the story was wasted. For a book to work, I always need a bit of development, and it sounds like there is not much of it in this one. With the right world building and a better work on the characters, it could have been a nice one.

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    1. Yeah, same here. The blurb is what drew me in, it sounded really promising, but the reality of the story just didn’t live up to my expectations for it. I wouldn’t recommend it, especially if you need the development for the book to work because it was sorely missing in this one.
      There’s still a fair bit of potential in this series, and I’m hoping to second book will pick it up a little more too. πŸ™‚

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  6. That’s too bad you didn’t enjoy this book so much.:/ I have seen it around, but didn’t request it or anything, and from everything you’ve said, I feel like I did a good thing. I think I would have been bothered by the lack of development, especially for a story that seems to have a lot of great potential :/ Great review! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, despite my expectations and how promising the blurb sounded it just didn’t live up to my expectations. There do seem to be more negative reviews than positive ones for this book and when it comes down it I wouldn’t recommend Stealing Snow, especially if character development is something you enjoy most about the books you read!
      Thanks Marie! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  7. So far I’ve only seen negative reviews for this one, which makes me glad I didn’t let my click happy self request it on NetGalley because everything you didn’t like would have caused me to DNF it. I can’t stand when not only is there lack of development in the characters but a love square. It’s disappointing as the synopsis and your summary of the plot make it sound so interesting. I actually didn’t know this was a Snow Queen type retelling either until I read your review because the other reviews I saw for it didn’t state that. Sorry that this ended up falling flat for you. While I won’t be picking it up I do hope the second book is better and that you enjoy it way more than you did this one. Great review, Beth! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah there does seem to be more negative reviews for this book than positive, it’s a shame because it’s a great idea and it had so much potential it just failed to live up to it in my mind. I actually DNF this book back when I picked it up after my request was first approved, I went back and read it this week but I couldn’t feel invested in the characters or the story at all.
      I’d love to see more Snow Queen retellings, and I think the story could have been interesting but the development let it down. Yeah it’s a shame, and I wouldn’t recommend it so maybe do give this one a miss.
      Thanks Melissa! πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It really is! It seems as if the author could have done so many incredible things with the plot and characters that wasn’t done.
        It would definitely be great to see more Snow Queen retellings. I’ve noticed that retellings are starting to become really popular so hopefully there will be more in the future.
        You’re welcome! 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      2. There was so much I would have liked to see from this book, and I think the main thing was better development. I would have enjoyed Stealing Snow so much more if I could get behind Snow as a character.
        Retellings are quite popular at the moment, I’m really loving it but at the same I feel like I want quality over quantity you know. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Hopefully the development will be there for you in book two! Sometimes characters can make a 360 and improve. 😊
        But I get what you mean, usually if I can’t get behind a character or their development isn’t there it completely throws me off.
        I completely agree with you! Definitely quality over quantity. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Hopefully, either way I’ll be picking it up but if it doesn’t improve with the second book I’m not sure I’ll pick up the third.
        Especially when a book’s told in first person POV, that was what happened with this book and it did really throw me off!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. That’s such a bummer. I haven’t heard the greatest things about her books. I bought Dorothy Must Die months ago and still haven’t read it after seeing loads of bad reviews. This did seem like it had potential. I’m actually glad I didn’t get approved for this ARC after reading your review. A love square? Oh, no that’s just too much for me. Love triangles are messy enough, and when they fall flat, it’s even more disappointing because what was the point of reading about it, right? Excellent review, as always, Beth! I think I will pass on this one. It really makes me wonder if I should go with the book that Dorothy was tied with for Hype or Like Friday in November instead of Dorothy. I suspect this author is the case of over hype.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The concepts behind her books do sound amazing, and I’ll admit I quite enjoyed Dorothy Must Die, but I wasn’t keen on the second book in that series and I was even less keen on Stealing Snow. I wouldn’t recommend this book honestly, especially if you’re not a fan of love triangles because this love square had all the negatives and none of the positives you can see in love triangles.
      Thanks Jill, I’m glad you liked my review for this book. What was the book Dorothy was tied for with then? I will say I think in the case of Danielle Paige it is a case of over hype, especially for me.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Eep, I feel like everyone has been giving this book negative reviews! I didn’t request it because I’m not super interested, but I thought if the reviews are good I’ll purchase it for myself. I guess I won’t be doing that now… from your review it has pretty much everything I don’t like: girl picks up magic quickly, a love square. Still, great review though and I hope your next read is better! πŸ˜‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah I’ve seen a lot of negative reviews, and while there are some positive ones out there I read a few of the other negative ones after writing mine and it seems like a lot of the issues I had with this book other people did as well. I wouldn’t recommend this one, it took me a while to get through the story just because I couldn’t feel invested in what was happening to the characters, and yeah the love square was a major downside for me too.
      Thanks, and given I am starting the Chaos Walking books next it’s safe to say I’ll enjoy those books much more! πŸ˜€

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