Monday, January 07, 2013

Review: The Stepsister Scheme

The Stepsister Scheme
The Stepsister Scheme by Jim C. Hines

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Just a lot of fun. Full review to come. Must get the rest of the series now.

Ok, a good night's sleep later, I'm ready to talk about this book. For the sake of my OCD completionist soul, I must say I started this book via the audio version, but finished it in the print version. This is not a knock on the audio -- the read was excellent and my husband finished it via audio. I just felt the need to switch to print (especially since I had BOUGHT it already) because tension is easier for me to handle in text.


I enjoyed this smash up-mash up of fairy tale princesses kicking ass and taking names. I'll admit it, I think I liked it better than [a:Mercedes Lackey|8685|Mercedes Lackey|]'s [b:The Fairy Godmother|13982|The Fairy Godmother (Five Hundred Kingdoms, #1)|Mercedes Lackey||16082], which is saying something since I recommend that book highly. It shares qualities with Lacky's book but the humor, the attitude, and the general atmosphere is more adventure and less love story (although it certainly has a love story). There were also a lot of out-loud laughs, which I don't get from many books.

I also enjoyed the humanness of the main characters and the way they built relationships with each other, which was a nice touch. Nobody is perfect, and even the villains have motives that make sense (because a good villain does not think he/she is a villain, but deserving of the things he/she wants, and justified in his/her methods of getting them.) That's a nice trick when it's played right, and I think +Jim Hines  plays all the right cards.

But, best of best, I think Hines did his research. I'm a fan of the fairy tale, both in original forms and in refashioned/retold versions. The originals were a long cry from the Disneyfied versions many of us know, full of violence, sex, cruelty and other stuff from deep in the human psyche. This is the place Hines goes to get his versions of classic fairy tale princesses. These women aren't saccharine lace paper cut outs tossing in the winds of fate, but women who have ridden the tides of trauma and carry the scars. I not only enjoy how he used the original sources, but I respect it. Good job, sir.

Now to get on with the rest of the series :)

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