Title: Snow, White.
Author: Keith Austin
On the Shelves: Young Adult Fiction> Fantasy
Publication Date: Today! (08/05/14)
John Creed’s nights are haunted by dreams of a white wolf, his days by the hideous class bully. He’s a loner with a stutter and his home-life – with an eccentric grandfather who wants to teach him folklore and ancient languages – is isolated and unusual.
But then John makes a friend – Fyre. She’s as unusual as John and has her own secrets to keep, but as the truth about John’s past starts to emerge, she’s the best ally he’s got . . (Goodreads 2014)
My copy of this book is one I received in exchange for a review on Netgalley. I need to thank the publishers at Random House Children’s Publisher’s UK, and the author for allowing me access to this book.
Snow, White follows a thirteen year old boy who is a little bit odd. The novel opens almost like a crime drama on television, with some poor law enforcement guy getting killed off by a big white wolf, a wolf which you later find out the protagonist, John Creed, has been dreaming about for as long as he can remember. John is a quiet kid, who keeps to himself and is bullied mercilessly due to his stutter. He also is subject to speculation and rumours surrounding the mysterious scars on his face. He is told by his grandfather that the scars came from the car crash he was in as a baby, which killed his parents. But immediately you as the reader know that they are really claw marks. I’m determined to make this a spoiler-free review, so that is all I will say about the actual storyline here. It may surprise you though, this is not a retelling of “Snow White” or even any specific fairytale which comes to mind- rather it contains the elements of fairytales.
Throughout this book you also get two other main characters: an albino girl named “Fyre King” (yes, I admit, I laughed.), and the classroom bully who loves to give John a hard time in school, Caspar. As the story develops, their lives are all intertwined.
This novel was a bit of an odd one for me. The first half was quiet strong and I enjoyed it, I got attached to the “sub-characters”…but then the second half of the novel came along, all action and explosions and I just lost interest. I can’t even explain why, I just didn’t really care what was going on. I wanted to know how it ended but I didn’t have that attachment to the characters like I first thought I had. I didn’t care who lived or died. It felt quiet sudden and rushed. A lot of new characters were introduced in the second half of the story and you didn’t really get the chance to connect with them before it all kicked off. I actually wondered if this book was meant to be the start of a series because it seemed to be building up to something massive but I couldn’t see it happening within the last 20% of the book. But happen it did, and it fell a bit flat, honestly.
I gave this book 3 stars because while I did enjoy it enough to finish it, I did find flaws within it. I can see what the author was trying to do , but I just think it was a bit too rushed at the end and didn’t make a whole lot of sense. I would, however, recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of fairytale retellings or fantasy because it does have some good, quite original ideas and of course, you may enjoy it more than I did!
Snow, White is published Today!