Review: Snow White and the Huntsman

Snow White and the Huntsman by Lily Blake
Release Date ~ June 5, 2012
Poppy ~ Hachette Book Group
ISBN13: 9780316213271
Review copy received from HBG Canada for my honest review

Goodreads Synopsis:
A breathtaking new vision of a legendary tale. Snow White is the only person in the land fairer than the evil queen who is out to destroy her. But what the wicked ruler never imagined is that the young woman threatening her reign has been training in the art of war with a huntsman who was dispatched to kill her.

First of all, I should let you know that I haven't seen the movie version of this (yet). So there's zero comparison to the  movie here. I am, however, a big fan of fairy tale retellings - the more creative, typically the better as long as the story still holds some fairy tale charm.

And this is where Snow White and the Huntsman had a great feel - the premise is incredibly creative and exciting, a great way to update an old story by including more action and a stronger heroine. The problem, I found, was that it sacrificed too much of the Snow White story to really resonate and moved at a pace that was too fast to carry out the plot.

  1. Plenty of story & action without romance:

    I really liked that the romance took a backseat in this story; there was definitely enough plot in terms of drama and action to keep the story moving along nicely without it. I didn't really feel like I was missing anything. And that was extremely refreshing.
  2. Darker twist on an old fairy tale:

    If you've never read some of the older, more "traditional" versions of your favourite fairy tales, I HIGHLY recommend you do so. It's surprising how much darker they are, especially for those of us who may have grown up with the Disney versions (although I do love Disney). It definitely gives you a better idea of just how versatile these stories are and how there's so much you can do with them. And the darker tales are a bit more fun when you're older.
The problem with the romance which I didn't mention above is that while there is very little (and I liked that), the little that there is ends up being incredibly awkward. There's next to no development for it and it just feels odd and out of place when it does happening.

Ultimately, that was a complaint which rang true for most of the book. The story simply didn't have enough explanation for events why they happened that way - such as Snow White's awakening. There's no reasoning for it. It just happens.

Lastly, besides Eric the Huntsman, there's very little development for the remaining characters, Snow White included. They felt incredibly 2D to me and didn't have distinctive voices from each other. The characters are one of the main ways an author can bring a story to life, and without any that are properly developed, you're really just left with words on a page.

The unfortunate part for me was that I could really see how this story could work better as a movie - there's enough action and creepy twists in here to keep me visually pleased, even if the story is subpar.


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Jesse said...

I e watched the movie, but didn't know that there was a book. Personally, the movie fell flat for me. There was action, but no real backstory for any of the characters (other than the queen). I would be interested to see what you think of the movie after having read the book.

Mel@Thedailyprophecy said...

Oh, that's a shame. It sounded like this could be a perfect retelling. The fact that there is little romance; I like it. But the awkward feeling it gives; not a fan of that. And no development? Hmm. I think I'm going to get a copy from the library, just because I want to read every retelling I can get in my hands :p

Unknown said...

Well, I read this book too a few months ago, and I kind of liked it. I don't expect much from it because it's actually a movie-to-book novel.

If the movie is based on a novel, then that's another story.

I agree that the book needs more back story though because it feels like she did this, she did that kind of story I couldn't feel the character's emotion at all.

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