Review: The Stepsister Scheme by Jim C. Hines

The Stepsister SchemeThe Stepsister Scheme by Jim C. Hines
Read: June 2 – June 5, 2013
Personal read.

Goodreads Book Blurb: You know how all those old fairy tales take you through lots of scary adventures till you finally reach that inevitable line: “And they lived happily ever after…” Guess what? It’s not true. Life in never-never land isn’t all sweetness and light. Cinderella – whose real name is Danielle Whiteshore (nee Danielle de Glas) – does marry Prince Armand. And (if you can ignore the pigeon incident) their wedding is a dream-come-true.

But not long after the “happily ever after,” Danielle is attacked by her stepsister Charlotte, who suddenly has all sorts of magic to call upon. And though Talia – otherwise known as Sleeping Beauty – comes to the rescue (she’s a martial arts master, and all those fairy blessings make her almost unbeatable), Charlotte gets away.

That’s when Danielle discovers a number of disturbing facts: Armand has been kidnapped and taken to the realm of the Fairies; Danielle is pregnant with his child; and the Queen has her very own Secret Service that consists of Talia and Snow (White, of course). Snow is an expert at mirror magic and heavy-duty flirting.

Can three princesses track down Armand and extract both the prince and themselves from the clutches of some of fantasyland’s most nefarious villains?

My Opinion: This was such a fun read, I just want to jump up and down and squeak about it. Yet at the same time something didn’t quite grab me about it.

I had been hearing such amazing things about Mr. Hines as a person, so I finally took it upon myself to check out one of his books. He definitely has a knack, and I really adored that the fairy tale aspect in these books is not entirely the watered-down version we get via Disney.

The characters in The Stepsister Scheme were likeable enough, though a little too one-dimensional for me at times. They each had a stereotype or flaw and they stuck to it pretty steadfast, and it made them a little flat. Snow was a flirt, Talia was distrustful, and Danielle was insecure. At times they became these qualities, rather than characters with these qualities.

The action was very fast paced, if a little uneven. There were points where I wasn’t sure exactly how we had traversed the space from point a to point b, but there we were. The sad thing is, though, I didn’t care enough to go back and re-read to find out. I think if I had been more invested in the story and the characters, I would have.

Bottom Line: A fun read, and a series I am looking forward to continuing. However something was off, and I didn’t fall madly head over heels for it.

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