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Book Review: The Stepsister Scheme, by Jim C. Hines

The Stepsister Scheme (Princess, #1)The Stepsister Scheme by Jim C. Hines
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Stepsister Scheme, by Jim C. Hines
★★★ and 1/2 (rounding up to four)

Synopsis:What would happen if an author went back to the darker themes of the original fairy tales for his plots, and then crossed the Disney princesses with Charlie's Angels? What's delivered is The Stepsister Scheme, a whole new take on what happened to Cinderella and her prince after the wedding. And with Jim C. Hines penning the tale, listeners can bet it won't be "and they lived happily ever after."
In A Sentence: Princesses kick butt and rescue the prince. My kind of story.

What I Enjoyed: I had fun with this read. It's always refreshing when the princesses do all the rescuing. The women in this story are smart and independent, and able to hold their own in a fight without it seeming excessive. This is a good book for a feminist, that's for sure!
Jim C. Hines based his princesses on the darker, more original versions of the fairy tales. The way he told their stories made it a little more real to the modern day reader; these princesses didn't have it easy during their ordeal, that's for certain.
The plot was creative and enjoyable, with a little bit of everything. It was funny at times, serious at others. The pace moved fairly quickly, with very few boring moments.
Still Not A Favorite Though: While I enjoyed the story quite a bit, the tone of it still seemed a little flat overall. Something about the writing style that didn't quite give the story the right feeling. I'm an empathic reader, and I just wasn't falling in love with any specific character.
To Sum Up: This is a YA fantasy novel that has a little bit of something for everyone. It has fairy tale retellings, it has adventure, it has independent butt-kicking women, it has humor, and it has a dark side. It's a pretty well-rounded read. But I can only just like it, not love it. It's a quick read so I'd say it's worth a look.

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