Friday, 10 May 2013

Review: Poison by Sarah Pinborough

Publisher: Gollancz
Format: Hardcover
Released: April 18th, 2013
Rating: 8/10

Amazon summary:

POISON is a beautifully illustrated retelling of the Snow White story which takes all the elements of the classic fairytale that we love (the handsome prince, the jealous queen, the beautiful girl and, of course, the poisoning) and puts a modern spin on the characters, their motives and their desires. 


Poison is the first book I've read by Sarah Pinborough and it definitely won't be my last. It's a dark, contemporary retelling of the fairytale and is perfect for fans of Snow White and the Huntsman and Once Upon a Time. Fast-paced and completely addictive, Poison is a joy to read and I was hooked from chapter one. I love twisted fairytales, and this is just that!

Poison tells the story of Snow White, but not the usual version we all know. It's a lot darker, with many unexpected twists and turns. It's not as black and white as the original tale, and I like that about it. The ending certainly surprised me - I wasn't expecting the twist and I do hope a couple of loose ends might be tied up in a future novel. Even just a quick mention of Snow's future would suffice. Here's hoping.

Poison is illustrated by the very talented Les Edwards who has provided line drawings for the beginning and end of chapters. This adds even more to the fairytale element of the book and gives it a beautiful, memorable presentation. You'll see what I mean if you read it! Even though this is an adult novel, it definitely has crossover appeal and is a good read for the YA audience. There's a bit of sexually explicit content but probably nothing much worse than is found in some YA books these days.

Like Grimm's fairytales, Sarah Pinborough has tapped into the more evil side of Snow White and its cast of quirky characters, while still keeping in theme with the original tale. There's Snow White, a prince, a wicked with and seven dwarves with names like Grouchy, Dreamy and Stumpy. Pretty genius, I think. The story flows fast and there's never a dull moment, especially not when my favourite seven dwarves get page time. I would love to hear more about them and the wars of the past, and that leads me to my only quibble with this book - I wish it were longer!

There are at least two more books to come in this series: Charm, a retelling of Cinderella, and Beauty, which focuses on Sleeping Beauty. I'm going to pre-order both, and hope July and October come round quickly. What an exciting new series!

1 comment:

Jesse Owen said...

Ooh! I love a good Fairy Tale retelling and this sounds like a very good one and of one of my favourite fairy tales too!