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Presented by State Library Victoria

REVIEW: 'Snow' by Gina Inverarity Confused Me

Hello Fellow Readerholics,

I am slowly but surely coming out of my reading slump. I have never been so relieved. I think to truly understand the slump, we need to go back to its origins, I blame two things, the virus and this book. I was lucky enough to receive a copy of Snow by Gina Inverarity from Wakefield Press almost two months ago and I don’t think I’ve been the same since. Why? Let’s get into it.



When the girl brought my bowl she was in and out through the door like she couldn’t move fast enough. And when the lock clicked after her I found something she’d left. A knife. And not one for spreading butter, but a sharp one for slitting throats.

Locked in a cell by her stepmother, Snow grows small but she still grows. Even so, she’s hardly a match for a world gone wild, where the sun has disappeared behind clouds for good. The night the hunter takes her into the forest with orders to cut out her heart, Snow makes him a promise she isn’t sure she can keep. And then she runs.

Snow’s life is no fairytale. As she grows up her path will take her into the mountains, over misty passes, desolate gorges and alpine rivers, as well as to the city, where she will make her case for the return of what is hers.

And her childish promise will not be forgotten.

A dark and lyrical Snow White  retelling set in a post-climate-change world, Snow is a fairytale of the future.


Upon receiving this book, I was so excited. I heard about it, requested it ASAP and Wakefield Press was generous enough to say yes! I had high hopes for this novel and maybe that doomed it from the beginning a little but it wasn’t what I expected.

The character of Snow was one that I quite liked. She was strong and fierce, hardened by her experiences. She was more than that though, she was still very vulnerable as she was still very young and alone. She was also stubborn. She had so many facets that make a great character and that really impressed me. The side characters were in my opinion, the true highlight of the experience. There were many that were not as they seemed and some that utterly surprised me. It was exciting!

The language used was rather odd to me. It was out of place in something that was supposedly set in the future (in New Zealand). It read more like something from the Middle Ages. It was still beautiful though. The descriptions of everything captivated me and I enjoyed imagining the lush setting of cool, soft snow and often deserted woodland.

The plot was exciting but it followed a little too close to the original story of Snow White for my liking. A retelling is always fun but it shouldn’t be so predictable. There were times when my heart was leaping and I was prepared for the unknown, only to be met with a narrative I’ve seen time and time again.

My biggest issue with the book is that it didn’t seem to know what it wanted to be. It was set in a post climate change world but there was hardly any reference to the past. It mentioned electricity a few times but not in a tangible sense, it was like some far off thing. The language people used seemed to have regressed to the Middle Ages as did their lifestyle. In my opinion, it felt like the author wanted to write a retelling relevant to the original time but in order to change it up added references to climate change, electricity and a tracking device.


Overall, I enjoyed this book for the setting and the characters, however, I could not ignore how nonsensical it was at times. I’m rating it a 2.8/5.


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