by Jason Robert Macumber
Plot Summary:The world of fairy tales is twisted and corrupted. Two years after her entrapment and torture at the hands of the Seven Deadly Trolls, Snow White now works as an assassin for hire. Rude, crude and with her princess status long revoked, she has become a dark angel for the Ever After's damsels-in-distress.
A game of cat and mouse soon begins when two of the Deadlies, Pride and Wrath, return to exact revenge on the fallen princess for the murder of their brothers. Armed with her trusty dagger carved from the magic mirror, Snow finds herself drawn into a conspiracy that involves an ancient relic from beyond her world's borders and the destruction of her world.
Taking perversion to a whole new level, NEVER AFTER is an estrogen-filled romp to save the Ever After as Snow slices and dices her way through beloved characters leaving no talking animal safe!
Review:I definitely can not highlight enough that this story is not your typical fairy tale revision. This is nothing like an idealized fairy tale story, and it is nothing like even the Grimm fairy tales which has some redeeming quality to the world. Having gotten past my expectations, the plot is very involving and moves quickly, and Snow is a great sarcastic narrator to take us on her journey to finding the redemption she needs. Her attempts to kill her inner princess makes her extremely violent and dangerous, but the author gradually peels back the layers on her character so she becomes more and more of a sympathetic character.
There are elements to this new world that I found confusing - why exactly is the world of fairy tales so twisted and corrupted? And why do princesses have such a hard time of it? But again, the story draws you in and has very well written (if mostly unlikable) characters, and I found myself rooting for Snow to complete her quest successfully. There are some great surprise twists and plenty of gory violence, and the author's interweaving of well known fairy tale characters and tropes were fun and inventive, so even with these questions, I really enjoyed this story.
review copy kindly provided by the author