Literature · Novels and Novellas

Poison by Sarah Pinborough | Book Review

Poison is a provocative re-telling of Snow White. It follows the basic plot of the fairy tale – an evil queen wants to kill Snow White out of jealousy, there are dwarves, a huntsman, etc. However, in between all of this the book throws in more darker and sexual subject matter.

If I had to pick a favorite fairy tale, Snow White would probably be my first choice. That’s why I was so excited to read this book. I like re-tellings, for the most part, and enjoy seeing how an author develops characters, settings, and plot around a short tale.

Unfortunately, I was disappointed with Poison. It doesn’t expand on the original story at all. The characters are bland, and there’s not much world building. Throwing in some sex scenes and references to other fairy tales didn’t improve the reading experience. Throughout the majority of the book, I was just plain bored.

To be fair, there is some attempt at making the characters unique. Snow White is slightly more rebellious and enjoys riding horses. The queen has some depth to her emotions. However, none of this was enough to make good characters.

There was one thing I did like, though. The prince is shown to have some rather disturbing thoughts and does something unexpected. This was the only part of the book that intrigued me. Although, even this seems like a typical attempt at a fairy tale deconstruction.

Poison doesn’t offer much as a re-telling, which is unfortunate because I feel ‘Snow White’ doesn’t get retold as much as say, Cinderella or others.

Rating: 2.5/5

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