Please note: this is an adult tale, and not YA.
From the Amazon website
A chilling fantasy retelling of the Snow White fairy tale by New York Times bestselling creators Neil Gaiman and Colleen Doran!
A not-so-evil queen is terrified of her monstrous stepdaughter and determined to repel this creature and save her kingdom from a world where happy endings aren’t so happily ever after.
From the Hugo, Bram Stoker, Locus, World Fantasy, Nebula award-winning, and New York Times bestselling writer Neil Gaiman (American Gods) comes this graphic novel adaptation by Colleen Doran (Troll Bridge)!
Read this if you love:
- Fairy tales turned on their heads
- Horror in fantasy
- Graphic Novel format
What I loved.
First, the graphic novel format artwork is stunning. The lines and colour work remind me of stained glass from gothic cathedrals. But please keep in mind that it is explicit, and that film boards would rate it R if it were a movie.
Regarding the story, I love that Neil Gaiman the Snow White fairy tale it on its head. The queen is a tragic heroine. Like the movie Maleficent, they gave us the traditional villain’s perspective. But unlike Maleficent, Snow White is not a victim. She is the supernatural villain that the Queen is trying to save her kingdom from.
The heart? The apple? They’re all ways to save her kingdom from a vampire. And it’s been pointed out in a Reddit feed that’s made the rounds that with lips red as a rose, hair black as ebony, and skin white as snow, that she sounds like the undead.
I also like the fact that through use of the story, Gaiman sets up a bit of an unreliable narrator. Many times the Queen says “she imagines” or “thinks” that this happened, and then it’s illustrated. So it leaves you with doubt while still creating an engaging horror story. Also, as a reader I see how the truth of the story may be manipulated by the people who survive it.
What I didn’t love.
I’ll be honest here. The amount of sex on the page did not appeal to me. I understand the motivations for the story, but I’m not sold on adult fairy tales being told to be sexy. I understand why writers make them sexy. Fairy tales are often a metaphor for other aspects of humanity. I don’t think it’s necessary. That being said, they present sex both with joy and with pain.
Perhaps it is that I was expecting an ending closer to that of Maleficent, and that I didn’t understand that this was a tragic horror story, but I didn’t love the ending. It was a bit jarring, but again, it is the horror genre, and with a Status story that focuses on pity, it makes sense in the story’s context.
1st close past, Enchantress/Queen (she is not given a name)
External: Horror – Supernatural
Global Values: Damnation / Life
Core Need: Safety
Core Emotion: Fear
Controlling idea: Sometimes, your story gets rewritten by the survivors.
Global Values: Failure or Success
Core Emotion: Admiration or Pity
Gore: Hi gore, body parts shown.
Romance/Sex: Graphic portrayals, rape.
Series: Standalone Graphic Novel.
Reality Clover: Sci-fi / Fantasy – Past
Vampire reference: Reddit feed