I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Snow Queen by Alana Albertson
Published: 2013 by Bolero
Genres: Fantasy, Mystery, New Adult, Romance
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The Snow Queen by Alana Albertson is a novella about “The Nutcracker.” Nieves Alba, a member of the Cambridge Ballet, is a young ballerina who has her heart set on one day playing the Snow Queen. Right after performing “The Nutcracker,” the company’s Sugar Plum fairy disappeared. Each year, a different member of the cast continued to vanish, and although each of the disappearances appears unrelated, Nieves suspects that they are connected. When she is finally cast as the Snow Queen, Nieves fears that she will be next, but she will let nothing stop her from achieving her dream.
The Snow Queen is a new adult novella, which means that it’s aimed at people in their late teens/early 20s. New adult novels have more sexual content than YA, and address the issues facing young people trying to find their place in the world.
For Nieves, that means addressing her complicated relationship with Misha, her idol. Misha was a famous dancer before he injured his ankle, and now he works as a critic. He has served as a mentor to Nieve for years, and she always notes his collection of snow globes containing ballerinas that look remarkably like the missing dancers. It’s obvious from the very beginning of the story that Misha is behind the disappearances, so the main story is watching Nieves realize what has happened.
The Snow Queen has a unique premise, and I wanted to love it. However, the novella itself felt unfinished. It seemed more like a draft than a final version, and had a number of flaws. The dialogue seemed awkward and not quite real, as in the following example:
With your light blue eyes and platinum blonde hair, you will make the perfect Snow Queen.
Let’s face it, no guy would ever say something like that to a girl. And although we see a lot of exploration of the relationship between Nieves and Misha, the relationship between Nieves and the guy she ends up with feels rushed. It would have been better if the novella were expanded and the relationships further explored. The book would also have been more enjoyable if readers had to guess that Misha was behind the disappearances instead of being told right away.
I’ve loved ballet ever since my mother and aunt took me to see a production of “The Nutcracker” as a child. I decided that when I grew up, I wanted to be a ballerina. After many years of ballet lessons, I realized that I’m not very good at dance, although the lessons did give me a lot more respect for what professional ballerinas do. Despite not feeling 100% satisfied with The Snow Queen, it was a nice way to revisit that interest.