[Rezension] Sarah Pinborough: Poison

18660060I was promised a sexy, contemporary retelling of the classical tale with a modern spin. Let’s see…

The author and I have a different definition of “sexy”. To me it is more than characters having sex and being naked. To her it seems enough. Those sex scenes are “fading to black” quite modestly (well relatovely…) in the beginning which I was very thankful for in the last part of the short novel when things were described with more detail. It wasn’t for the details that I was put off, it was the sheer unsexiness of it.

It started so well with the story told from the perspective of the evil queen whose attacks on poor Snow White were just bad luck or accidents in the beginning. The Queen in this story is no nice person, but we see where she comes from and a lot of her actions were just actions gone wrong without her fault. But at some point she just turns into the evil step-mother we know and all my hopes fade away.

Once the storytelling is with Snow White things get terribly bland and boring. I don’t even care about her unhappy-ever-after in the end.

To me a modern retelling either transports the story into modern times or “activates” the passive characters. Preferably both. Here… “modern” meant a slightly different beginning and ending and the characters including our heroine Snow White having sex. In the beginning the story fades out when it gets juicy and in the end you wish you wouldn’t have to know any details about the royal wedding night. It just never gets sexy or erotic to me.

I would have loved a modern Snow White who takes matters into her own hands and isn’t the passive and naïve little thing we know. But unfortunately the Snow White in this story is even worse.

The ending is a bit different, but at that point I didn’t give a damn about Snow White’s happy ending at all.


Uhm. The story itself is set in the medieval world we expect from a fairy tale. No idea what is supposed to be contemporary about it. Probably the sex again.


I didn’t like way the POV was handled. It felt so random. The first third of the story from the POV of the step mother, then a bit of Snow White, the Hunter, the Prince, I think also a dwarf all mixed together. It felt so uneven and random to me.

I did like the beginning with the Queen seeming to have depth and was just a damaged character rather than a purely evil one but she soon turns into the mean bitch we know. And once the story is following Snow White it is just terribly boring anyway.

This isn’t modern, contemporary or sexy. This is just the same old story, set in the original times and setting with the same one-dimensional characters, except for them having (highly unerotic) sex. 2-sterne-schw


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