Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
The Snow White Files by Sonya M. Black is the first book in The Twisted Files series. Brendan Hunter left his father's life of magic and politics, but it always seems to find him again. He finally has his life the way he wants it, with his own private investigation agency where he solves cases with the help of his shapeshifter assistant. It's all at risk when seven dwarfs show up led by Magnus Albright, head of the Dragon Conclave, with the request that he find a missing girl under a sleeping curse and insisting that Brendan find her before her stepmother does. Should be easy, right? Not so much. The girl's stepmother is Magnus's greatest competitor that also happens to be a dangerous and powerful witch. To find the missing girl, Brendan is pulled back into the life he left behind and has to turn to his mage magic that he suppresses, which could cost him his life.
A modern fairy tale with a twist, The Snow White Files draws inspiration from Snow White, but pulls everything into a new direction. This is an alternative present day where fairies, sirens, dwarfs, and magic are a natural part of the world. It's gritty, with shady characters and everyone seems to be hiding an agenda. There's a drug called synthetic dust which is made by taking pixie dust - normally a good thing - and turning down a dark path. The characters are dwarfs, mages, and shapeshifters, but they come off as very grounded and realistic. The trolls and giants fill the fairy tale archetypes by being minions to the wicked witch and that's a large part of the role they play. Brendan's life is a series of complications, which are a mix of humorous and chaotic. His relationship with Stasia is delightful and intriguing from the start. She's frisky, independent, brazen, and a little scary, but a completely amazing character. She's his assistant, but she's also his confidant that he relies on for everything. Sonya M. Black delivers twist after twist in this spellbinding take on the Snow White fairy tale that breathes new life into the story with a fun spin, a complicated case, and layered characters.