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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Cinderella Ninja Warrior by Maureen McGowan (Book #1 in Twisted Tales series) (Review)

Genre:Fairytale, Adventure, Young Adult
Publication.Date  April 1st 2011
Pages:320
Published By:  Silver Dolphin Books
WebsiteMaureen McGowan
Cinderella Ninja Warrior - Goodreads
My review copy:Received from the publisher (Thank you!)
Where to get: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | Book Depository





     In this fast-paced story full of adventure and romance, Cinderella is more than just a servant girl waiting for her prince—she's a tough, fearless girl who is capable of taking charge of a dangerous situation. Seeking to escape the clutches of her evil stepmother, Cinderella perfects her ninja skills and magic talents in secret, waiting for the day when she can break free and live happily ever after. In a special twist, readers have the opportunity to make key decisions for Cinderella and decide where she goes next—but no matter the choice; the result is a story unlike any fairy tale you've ever read!
(goodreads.com)




"(...) Why would I want to dance with the prince? I've never even laid eyes on him."
     She's imagined love to be the most powerful kind of magic, but thinking about her life to this point, she wondered why she'd ever thought that. Everyone who'd ever loved her had vanished -- her mother, her father, Max -- and now Ty.
      Love wasn't magic. In fact, love was so weak it could be wiped away with a flick of a wand.
     "Don't you want to get married?" Ty ran his hand along the railing. "I mean, someday?"
      He sounded hurt, and the expression on his face matched, so she turned her attention from the competition to him. "Of course I do. Someday. I'd love to be a mother." And she'd love her children and treat them with respect. "I suppose it'd be nice to have a partner in life, too, but I plan to have some say in choosing him. No way I want to be plucked out of field of other girls, like a piece of fruit at the market. Don't you think it's kind of insulting?"






     Cinderella Ninja Warrior by Maureen McGowan is the first book in the Twisted Tales series brought to us by Silver Dolphin. This fast-paced and action packed story is so much more than the classic fairy tale we all know! Loaded with magic, kick-ass ninja actions, adventures and romance, this fairytale is nothing like you've ever read before.

     First and foremost, this is not a book that you'll read once and then put on your bookshelf to collect dust. You can read this book over and over again, as this is a choose-your-own-adventure novel. There are 3 key points during the story when you get to choose what Cinderella will do next. Each time you reach these points you get two choices, and once you decide which path you'd like Cinderella to follow, you're directed to the next section in the book. You know what this means? In one book you get 8 different stories, 8 unique ways the plot develops. And even though the ending stays the same, you still get the fun of deciding how the story evolves.

     I haven't had the time to re-read the book yet and try out the alternative scenarios, but I will most definitely do that, as I'm very curious of the differences! I never actually had a chance to read a choose-your-own-destiny novel before. This was my first one ever, but certainly not the last one. I know for sure that I'm in for the whole series. There's just something absolutely intriguing about the re-told fairy tales. After all, these were the stories I grew up with. As a kid I read all the fairytale books I could find and watched all the Disney movies. They were fueling my imagination and brightening even the cloudiest days. I loved them! And now Maureen McGowan makes these stories even more enjoyable to read. How could I possibly pass this up?

     Now, let's talk about the plot a little bit.
     Our heroine has just turned eighteen. Her mother, one of the most powerful wizards in the kingdom, had died at her birth. Her father died few years later, only days after he remarried. Just like in the original story, Cinderella is now forced to live with her stepmother and her two stepsisters, who treat her more like a servant than a family member. Unlike in the original tale, though, our made-over Cinderella is not a weak-willed heroine. She still has to follow her stepmother's orders, do all the house chores and endure cruelty and abuse, but it's no longer attributed to her weak character. She's imprisoned in the house. Her stepmother, an evil wizard,  has used black magic to keep Cinderella confined to the cellar, except to do chores during the day and to tend the garden at night. Why is the wicked stepmother determined to make Cinderella's life a living hell? Because she's after a magic wand that belonged to Cinderella's real mother. Convinced that Cinderella knows the location of the wand, she'll do anything to extract the knowledge from her.

     Cinderella, although still pure in heart and romantic, is not shy and blindly obedient anymore. She's fully capable of making her own decisions, she doesn't sit around dreaming about the prince charming to come and rescue her. She's strong, brave and tough, and she's determined to find her way to freedom. Through ninja training, she improves her concentration, balance and strength. She also trains to improve the magical abilities inherited from her wizard mother. She's a true kick-ass character and that makes following her adventures more fun than ever.

     The story continues with prince Tiberius looking for a bride. There will soon be a ball held at the palace in the prince's honor and two contests will be held in order to find the perfect girl for him. There will be a beauty contest and a magic competition. The winner of the beauty contest will get a dance with the prince, but Cinderella, not interested in the prince at all, is more excited for the magic competition, winning which will grant her a year's training with the royal wizard. She believes it to be her only chance to escape a life of servitude and humiliation, and she's determined to do everything in her power to try and win the contest.

     Cinderella Ninja Warrior is an excellent adventure book. Maureen McGowan did a great job retelling this classic tale and I dare say her version of the story is even better than the original. I like how Cinderella stands up for herself and fights for her freedom, she's still a sweet and likable girl, but she's no longer weak and unable to take matters into her own hands. I just love the fact that she doesn't sit around hoping for someone to come and rescue her one day. The depth of this story made me realize how shallow the original was. Cinderella doesn't go for the beauty contest, she's not trying to enchant the prince with her looks, she doesn't even care if she meets the prince or not! She's not interested in getting the wealth and the power, and the prince charming. All she wants is to earn her own freedom and start a new, happy life.

     I enjoyed the twists a lot, especially the magic and the ninja skills. I do, however, think that the title of the book is a bit misleading. Sure, Cinderella has some awesome ninja skills and she's not afraid to use them, but we only get a handful of the kick-ass ninja actions in the book, whereas the magic seems to be the leading theme of the story. Perhaps Cinderella the Wizard would have been a better choice?

     In my opinion, Cinderella Ninja Warrior is a fantastic, entertaining and super enjoyable read. If you like fairy tales, you'll love this one! I highly recommend it for a summer read. I can't wait to read Sleeping Beauty Vampire Slayer, which is the second novel in the Twisted Tales series!
 


39 comments:

Popin said...

It's almost like a choose your own adventure novel. I use to love those as a kid.

Great review! This is added on my tbr list.

~ Popin

Phanee said...

I remember reading a book like that when I was a lot younger! It makes a book interesting! After finishing one story, you start to wonder: 'What if I'd chosen the other path?'. It really is a book to always keep you interested and one that definitely calls for a re-read!

Great review! :)

Amelia said...

That's one awesome book and a fabulous review, Evie! You made me want to read this book so bad, I'm going to head over to the BK and order it right now!

Thanks!

Bonnie said...

Ha! I love your alternate title choice Evie! I tried to read this book a while back from netgalley but I just couldn't do it because of the format (it was a PDF and my Kobo is awful for reading PDFs... I think I need a new ereader). I was really upset that I couldn't read it and and will absolutely be picking it up now that it's been released.
I used to love choose your own adventure books when I was a kid and I am loving that McGowan is bringing back the CYOA!

Majanka said...

I enjoyed this book as well, but I thought the second book Sleeping Beauty Vampire Slayer was even better. Those adventure books are fun ;) I want more of them! Like Red Riding Hood The Demon Hunter or Snow White The Assassin...Alright just making things up, but you know, I want more books of this kind! :)

Ashton The Book Blogger said...

SWEET!!! I so wanted to read this series! I love choose your own adventure... =D glad you liked it!

Janine said...

This book seems so awesome! Love the fairytale retellings!

Manda said...

Heh. The title still makes me laugh. :) But you make it sound really good, so maybe I'll pick it up. Great review!

Ishita aka Fishy said...

I think you recommended this book to me on Goodreads...so i went and bought it lol XD...i do that alot, but anyway i actually enjoyed it ! thanks for the suggestions !

Danah said...

I found out about this book on Goodreads and added it (also the second book) right away on my to-read list. I love Fairy Tale re-tells. I kind of imagined Cinderella doing her ninja skills/stunts while wearing that dress and her glass slippers. You know jumping, flipping, and all. I thought it was funny. LOL It's great to know that there's a lot of twists. It just makes me want to read it more.

laurakatewriting said...

Surprisingly, I've never read a fairy-tale retelling but a lot of people have tried to convince me of how fabulous they are. Your review has, can't wait to pick this one up!

TheReadingOwl said...

I remember I used to love these types of books where you got to choose between different storylines. It will be interesting to do it with Cinderella ;)

SusieBookworm (Susanna) said...

Oooh, I didn't realize this was a choose-your-own-adventure. I tried some of the Nancy Drew ones a few years back, but this one looks infinitely better.

Felicia said...

This might mark my first time reading a fairy tale retelling! Thanks for sharing :)

Nikita said...

I love fairy tales, everybody is a little child inside. :D :D It sounds really good and your review make it even better. Great review, thanks for it. I know that I am saying it again, but I like quotes you chose. Funnyyy! :D :)
Nikita

ibeeeg said...

Very interesting concept for the book plot. I do love Cinderella spin off stories, and with the different choices for my own adventure has made me even more curious.

Paper Cut Reviewer said...

Okay say no more...Cinderella with ninja skills! Sold! I love this idea! lol! I really need to read this book. Thanks for the very interesting review.

Thanks!
Steph

Janinay said...

I love fairytale retellings! :D

therainhouse said...

Thanks for the excerpt.. I think I'll really like this book.

It sounds really funny.

Cinderella being a badass ninja sounds really cool.

Thanks for the excerpt again! =)

landofbooks said...

This sounds like a great twist in the story of Cinderella.

aurora M. said...

Now this one is a bit toooooooo far for what I might read but enjoyed reading the review. If asked about this type of book I would recommend a try out if you like these types of books. Thanks for the look see.

Krystal said...

What a great twist on a fairytale! I enjoyed this author's other similar novels, so I'm sure I'll like this one.

Leah said...

i used to love choose your own adventure books when i was little! i'm excited to read this now knowing that its in a sense interactive!
Leah

Jeanne said...

Amazing! I want to read this right now xD I love fairy tales and princess so I think I could like this book very much :)

therainhouse said...

I'm commenting on this post again. I love choose-your-own-adventure books. Those R.L. Stine Goosebump books were awesome and now there's Cinderella Ninja Warrior.

I don't think Ty's such a prick. He doesn't give me that impression. Still, it's an interesting way to look at the tale of Cinderella.

Yvonne said...

Awesome review. Just added this to my TBR list, it sounds amazing!

FairyWhispers said...

YUM!

girls who can take care of themselves!

Angel Snyder said...

Why have I NOT heard of this book? Or read it? It sounds AMAZING! Make your own story? So cool! Thanks for the review!
-Angel
http://909reviews.blogspot.com

divavixenqueen said...

Nice review. Can't wait to read this book.

Stephanie said...

I have never heard of this book before, it sounds really interesting!

Munnaza said...

This book sounds extremely fun, and I've never read a choose your own adventure, so that aspect of it definitely has me intrigued. It also sounds like it's well written and it flows well, which is a definite plus. The story sounds fantastic as well, and I absolutely love the title. *adds to to-read list*

VanillaOrchids said...

I enjoy re-telling of fairy tales so I would more than likely enjoy this book but I have never read one where you choose the path of the story! I had heard about that sort of thing once when browsing ebooks on Amazon though. Sounds very interesting!

Thank you for the review.

Pam

Kelly said...

Thanks for the review, I have had it on my tbr list for so long I forgot what it was about! Now, I can't wait to dive in!! I do love a twist on a classic fairy tale!!

Holly said...

I've seen this at the library and have been wanting to pick it up. I have actually never read a Choose Your Own Adventure story before. I'll have to check it out!

Filia Oktarina said...

WOW!! sounds interesting, cinderella being a ninja, must read this book. This book will add in my wish list, i'm it's very fun to reading.

Alyn said...

I admit I laughed at the title. Cinderella as a ninja? No way! It still caught my attention though. I'm surprised it's like a Choose Your Own Adventure book. I enjoyed reading them when I was a kid. I might just have to pick up a copy of this book and give it a try too.

Febby Aurora said...

Cinderella? A ninja? Really caught my attention. I really interested to read this book, moreover you said we will get 8 different stories! It's excellent, Cinderella stand up for herself, fearless, and fight for freedom...and being a ninja! lol I should pick this one. Nice review!!! :)

http://febiola-febby.blogspot.com/

E_V_E said...

I love Cinderella stories! and the cover and synopsis are great!

Jaime Lester said...

I feel bad for saying this, and it is something I say too much, but this is another book that I wouldn't pick up for myself. That is one reason I like your reviews. They make me give books a second chance that I wouldn't have before. So thank you, my dear!

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