Review: Cinderella: Ninja Warrior

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.

Review: Cinderella: Ninja WarriorCinderella: Ninja Warrior by Maureen McGowan
Series: Twisted Tales #1
Published by Silver Dolphin on April 1, 2011
Genres: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Retelling, Romance
Pages: 309
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley

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!

When I was a kid, I absolutely loved choose your own adventure books. In fact, they were the only Goosebumps books I could bear to read, since I have always been a complete and utter wimp when it came to anything remotely horrific. Additionally, I adore fairy tales, so this new series that does its best to combine the two was impossible to pass up.

Unlike the choose your own ending books of my youth, these books aimed at teens or adults have many less decision points, a sacrifice made for story and plot. On the one hand, this is a good thing, but, on the other, I really wanted to make all the choices. Oh well. I only read one of the eight possible outcomes (along with one of the other sections, just to get an idea), because my reading pile is ridiculous, but it was pretty good. I imagine it would probably be my favorite of them, should I read all of the others.

Actually, this book reminded me, rather strangely, of The Post-Birthday World by Lionel Shriver, which has nothing to do with fairy tales or choose your own adventure. In this book, you see two possible courses a woman’s life could take, based on whether she decided to have an affair or not on the night of her birthday. There are two story lines in all but the first and last chapters, where everything comes together again. Here, too, all roads lead to the same place. Again, that’s cool, but not altogether realistic, I feel. Some of the plot lines always feel forced to get you back to that specified ending.

All that aside, this was a charming, fun way to spend an afternoon. It was nice seeing a powerful Cinderella; in fact, my favorite parts were the ones that were off book, where she was doing magic. If you miss having a say in some of your main character’s choices, give this a try!


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