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3.20.2011

Review: Cinderella: Ninja Warrior by Maureen McGowan

Cinderella: Ninja Warrior (Twisted Tales) by Maureen McGowan
Young Adult, Middle Grade, Fairy Tale Retelling
Paperback $8.95 (320 pages, SILVER DOLPHIN PUBLISHERS)
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!
Author Site: www.maureenmcgowan.com

Fun Fiction Combining the BEST of Girlhood Pleasures (4 stars)

The best part about Cinderella: Ninja Warrior is that it works much like the choose-your-own-adventure books I was ravenous for when I was a kid in the 80's. At different plot points the reader will have two options that will lead them along the path toward this classic character's inevitable coupling with her handsome prince. As a modern woman I whole-heartedly embrace this novel for allowing Cinderella to both kick some butt AND still get the guy. Yes, the story has only one ending but how Cinderella gets there is up to you, the reader.

I chose paths that lead her through events focused mostly on her ninja skills and magic. I do intend to reread it another way at another time but for the sake of not muddling my review I felt reading it just the one way was best. This is a fairy tale retelling so it still follows much of the same basics including the nasty stepmother, a godparent and the ball. Throw in lots of enchantments, black magic and a heroine who has been praticing ninja skills with her cat afterdark and this is sure to entertain Cinderella fans who always thought the girl should have done something more to free herself.

This isn't with it's flaws. The format doesn't allow for a lot of deep characterization. The "choice" sections are basically a couple of lines describing the "option" but once you get to the section it's a whole new scene so if say you wanted Cinderella to say she didn't want to go to the ball, but rather the magic contest that's it. You wouldn't get a scene featuring her actually saying so and her stepmother's reaction. Older readers might find the "ninja" skills parts a little silly sounding but I think these will appeal very well to the Middle Grade readers.

Overall this was so much fun to read. I've desperately missed choose-your-own-adventure books and this, while not without faults, was an enjoyable dip back into that style. I'd recommend Cinderella: Ninja Warrior to adult fans of mash-ups and fairy tale retellings who've been looking for a kid-friendly version they can share with their youngesters. This is a book I would definitely recommend for Middle Grade girls who are reluctant readers.

Other Reviews:



Notes: Received ARC via NetGalley.

2 comments:

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

I read the review the other day, but neglected to leave a comment. *hangs head* I'm bad at that. I have this on my tbr and now I'm more curious about the book. Hm.. I need to get to it faster. :)

Rhianna said...

lol That seems to be my dilemna lately. Too many books, so little time! I wish I had it as a print copy I could give to my tween step-kid. I'd hate to buy it for her though because she is a VERY reluctant reader and this definitely won't appeal to her brother. ;)

Thanks for the comment Melissa!

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