Thursday, May 12, 2011

Review: Cinderella Ninja Warrior

Cinderella Ninja Warrior (Twisted Tales - Book 1) by Maureen McGowan

Publication Date: April 2011
Publisher: Silver Dolphin Books
Genre: YA, Choose Your Own Adventure
Pages: Paperback, 320pp
ISBN-13: 9781607102557

(Received for review from Premier Virtual Book Tours)

Purchase: Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound

Maureen McGowan on the WEB: website, blog, facebook, twitter

Synopsis (Barnes & Noble):

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 Maureen McGowan gives reader a different take on a classic fairy-tale. Cinderella is one of most beloved fairy-tales of all time, but this time she's just a little twisted. McGowan has written a book that will entertain both YA and Adult readers. Readers will love the being in control of Cinderella's fate as they make key decisions in Cinderella's path to her own happy-ever-after!

Cinderella's wicked stepmother is worried. She married Cinderella's father in order to get her mother's magic wand. But now she is concerned that Cinderella may have inherited magical abilities as well. What she doesn't know is that Cinderella is just bidding her time, honing her martial arts and magical aptitude, waiting for a chance to break from her stepmothers spell that keeps her with her doing the tedious chores that no else wants to do. When an invitation arrives to a Magical Festival in honor of the Prince's birthday, she finally has her chance to escape. Will she able to get away and find true love in the process? That's up to the reader!

Cinderella was always one of my favorite fairy-tales growing up. From the elegant ball to turning the tables on her wicked stepsisters, Cinderella rocked! In Maureen McGowan's version she's even more intelligent, more resourceful and has a few tricks up her sleeve that her wicked stepmother won't see coming. McGowan gives us a Cinderella who is confident and self-assured. She hides her abilities from her stepmother because she knows that using them is the only way she will be to get away from her. She shows patience and great resolve as she waits for her chance. I thought McGowan's changes to Cinderella's character were amazing. She was still the beautiful young girl who is impoverished and deserves a happy ending, but she is stronger and has some really great martial arts moves.

There is more than one twist on this classic tale though. First are the changes to the overall story. Cinderella coming from a magical family. Her mother's wand being the focus of her stepmothers cunning plan to marry her father. Cinderella's martial arts abilities, and of course the ball has become a magical festival. All of these attributes definitely change the original but the most important parts are still intact. Cinderella is being mistreated by her stepmother. She gets and invitation to meet the prince. She falls in love etc. etc. So all of the things readers have always thought about Cinderella are essentially the same, just a little twisted. I loved the changes that McGowan made to the story and I think young readers and adults alike will really enjoy the twists in this re-telling.

The other important twist is the fact that readers are given the choice to set Cinderella on her path. When I was a kid I accidentally stumbled onto a choose your own adventure book and absolutely fell in love with it. This one is no different, it gives the reader some control over the fate of the main character. Haven't you read a book, where you thought, "I wouldn't have made that choice, she should have done this instead?" I know I have! In this one the readers gets to do that somewhat and it makes it all the more exciting.

McGowan has done a really great job with this one. It's fast-paced. It reads easily and I believe Young Adult readers will love it and so will adults. I shared the book with both of my daughters ages, 13 and 11 and they both really liked it. The choose your own adventure part is fun and it's different.

Please join me later today for my review of Maureen McGowan's second twisted tale, Sleeping Beauty Vampire Slayer and tomorrow for a great guest post with the author and a giveaway for both twisted tales books!

Cinderella Ninja Warrior is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

Maureen McGowan: Maureen McGowan has long been making up stories. She has twice been a finalist in the prestigious Golden Heart Competition, and in 2008 was a finalist in the Amazon Breakout Novel Awards. Before becoming an author, Maureen held various jobs, including auditor, software development manager, and hedge fund CFO. Born and raised in various Canadian cities, Maureen lived and worked in Northern California and Philadelphia for a number of years. She now lives and writes in Toronto, Canada.


Book Sake said...

I'm in love with this series already. Thanks for featuring it!

Ninja Gear said...

Ninja vampire? Very cool concept and reviews
The work is very versatile, with so many concentrations intermingling
Ninja Gear