on June 11, 2011
In Maureen McGowan's take on this popular fairy tale, Cinderella is a ninja warrior, training secretly to hone her ninja skills with dreams of escaping from her evil stepmother. Her only friend is her pet cat, Max who is not only her sounding board but also her training partner. When the entire family is invited to attend the royal ball Cinderella finds out about the magic competition and intends to enter but that's only if she can bring down her stepmother's entrapment spells and get to the ball in time.
I love that Cinderella doesn't give up. Her situation looks hopeless but she still trains and hopes one day to escape. Yes she's under the thumb of her stepmother but that's only because the stepmother uses magic to control her. Without magic, Cinderella can kick her butt any day. The stepmother was the most hated character in the story and I commend the author for getting me to actually hate her so much. She's a powerful wizard who uses black magic and wants Cinderella's mother's wand for herself. The two stepsisters also follow their mother's ways in making Cinderella's life difficult.
I don't think I've read a choose your own adventure book in years. There are 8 possible variations of the story depending on your choices and I was very happy with the story I read. It was a very fun and fast paced read that younger teen readers will eat up.
on March 25, 2011
My daughter and her friends (age 12-13) loved this book - proclaimed it "SO COOL!". "Cinderella Ninja Warrior" manages to hold true to the Cinderella story while twisting every possible detail into a delightful, romantic, adventurous romp. I liked the imaginative adventure scenes best, one Ninja/Wizard/Acrobatic Competition scene in particular. (yes, Ninja/Wizard/Acrobatic - this is the fun kind of twisted !)
The girls chastised me soundly for reading every section straight through instead of making the choices and choosing my adventure, and I definitely recommend making the choices - you'd get eight different versions of the story (although really, if you have a good memory it would only take two passes to get a completely new version each time).
Read and enjoy!
Reason for Reading: I enjoy fairytale retellings and when I was offered this book it just sounded like plain fun.
I'm glad I read Sleeping Beauty first as it gave me heart to keep plugging away with this one which was not as good as Sleeping Beauty at all. The very basic premise of Cinderella has been kept. Well-off girl's father dies and leaves her in the charge of her evil stepmother and nasty stepsisters. Though they are not ugly on outside, just on the inside. Cinderella becomes the servant and is treated more like a slave and a prisoner. Until the night of the ball, when Cinderella tries to get away, not because she wants to attend the ball though but because she wants to enter the competitions being held first during the day, one of them ninja/magic skills to win training with the royal wizard. And here is where we leave the traditional tale behind. Cinderella's step-mom is an evil black magic wizard and she is keeping Cinderella a prisoner with the use of entrapment spells which don't allow her to leave the house of her own volition. The stepmother is sure Cinderella knows where her real mother's wand is (an incredibly powerful object) hidden but alas Cinderella has no clue. Cinderella has inherited some natural talent from her mother, a great wizard in her own right, and with the help of her cat Max, has been training in both her ninja and magic skills secretly.
This story was just ok for me. For the first half the step-mother's evil had no opposition and it became tiring. There was also an obvious case of mistaken identity that dragged on for the whole book it became silly that the reveal was not made. I enjoyed the book much more once circumstances chanced in the last half of the story allowing the step-mother's opposition to come forward. The characters weren't as fun or engaging as those in Sleeping Beauty either; I really had no feeling for them either way. The only character whom I had any feelings for was the second step-sister, who was a minor character being in the shadow of her more dominant older sister. This step-sister did behave in a way that showed she felt for Cinderella and was a victim herself of her mother's abusive upbringing. Those looking for fairy tale romance, however, will be much happier with Cinderella than Sleeping Beauty as the love story starts early and becomes a vital part of the plot and the solution. Overall, a fun, if simple, tale that will satisfy romance fans.
One quibble, that really annoys me actually, is the cover which has nothing to do with the book. Cinderella never wears a gown in the story, nobody, let alone Cinderella, ever uses swords and at no time was Cinderella ever wandering around a castle with a candle wearing said gown and carrying said sword. The cover does not in any way convey the title "Ninja Warrior" to me. The cover should have shown Cinderella in her ninja outfit she wears to go to the ninja/magic competition & ball. Plus she should be carrying either a wand or a form of stick, both of which she makes use of during the book.
Final results: Loved Sleeping Beauty, tolerated Cinderella. Would I read a new book in the series? Yes, I'm pretty sure I would give the next book a chance.
on April 17, 2011
I am 10 years old and I love this book! I have shared it with lots of my freinds and they love it also. This version of Cinderella is a fast paced novel with lots of romance and action. At the end of most of the chapters there are choices that you make that let you practically tell Cinderella what to do. I read it all the way through 3 times, making different choices. This Cinderella is not like the Disney princess -- she is smart, powerful and tough (and doesn't even know that she is pretty). This book is perfect for girls my age. Boys will probably like it too because of all the action (except they may not like the romance?)