This is a book that makes you think about the standard fairy tale -- and whether or not to judge books by their covers. While the book was fun, and IThis is a book that makes you think about the standard fairy tale -- and whether or not to judge books by their covers. While the book was fun, and I liked the focus on the two female protagonists, its message was kind of confused. Beauty = Goodness was a theme that was both subverted and played straight as was the theme of romantic love (of course (view spoiler)[ Tedros turns out to be kind of a douchebag, (hide spoiler)] so I wasn't surprised when it didn't work out.) The ending throws out a lot of information and plot points which aren't really set up and don't have much payoff, and what about Sader's prophecy, huh? What did that mean? Even if it'll be explained in the sequel, I'd like some kind of reference to it. Despite its problems, this is a fun, action-packed read, which is good for thoughtful and precocious kids who will understand the deeper subtext of the story.
Recommended for fans of: A Tale Dark and Grimm Poison["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Linh Cinder is a hardworking mechanic in New Beijing, but it's hard to get ahead when you have no legal rights. Because Cinder is a cyborg, she is conLinh Cinder is a hardworking mechanic in New Beijing, but it's hard to get ahead when you have no legal rights. Because Cinder is a cyborg, she is considered the property of her bitter stepmother, who takes Cinder's earnings for her own daughters. A chance encounter with the prince, and a chance encounter with the plague, change Cinder's life forever, plunging her into a world of political intrigue. The Queen of the Moon wants to control the Earth, and somehow, she holds the secret of Cinder's forgotten past.
This book seems super cool. Cyborg Cinderella! Who wouldn't love that? Also, the cover is awesome. But the book itself was just so...blah. Just a chapter and a half into the book, the whole Cinderella angle started feeling really forced. Like when she finds an old car in a junkyard and says it "looks like a pumpkin." It's like "Here it is, fans! Look, allusions!" The majority of them added nothing to the story and if they had been ommitted it would have only made the story stronger. The ridiculous focus on the ball for instance. It was just so contrived, making it the actual climax of the book was a terrible decision. This is a future China with cyborgs, people! Your climactic scene should been on a spaceship or something!
Cinder also suffers from just...weird writing. Most of the time, when I read a book, I don't focus on the author's word choice and phrasing, but in this case, once every few chapters there would be a sentence that made me sit up and say "huh?". For example, regarding the prince and his problems with the Queen of Luna: "His pulse began to filter the thoughts of murder from his blood." Someone please tell me wtf that means, because I have no idea. It's not poetic, it's just weird, and an editor should have caught it before it saw the light of day.
And another thing...was anybody else bothered by the fact that the "Cyborg Draft" -- in which government doctors conduct lethal plague research on cyborgs -- is going on under the prince's nose and he does nothing to stop it? This is supposed to be a sympathetic character! A love interest, even!
Recommended for fans of fantasy-flavored scifi. ...more
Lissar's mother and father and loved by all their subjects, and very much in love themselves. When her mother dies unexpectedly, she tells her husbandLissar's mother and father and loved by all their subjects, and very much in love themselves. When her mother dies unexpectedly, she tells her husband not to marry anyone unless his new wife is as beautiful as she is herself. This eventually leads Lissar's father's attentions in an extremely inappropriate direction -- her own. Lisser is assaulted by her father, and forced to flee with only her dog, Ash, to help her. Will supernatural protection and a prince who loves animals be enough to heal Lissar's spirit?
I like Robin McKinley's work, and this story was very well done. It's an obscure tale that has a lot of meat, so it's good to see it get its day in the sun. At the end however, things get a little weird -- well, weirder than they were already -- in Lissar's final confrontation with her father. At its root, though, this is a story about healing from a terrible experience, couched in a fairy-tale setting -- and in the end, when Lissar is healed by giving and receiving love, you will sniffle a little, even if you don't mean to....more
In this reworking of Puss in Boots, a young girl who wants to be an actor ends up apprenticed to a dragon. Her task? To induct, deduct and use commonIn this reworking of Puss in Boots, a young girl who wants to be an actor ends up apprenticed to a dragon. Her task? To induct, deduct and use common sense to find out who is threatening the local ogre, Count Jonty Um. In this story, the dragon and the ogre are the good guys, the beautiful and charming to be feared.
I love Gail Carson Levine, and this book is just one more feather in her cap. Jonty Um and Meenore are wonderful characters -- kind and gentle monsters with unique personalities. And Elodie is the type of heroine I love; clever, witty, determined and kind. I kind of ship her and Jonty Um, though. I hope that's not too weird? (it is, isn't it?)
Recommended for fans of: The Frog Princess and The Dragon Princess (E. D. Baker) Fortune's Folly (Deva Fagan)...more
There's a lot to like about this book -- I love the setting, I love re-set fairy tales as a rule, I love Shannon Hale's spunky Rapunzel. I especiallyThere's a lot to like about this book -- I love the setting, I love re-set fairy tales as a rule, I love Shannon Hale's spunky Rapunzel. I especially like that Jack, our protagonist, is a Native American (well, an alternate-reality Native American) played as a clever, streetwise trickster. Not typical, but very welcome. I would love to see more graphic novels in the vein!...more