Sunday, November 6, 2011

Cinderella: Ninja Warrior by Maureen McGowan

Cinderella's real mother was a powerful wizard, but after her death, Cinderella's father hid her wand.  Shortly after he remarried, he died under suspicious circumstances.  Now Cinderella is held prisoner in her own house, thanks to her wicked step-mother's black magic, which is illegal in the kingdom.  Cinderella bides her time until she can make her escape, training herself to be a ninja warrior and working on developing her magic.  Now if only she could find her mother's wand...

When I saw the title of this book, I was of course intrigued.  Then, when I learned that it was not just Cinderella being a ninja warrior, but also a choose-your-own-adventure story (you know, at some high point in the action it'll say "To do this, go to page whatever, or, to do that, go to this other page"), I was incredibly excited.  I used to love choose-your-own-adventure books.  They were so ridiculous, so fun.  Alas, I was disappointed.

This book took itself way too seriously.  Come on now.  Cinderella is training to be a ninja warrior?  And you've made it a choose-your-own-adventure book?  This is not something that anyone would ever take seriously.  I was expecting silliness and hijinks at every turn.  But no.  What I got was a fairly straight-forward Cinderella story, except ninja training and magic are closely related in this world and since Cinderella isn't allowed to study magic, she's practicing becoming and ninja in secret. 

At three points in the book, you have the opportunity to make a decision for Cinderella.  The problem was, it didn't make any difference what you chose, you always ended up at the same place in the end.  So what's the point of that?  Why bother writing different paths, which weren't even all that interesting, if she's always going to end up at the exact same point?  And the divergent paths weren't very exciting.

Actually, the book as a whole wasn't very exciting.  Even when Cinderella is competing in a magic competition, and it's suppose to be nail-bitingly exciting, I was kind of bored.  The story just did not catch my interest.  It wasn't funny, it wasn't silly, it wasn't exciting, it was just...nothing really.  Kind of blah.

This is the first book in a series of "Twisted Tales".  I can't say that I'll be looking for the other ones to come out.

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