Tag Archives: Retelling

Cinder Review with Guest Reviewer – My Mom!

Cinder Cover Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1)

Marissa Meyer

 Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. 

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

So today is a special guest review from my mom!  I am trying to win an advanced copy of Cress and for it I had it to loan somebody and have them do a review.  I loaned it to my mom since we like a lot of the same type of books.  Plus, she doesn’t read as much YA as I do, and I honestly think she really needs to remedy that 🙂  Cinder is definitely an awesome one to make her read since it is one of my absolute favorites and one of the first I recommend to anybody.

I read the back of the book, and when it said cyborgs, I was like cyborgs?  Really? I thought it was going to take me forever to read it since it was science fiction, but once  started, I didn’t want to put it down!

My daughter told me I needed to read this book that it was so good. I read the overview and thought – great a science fiction I will never finish it. Believe me when I tell you when Marissa Meyer combined a modern day Cinderella and a toned down Star Trek influence she produced a Marvelous work of fantasy fiction. I could hardly put it down, it was wonderful! Ms. Meyer was able to write and create this story as if it was completed in one day. The story flows from beginning to end.

The character Cinder has a chip on her shoulder but not for the obvious reason. You fall in love with her in the beginning and at times you wish you could just thump her on the head for making some of the decisions that she makes. She can be a bit sarcastic and at times it can go over your head and make you do a double take. She is used to getting the blame for many things she has no control over and so she blames herself for her sister’s illness, so she risks her life to try to save her.

Prince Kaito is portrayed as most princes are. Great looking and all the girls are in love with him. He seems very humble, yet wants to claim to be a bit spoiled. He is concerned about the evil Lunar Queen Levana, who tries to make the common people see her as a good and caring queen. The Queen is trying to get him to agree to marry her and he is totally against it. He has the weight of his kingdom on his shoulders so he worries the outcome of his decisions that concern the queen and her possibility of retaliation against his people, and I as hoping she would fall off the balcony, she is so evil.

The personal androids add a bit of a different kind of personality, emotion and logic to the science fiction part of the story. You have a companion that has emotions and opinions such as a friend would have. The medical androids have all the logic and very little personality. The role for them is matter of fact and emotion has no part for them and it works.  Except for Iko, who had a lot of personality and was very funny.  She was certainly different than the rest of the androids!

As for the sisters, Pearl is awful to Cinder, but Peony is nice and not like the typical evil step sisters.  And I couldn’t stand Adri, she is such a horrible, wicked stepmother,  I really enjoyed this book and it was not what I expected, but so much better than what I thought it was going to be.  Great book, even for people who aren’t big on science fiction!

I hope everybody enjoyed the guest review from my mom and have a wonderful and Happy Thanksgiving!!!

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Filed under Fantasy, Fiction, Retelling, Review, Science Fiction, Young Adult

*Review* The Fairest of Them All – Carolyn Turgeon

The Fairest of Them All Cover The Fairest of Them All

Carolyn Turgeon

288 pages

ISBN: 9781451683783

Read 8-10-13

Format: Paperback

Source: The Fantastic Flying Book Club Tours

Add it on Goodreads!

What if Rapunzel was Snow White’s evil stepmother? From the author of Godmother and MermaidThe Fairest of Them All explores what happens when fairy tale heroines grow up and don’t live happily ever after.

Living in an enchanted forest, Rapunzel spends her days tending a mystical garden with her adoptive mother, Mathena. A witch, Mathena was banished from court because of her magic powers, though the women from the kingdom still seek her advice and herbal remedies. She waits, biding her time to exact revenge against those who betrayed her.

One day Rapunzel’s beautiful voice and long golden locks captivate a young prince hunting in the forest nearby. Overcome, he climbs her hair up to her chamber and they fall into each other’s arms. But their afternoon of passion is fleeting, and the prince must return to his kingdom, as he is betrothed to another.

Now king, he marries his intended to bring peace to his kingdom. They have a stunning daughter named Snow White. Yet the king is haunted by his memories of Rapunzel, and after the mysterious death of his wife, realizes he is free to marry the woman he never stopped longing for. In hopes of also replacing the mother of his beloved daughter, the king makes Rapunzel his queen.

But when Mathena’s wedding gift of an ancient mirror begins speaking to her, Rapunzel falls under its evil spell, and the king begins to realize that Rapunzel is not the beautiful, kind woman he dreamed of.

I was so excited when I found out I was going to be a stop on the book tour for The Fairest of Them All, and when I had the beautiful book in my hands, I think I squealed some.  This book was really quite incredible and a masterful rewrite and combination of two popular fairy tales.

The two main women in this story are Rapunzel and Mathena, who is the witch that cares for Rapunzel.  Both are strong and complicated characters with layers and secrets a bit darker than most.  Between the beginning of the book and the end, you will not look at either of these characters the same again.  We see Rapunzel over the course of several years and her transformation from an innocent young adult to the shadow of herself she becomes.  Layers are added onto Rapunzel, where as with Mathena, layers are removed and we learn her secrets later in the book.

The writing is beautiful and very much like a classic fairy tale.  The author paints us incredible scenes full of emotion and turmoil.  The descriptions are also lovely as is the cover of the book that gives us a beautiful picture of Rapunzel.

Generally, it is pretty hard to surprise me, but the twists this story takes was definitely not what I was expecting, especially the really big “Whoa, really?” moment.  Thank you Carolyn for actually surprising me.  I loved seeing the realistic magic, plus a bit of unrealistic magic mixed in, with the plants and herbs being used.

All in all, I greatly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to people who enjoy fairy tale retellings and magical realism.  The book is listed as young adult, but I would suggest it for the older teen and up side because of the sexual content.  Definitely an author to add to my favorites!

Complex characters, beautiful writing, creative, older YA audiences.

4.5 bookmark

 

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Filed under 4.5 Stars, Fantasy, Fiction, Magical Realism, Retelling, Review, Young Adult

*Review* Scarlet – Marissa Meyer

Scarlet Cover Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2)

Marissa Meyer

452 pages

ISBN: 9780312642969

Read 5-24-13

Format: Audiobook

Source: Library

Add it on Goodreads!

The fates of Cinder and Scarlet collide as a Lunar threat spreads across the Earth…

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

Last year I absolutely fell in love with Cinder, and I even did something I never do – I reread it this year before reading Scarlet.  I have so many books I need to read that I never get to reread books, so that should tell you how much I loved it.  Scarlet was an excellent sequel to Cinder and I loved it almost as much.

For this installment, the POV isn’t just from Cinder, but also from Scarlet who lives in France with her grandmother who is missing, so be warned if you are weird about switching POVs.  Every now and then I got caught up in one of the girls’ POVs and got confused for a split second when it switched (easier to do with audio).  The reader was pretty good, but I wasn’t certain about her accent for Scarlet.  I wasn’t sure what she was going for, it didn’t really sound French like her friend’s did.

I really enjoy the imagery that Marissa is able to create and the characters are so real.  Iko is one of my favorite secondary characters ever (along with Zuzana in Daughter of Smoke and Bone).  Carswell Thorne was interesting and I look forward to seeing more of him (plus his first name is my last name!  How cool is that?) and I really like Scarlet since she is another strong female character.

The spin that Marissa has taken on these fairy tales and mixed them with elements of science fiction and Sailor Moon is incredibly wonderful and imaginative.  I can’t wait to read the rest of them and I really wish I didn’t have to wait so long!

Imaginative, great characters, wonderful descriptions, alternating POV.

4.5 bookmark

 

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Filed under 4.5 Stars, Audiobook, Fantasy, Fiction, Review, Science Fiction, Young Adult

*Review* Cinder – Marissa Meyer

 Cinder

Marissa Meyer

387 pages

ISBN: 9780312641894

Format: Hardcover

Source: Borrowed

 Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . . 

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future. 

In this thrilling debut young adult novel, the first of a quartet, Marissa Meyer introduces readers to an unforgettable heroine and a masterfully crafted new world that’s enthralling.

The main thing I have to say about this book is I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT!!!  I was very excited about it from the beginning.  The cover is what initially drew my interest, and then I read the synopsis and thought it would be a very unique retelling of Cinderella.  Sometimes I can be a bit skeptical of a book when it uses known characters or retellings of stories, but this book was fantastic!  The only bad thing I can really say is that I am disappointed I have to wait a year for the next one!

I didn’t want to put this book down the entire time I had it, and when I was at work, I couldn’t wait to go on break or get home to read more of it, so it definitely held my attention quite well.  Being a retelling, you mostly know how the story is going to go, so a lot of it you can figure out or expect, but there is also plenty that doesn’t go exactly the way you think it is going to.

Meyer does a wonderful job at invoking your emotions through out the novel.  There are characters you love, some you hate profusely, and there are funny parts with witty android comments and heartbreaking situations.

Cinder was a strong character and I felt bad for her because of how she was treated.  Cyborg are nothing but property to most of the people and are not looked at as human, but she still stands for what she believes is right.  Prince Kai could come to my mechanic shop (if I had one) anytime he wanted!  He doesn’t come on strongly and there is not insta-love between the two of them.  There are a couple of points where he acted a bit immaturely, but considering the situations, many guys probably would have, too.  Adri made my blood boil through out the book, she is certainly a character you love to hate!

The story it self is very interesting and unique way to retell the Cinderella story and I can’t wait until I get to read the rest of the series, and my mouth is watering just wishing for the next book!  This book is a highly recommended read!!  I don’t give out 5 star ratings easily, but giving this one a 4.5 just wouldn’t have been good enough!

Unique, emotionally evocative, leaves you yearning for more!!

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Filed under 5 Stars, Fiction, Science Fiction, Young Adult