Monday, August 14, 2017

"Cinder Heart: The Fairytale Prophecies" by Amy Linnabary

My apologies on the delay of new reviews. I have been on vacation and away from my computer, but I shall attempt to make up for the delay by posting reviews of the books I have read while we were gone. (With a little luck there should be at least a couple of reviews that I can post almost right away.)

This first post-vacation book review is about a book that I generally would describe as a "twisted fairy tale." It was based on the classic Cinderella tale with a few rather interesting twists. To begin with, we are introduced to a high school girl by the name of Gabriella (Gabby). As with the typical tale, she lives with her stepmother (Sybil Tremain) and two stepsisters (Deirdre and Ana). Her father is dead and Gabby is forced to work as a servant in her own home. However that is where most. though definitely not all, of the similarities end.

While Gabby is for all intents & purposes Cinderella, she also has started having her hands burst into flame when she gets angry. The very first time this happens is in the girls bathroom at school. Needless to say, this comes as quite an unpleasant surprise to Gabby as she has no idea how to control it.

Not long after that, one of Gabby's teachers reveals herself to be Gabby’s fairy godmother. It takes a minor display of magic to convince the high school senior of the truth of the whole situation so that she can begin to learn to control her newfound powers. This also comes with a warning that Gabby must keep everything secret as there are others like Gabby somewhere in the world whose lives also match the pattern of the classic fairy tales. Like Gabby, they will also have some type of power that they will need to learn to control as well as those who seek to find ways to use them for their own benefit once those powers are discovered.

One thing I will say that struck me as rather cheesy about the story was the fact that some of the scenes involving Gabriella’s mistreatment at the hands of her family felt almost as if they were lifted straight from the Disney cartoon. Other scenes were very different, but the ones that evoked the cartoon in my mind were just a little too obvious for my tastes.

Overall I found this a very interesting twist on a classic fairy tale and greatly enjoyed reading it. After all, a Cinderella with super powers? She could just as easily turn evil as she could be good. And with all that we know that Cinderella suffers at the hands of her stepfamily, who could blame her if she were to want to look out for herself first for a change? Also, what is to keep a fairy godmother from deciding to use her magic (as well as the powers of those she is meant to help) for her own benefit instead of helping those others?

There were a few spots in the book where the author could have used a good editor, but not enough to make me want to put the book aside and stop reading. The rest of the fairytale prophecies books should be an interesting series to read as well. I will definitely be keeping my eyes open for the next one in the series.

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