Tag Archives: modern fairy tale

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Forget everything you know about the traditional Cinderella story. 11235712

There are no glass slippers and fairy godmothers to be found here. Here, mechanical limbs and elbow grease abounds.

Cinder is not some weepy damsel-in-distress crying in the ashes. She’s a cyborg. And not just any cyborg, she’s the best dang mechanic in the New Bejing. Too bad her lazy stepmother and selfish stepsister Pearl hate her guts and the youngest sister Peony is hardly ever allowed to hang out with her. After her adopted father died, she just became another burden for Adri. Even though her income supports the whole family, Cinder is not considered a member. Or even human.

Yet when the handsome crown prince comes to Cinder’s stall for help with his android, he doesn’t see her mechanical limbs–they’re hidden by her long sleeves. Instead, he sees a girl with a funny personality who doesn’t kowtow to him like everyone else. But before she can see where this romantic intrigue will go, a nearby vender is struck with the plague that is blighting the city and chaos ensues.

Should she tell the prince she isn’t what she appears to be?

On top of that, Cinder’s life is shattered when Peony is diagnosed with the plague and her stepmother “volunteers” her for the cyborg medical experimentation draft that none have returned from. How will she get out alive?

And did you think the plague was all? Oh no, a new alliance with the evil Lunar queen must be forged–and the prince’s hand in marriage is on the table. Imminent war and mass death is in the cards if they don’t figure out how to placate Queen Levana. It’s up to Cinder to help save the kingdom when the medical researchers realize that there is something special about her… All she can do is hope the queen doesn’t catch wind of her gift.

This book was very cute. Cinder had a good rough and tumble nature that set her apart, and her little android Iko’s spunky personality was adorable. I liked the combination of teenage girl and machine, and the way she used her mechanical parts to her advantage. Wouldn’t we all like to know when someone was lying? And it would be really handy to have a storage compartment hidden in your calf!

I WISH I had the evil queen’s powers, and I’m looking forward to seeing more of what the crazy Lunars have to offer. I liked that this story was geared (no pun intended) towards young girls, but the underlying message is that what you see on the outside isn’t what matters. You can have a beautiful face but an ugly heart. Sometimes it’s better to have skills than to just be another snooty girl unwilling to get her hands dirty.

It’s your personality chip that counts. ;P

4 bolts and cogs of 5

Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce

“Grandma, what big teeth you have…”

I think we all remember the classic tale of Little Red Riding Hood. Picnic basket, grandma’s house, red cloak, little girl…drag queen wolf. Whatever. That story is dumb. Who would let a little girl wander off alone for miles in the dark, scary woods by herself? Especially a little girl who was dumb enough to mistake a wolf in a bonnet and nightgown for her grandmother. I mean…I know women tend to grow mustaches after menopause, but get real!

Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce is not that story. Scarlett and Rosie March are two sisters with an irrevocable bond. After watching their grandmother Oma March be brutally murdered and consumed by a Fenris, the girls devote their lives to becoming expert hunters and killing all the werewolves they can. Scarlett’s obsession is fueled not only by the loss of her only dependable family member, but also because she lost her eye and suffered serious injury during the attack–physically and mentally scarring her for life. 

Unfortunately, Rosie doesn’t share her sister’s same obsession and longs to live a life of normalcy–learning to dance, going to school, falling in love… When long-time family friend Silas Reynolds starts to see Rosie as more than just his hunting partner’s little sister, her opportunity for a normal life calls her like a siren’s song. But how can she abandon Scarlett’s quest for vengeance and concern for other girls’ safety for something as trivial as love? Especially now, when the Fenris packs are on the prowl for the next Potential…

“Now our hearts link only when we’re hunting, when Scarlett looks at me with a sort of beautiful excitement that’s more powerful than her scars and then tears after a Fenris as though her life depends on its death. I follow, always, because it’s the only time when our hearts beat in perfect harmony, the only time when I’m certain, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that we are one person broken in two.”

I usually enjoy fairy tale re-imaginings, and Sisters Red was no exception. I’m all about books with kick-ass heroines setting injustices right. I liked the Fenris as monsters, and I thought it was pretty believable the way Pearce spun them–part horror-movie monster and part creepy sexual predator. Nice. Also, the alternating points of view in every other chapter–switching between sisters–was well executed and didn’t take away from the story.

Through partial fault of my own (due to a very busy as of late personal life) it took me two weeks to finish this book. I’m not sure if it was because of my sporadic reading time, or simply a very-quickly driven plot, that made it seem like everything fell into place really quickly. I didn’t feel the anxiety the trio was under during their research, or really get into Scarlett’s obsession with hunting hunting hunting. I also thought Silas and Rosie got together a bit too seamlessly and I didn’t buy the whole “be all end all” of it.

I did like the fact that it was set in the South, and I’m partial to books with a supernatural flair that take place here…. (Anyone remember me reading the Beautiful Creatures series, or the Sookie Stackhouse series? Yep). Worth the read, Sisters Red had a bit more grit than a beach read but a little less teeth than Holly Black’s Ironside series.

3 keloid scars of 5