Written by: Maureen McGowan
Released: April 1, 2011 by Dolphin Books
Summary: In this fast-paced story full of adventure and romance, Cinderella is more than just a servant girl waiting for her prince—she's a tough, fearless girl who is capable of taking charge of a dangerous situation. Seeking to escape the clutches of her evil stepmother, Cinderella perfects her ninja skills and magic talents in secret, waiting for the day when she can break free and live happily ever after. In a special twist, readers have the opportunity to make key decisions for Cinderella and decide where she goes next—but no matter the choice; the result is a story unlike any fairy tale you've ever read!
Well, the summary doesn’t lie; this was unlike any fairy tale that I’ve ever read. I’ve read the ‘choose your own adventure’ books before, and even one about Snow White in first grade (I have a weird memory when it comes to things like that) but to me recollection, Snow White wasn’t a warrior or a zombie hunter or anything of that nature. This book, on the other hand, has Cinderella as a wizard-ninja girl who kicks some supernatural witch butt.
The whole choosing the paths that Cinderella takes with this book was different. You started off with the same beginning (obviously) but the strange thing was that all the endings were the same; it was just the middle bits that you were able to decide what happened. But the way that the story unfolded and how closely it stayed to the original fairy tale while still incorporating so many different ideas was great. I liked how the original bits like the fairy godmother and the ball were taken a step in a different direction while still staying rooted in the base idea. There’s a godfather instead of a fairy godmother and while there was a ball – complete with glass slippers in one choice – there were other aspects that really tied together the whole ninja-magic bit.
I never always loved Cinderella and thought that she was a rather strong and brave female for your typical fairy tale but this story takes her into a different realm as a character. You can see her determination to escape and her love for her family and friends all while she’s doing her best to live without great punishments (a feat, I assure you).
In all, I really enjoyed reading this book and I look forward to reading more like this from this author. I think that it’s a nice modern take on the typical CYOAs – which I always found a little too sci-fi and boring in the ones that I remember seeing – and even though there isn’t all that much choice, there are eight different outcomes that you can read about. I give this book a 6.5/10 and I would recommend it for someone who likes the fairy tale retellings with a twist.