Monday, January 31, 2011

Monday=Book Review Time--A fairy tale twisted

Up for today: Cinders by Michelle Davidson Argylle (review requested by Mary Kay)

Literary Fantasy (Adult)

Why I bought it? Michelle is a friend, and I love her writing. I have a signed copy. (Disclosure: I did some beta reading for her on this project.)

Synopsis/set up: This books begins with Cinderella in the palace, married to her prince. Royal life is not all its cracked up to be, and Cinderella wonders if magic can result in true love. Doubts creep in and lead her in unexpected directions. Not necessarily happy directions.

What I thought? The writing is incredibly well done, and, when you think that she didn't have all the infrastructure of traditional publishing, it just goes to show what a great writer Michelle is. (It helped her get a publisher for another book and then more, so obviously it's well written.) She does vivid like nobody's business. It's one of my favorite things about her writing. It's cinematic. The story line is unique--at times cool and clever, at times infuriating. It elicited strong reactions from me often visceral. I wanted to shake Cinderella or sit down with her and give her a good talking to or a shoulder to cry on. The twists and turns keep the reader engaged and guessing. I was surprised by the the ending but prepared for it all the same. The secondary characters are well drawn and realistic--no two-dimensional, paper-thin people here. In some ways, I think of this as a fairy tale that hit reality.

My Rating: ****1/2 out of 5.

Cleanness Score: 5 out of 10, This is written for adults and has a some pretty tame marital love scenes and there's some war type violence. This is a dark tale and has a healthy body count. I think it's fine for older teens. I wouldn't have a problem with my 16 year old reading it.

15 comments:

Judy Croome said...

I must get to read my copy of Cinders. I like my fairy tales to have happy endings (I hated the ending of Shrek - how *could* she turn into a Mrs Shrek, rather than him turning into a handsome prince?!?!)so I've sort of been avoiding this, but the variety of reviews I read have spoken so highly of the quality of the writing, I'll just have to read it soon.
Judy (South Africa)

Solvang Sherrie said...

I'm so impressed with Michelle's writing, her creativity and her perseverance in seeing this project through. It's been fun to watch good things happen for her :)

Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

Lois, thank you so much for this fantastic review! I really appreciate hearing your thoughts on it. :)

Judy: I can understand why you might be hesitant to read the book. I hope you find something in the book to love, even if it's not the ending. And I'll put it this way - the next novella, THIRDS, is a very happy ending. I'm not all totally doom and gloom, hah.

Sherrie: I have you and other fantastic beta readers like Lois to thank for helping me out with my writing, you know! :D

lotusgirl said...

Judy, I like happy endings, too. You should read this anyway. The journey is worth it, and there's not exactly an unhappy ending though you may not be happy with it. However, it completely makes sense.

Sherri, Hear, Hear! I'm happy for her success. The girl can really write.

Michelle, You're so welcome. It's an amazing tale. The more I think about it, the more I see there. There's a lot of depth that you don't catch the first time through.

Tess said...

cinematic...yes, exactly!

Patti said...

I need to read this book as well. Time to get on the internet and order.

Her highness, Samantha Vérant said...

Awesome! Michelle has a great blog! And today it is pay it forward Monday, Wednesday too! I did email you! Did you get it?

lotusgirl said...

Tess, glad you like that description.

Patti, I hope you can find it. I think they've taken it off for a while until Rhemalda publishes the 3 novellas together.

Samantha, Michelle's blog has tons of great advice. I didn't get the email. Could you try it again? Thanks.

Kasie West said...

Great review. Read the book already and agree with your analysis. :)

Caryn said...

That sounds interesting. I love fairy tale retellings, and Cinderella is one of my favorites.

lotusgirl said...

Kasie, I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Caryn, It's not a retelling. It's more like a sequel.

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

I need to read this! I appreciate the content warning though (something that's after my own heart), just to know. And how cool to have one of the people you beta be published - I'm hoping for that some day!! :)

lotusgirl said...

It's very cool. She's also my techno guru. She's a whiz at stuff like photoshop.

ali said...

I also totally agree with your assessment of Michelle's writing. Cinders was cleaner and better done than many big house books.

Amie Kaufman said...

Oh, I love sequels like this! I'm the sort of person who always wants to know what happens next! Thanks for the recommendation.