Review: Cinderella and the Colonel

Cinderella and the Colonel

Although I enjoyed K. M. Shea’s previous novels, I had some nitpicks with them-overused cliches or stock characters, abrupt endings. However, Cinderella and the Colonel completely bypassed those and told an immensely entertaining story.

Shea’s take on the Cinderella story places Cinderella as the duchess of a war-torn country which was invaded by a neighboring country a few years earlier; Cinderella’s love interest is a Colonel of the invading army, which sets the scene for some friction between the two characters (as well as some hilarious scenes in the early stages of their acquaintance).

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Review: These Broken Stars

Title: These Broken Stars
Author: Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
Format: Hardcover

The Plot: Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen are from different worlds. Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the galaxy, while Tarver, a recently-promoted war hero, hails from humbler origins. Nothing would normally come of their chance meeting on the starship Icarus, but when the Icarus crashes on a mysterious planet, Lilac and Tarver must learn to rely on each other in order to survive.

The Verdict: This book is awesome. I’m not hugely into YA science fiction, but this novel managed to overcome any misgivings I might have had and catapult its way onto my favorites list. Although the worldbuilding could have been better, the intriguing storyline, fantastic characters, and the wonderfully believable relationship that blooms between Tarver and Lilac more than make up for that.

The Rating: 9/10

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Review: The Grendel Affair

Title: The Grendel Affair
Author: Lisa Shearin
Format: Mass Market Paperback

The Plot: Makenna Fraser, a seer, loves her new job at SPI (Supernatural Protection & Investigations), an organization that protects humans and supernatural beings from each other while keeping humans unaware of the paranormal, but when she discovers a plot to set grendels loose in New York City on New Year’s Eve, her job description suddenly gets a lot more dangerous.

The Verdict: Although light, Lisa Shearin’s debut is a great little (literally; it doesn’t hit 300 pages) urban fantasy, with an engaging protagonist and plenty of action.

The Rating: 7/10

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Review: The Ice Princess

Title: The Ice Princess
Author: Camilla Lackberg
Format: Paperback

The Premise: The Ice Princess, by Camilla Läckberg, is a Swedish mystery set in the small town of Fjällbacka. When the apparent suicide of a successful woman turns out to be murder, one of her childhood friends and a police detective team up to solve the murder and discover its connection to the twenty-five year old of a local man.

The Verdict: Despite some debut-novel blunders and the predictability of its plot twists, Läckberg’s wonderful characterization and skillful use of POV manage to carry the story, and The Ice Princess is a solid and engaging, albeit not groundbreaking, start to a series.

The Rating:  4/5

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Review: Princess Ahira

Title: Princess Ahira
Author: K. M. Shea
Format: Ebook

The Plot: On her sixteenth birthday, Ahira, an unconventional princess, is abducted by dragons and becomes the personal captive princess of Azmaveth, a friendly duke of the dragons. During her stay among the dragons, Ahira has several adventures and befriends Azmaveth’s human steward, Kohath, and a wizard, Aaron. When war (led by the Valkyries) looms over the dragons, Ahira must find a way to help her new friends.

The Verdict: Princess Ahira is not incredibly original and has several flaws, but is eminently likable and entertaining. I particularly enjoyed the friendships between Ahira and Azmaveth and Ahira and Kohath, although I found Shea’s treatment of most female characters irritating.

The Score: 3.5/5

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