Thursday, January 13, 2011

Cinderella: From Fabletown With Love by Chris Robertson and Shawn McManus

September 2010, Titan Books
Graphic novel, Paperback

Summary from Titan Books
James Bond-style adventure starring Fables’ own Cinderella.
When supernatural artifacts from the Homelands begin surfacing in the modern world, it’s up to Cinderella, Fabletown's best-kept (and best-dressed) secret agent to stop the illegal trafficking. But can Cindy foil the dark plot before Fabletown and its hidden, exiled inhabitants are exposed once and for all? And how does her long-lost Fairy Godmother factor into the equation?

When I was approached to review some TV-tie in books, I was invited to check out the other books by Titan. I zoned in on this one. How could I resist learning more about one of my favourite fairy tale characters? This is Cinderella like you've never seen her before. She didn't get the happily ever after with Prince Charming, but she is relatively happy now. She runs her own shoe shop - well, what else do you think she could sell? She isn't around the shop much, which shouldn't be a problem. Unfortunately in this story her shop assistant gets too big for his boots (slight pun intended), has crazy ideas which create a moment of popularity followed with many complaints and protests outside the shop. In between her spying, Cinderella manages to sort out the problem swiftly.

Yes, Cinderella is a spy! How cool is that! She is nifty with weapons, and equally dangerous without them for she uses her environment to hurt her attackers. One of her attackers turns out to be working on her side (not that you'd believe it at first). Cinderella goes undercover, which involves going back to her roots to get to the bottom of the mystery. There is magic abound in the gadgets she uses. But to be fair magic is only a part of the story. A lot of it is about Cinderella's courage, quick thinking in a crisis, her ability to formulate a plan and be able to modify it when circumstances change.

The illustrations are stunning. Cinderella visits a variety of locations, each with a different outfit. There are a few pictures with outfits that aren't used in the story, but are more of a chapter break. Despite having a mature readership suggestion on the back, this book isn't too steamy. There is the odd use of strong language, and there is innuendo and a few half-intimate scenes but generally it's a decent book.

It was fascinating to learn what Cinderella did over her long life (we are talking a few hundred years), and how her work impacts on normal people and other Fables. The only down side was that the outfit on the front cover wasn't actually used in Cinderella's story. It provided a nice chapter interlude though :)

I recommend this book for anyone who loves a strong female protagonist who can hold her own in a fight, who is intelligent, has an extensive wardrobe and who is fun to read about.

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