Monday, December 3, 2012

Review: The Other Slipper by Kenechi Udogu

The Other Slipper
by Kenechi Udogu

Available as: paperback, Kindle edition, ebook
Pages: 268
Publisher: CreateSpace
Publication date: September 27, 2011
Suggested tags: young adult, fairy tales, retellings

From Goodreads:
"When Jo finds a lone glass slipper on the night of the royal ball, she realises that there is more to the seemingly ordinary object than meets the eye. Searching for its owner, she is led to the palace where the princess sets her on a journey that thrusts her into an unexpected world of magic and illusions. It soon becomes clear that there is a lot more to her mission as she discovers startling secrets about her past and struggles to embrace her destiny."

{ I was kindly provided a free Kindle edition of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review. }

The Other Slipper is a fairy tale retelling based on a creative idea: what happened to Cinderella's other slipper? Jo works at the palace where the prince has just found his beloved, thanks to some magic glass slippers. On Jo's way home one night, she finds some curious items in the middle of the path, including one of the slippers. She decides to take these things home with her, which turns out to be a life-changing decision.

This is an interesting story based on a very imaginative idea. The Cinderella character is only in the story briefly as a rather minor character; Jo, the palace worker, is the heroine here. Udogu creates a world with magic and far-off mysterious lands that Jo and her traveling partners navigate to get to their ultimate destination, the Land of Ould, where the slippers need to be returned.

The Other Slipper kept me reading to find out where the story was going to go. However, the narration was a little distracting. The narrator seemed to be a bit too omniscient; we're taken into the head of every character, bouncing back and forth at times. Thoughts are shared even when they don't seem necessary to the plot. Also, Locke was a great character, but I couldn't quite tell whether he was intended to be Jo's romantic interest or not. It was like sometimes there seemed to be a little something between them, and sometimes that would fade into the background entirely. I kind of wish that something had happened between them, because it seemed to be slowly leading towards that, and I think the story would have been nicely spiced up with a little romance. I also wish that the meeting with the Lady of Ould had been a little more dramatic; we are told throughout the book how intimidating and powerful she is, and finding her is the ultimate destination on their journey, but when they finally do get there it's just a little anticlimactic.

Otherwise, I did enjoy The Other Slipper and I would read another book by Udogu, as she is clearly very creative and can weave an interesting story. A little editing would take The Other Slipper from good to great.

Overall rating: 3 out of 5 stars

{ Coming tomorrow: author Q&A with Kenechi Udogu! }