It was a deliberate choice to start another year of Book Chat with a fun Cinderella re-telling. I needed something fun and light…but before we chat, let’s cover the basics!

City of Wishes 1: The Memory Thief by Rachel Morgan
Published: April 20, 2019
Book 1 of 6: completed SERIALIZED series
Ratings: Amazon 4.4 avg, 462 ratings; GR 4.02 avg, 1,411 ratings
Cinderella re-telling; FMC and MC points of view

Cinderella retold: Fae, vampires, shifters, and a Godmother who’ll grant you any wish—if you pay the price.

For human slave Elle, it’s just another night of breaking her stepmother’s rules and sneaking out. Another night of using her unique skills for clients who want to … forget.

Get the job done. Get paid. Move one step closer to legitimately buying a wish.

But when Elle runs face-first into a charming and handsome faerie—and then ends up in the clutches of a vampire—her usual fly-under-the-radar plans are knocked off course.

~ ~ ~

This is episode 1 of 6 of a SERIALIZED Cinderella retelling. It is not novel-length. Expect cliffhangers! Approximately 27,000 words or 120 print pages.

**Prefer to binge-read all the episodes together? Look for City of Wishes: The Complete Cinderella Story (ASIN: B07V82HCNY)**

This Chat will be a little different as it there was a single overwhelming criticism repeated: IT IS SERIALIZED!

All of the 1 star reviews I saw focused on the fact that it was serialized. The 2-star reviews I read also complained about the nature of serials: cliffhangers and costly. It wasn’t until I read the 3-star reviews that I got something else – simplistic writing style.

I confess I didn’t notice when I bought the first book though, as you can see above, it is clearly stated. In all fairness, I can’t know if the book’s blurb always stated these facts or if some readers had no warning of the set-up.

For myself, I didn’t even realize it was short until a fellow reader noted that. I can’t even remember when or why I bought it as my TBR list is huge (as I’m sure yours is too).

So, what are your thoughts on serialized reads?

This one was released prior to Kindle Vella but the platform is hardly new. As I came from fanfiction, it’s certainly something I’ve dealt with previously. After getting burned by a few never completed stories, I did get pickier about my choices.

I think I would have tried this one even if I had known as the blurb and cover worked for me. As I was looking for something light and easy, this fit the bill enough for me to be curious. As you may also have noticed, the ratings averages are high.

What would I rate it?

****I’d give it a solid 4 stars but would include the note that it is serialized.**** I connected quickly with the characters, skipped very few passages (if you follow this blog then you probably already know I’m an impatient reader given to skipping long descriptions), and found the world fun. I think retellings, like fanfic, allow us to care more quickly because we already feel like we know the characters. I started sympathetic to Elle as I expected her to be unfairly treated by her stepmother and I expect her to find happily-ever-after with her prince. Though it’s short and ‘unfinished’, I found this read enjoyable and will continue to read this series as well as consider other books by this author.

Have you read this one? Do you relish or avoid serialized works?

It’s your turn to share, fellow readers! Skip down to the cute cat picture and leave a comment sharing your thoughts. For my writing friends, we’ll continue the chat below.

Despite the short read, there’s definitely a lot to talk about with this one from a writing angle!

First, let’s revisit the serialized format. Is this something you’ve tried? I’ve found that using Kindle Vella (under another pen name) helps me stick to a writing schedule. Instead of cramming for that test (book publish date deadline), I work on the story more often as frequent updates are required.

However, I’m not big on cliffhangers as a reader so that part is a struggle for me as a writer. At this time, I haven’t finished any book with one. For my next book, I am including a (hopefully) fun hook, but all original book issues are resolved prior to that.

I’m sure you’ve seen as I have the multitude of discussions in FB writing groups about whether readers hate or love cliffhangers. I’d still like to know your thoughts if you want to comment and share.

It wasn’t until I mentioned it above (always so much to learn when I do these Book Chat posts) that I thought of retellings like fanfiction…meaning there’s a built-in audience that makes marketing easier.

Have you written any retellings? Did you find it pulled readers into unrelated books/ series of yours?

I’m now going to have to give this one some thought myself! 🙂

Much like this month’s book, this Chat is on the short side, but I do hope you enjoyed it. Below the cat picture, you’ll find US Amazon links for this month’s read and next month’s too. I’m also going to start adding a link to the current Book Chat schedule post for easy reference.

Happy reading and writing!


US Amazon links
City of Wishes
The Emperor’s Edge
2023 Books and Cats Chat

3 thoughts on “2023 Books 1: City of Wishes

  1. I have read one or two re-tellings; they vary like many stories. I’ve not read this one. I remember Death Of The Mad Hatter by Sarah Pepper which has a wonderful book cover.
    I’ve not heard of Kindle Vella, I shall look it up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t delved into many re-tellings but I think I may have to try more now! 🙂 As for Vella, it may not be outside the US yet – does anyone ever really know what Amazon does??! LOL!


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