I don’t really read science fiction and I haven’t read fairy tales since I was a kid, so I was interested in reading a mash-up up both genres. However, there was a challenge to read a book out of our comfort zones, so I decided to read one by a fellow author and also like myself, a participant of this year’s The Write Women Book Fest (@thewritewomenbookfest).
The main character, Eleanor, who goes by El, has a stepmother, Patricia, and two stepsisters, Lottie and Bree. Her father died from a sickness long ago and her step family truly treated her in the fashion of the traditional Cinderella story. So not having a family besides her step family, El was trapped in her life, based on social grids.
Midnight Wings takes place in the future. Rove City is an intergalactic spaceship, comprised of hundreds of smaller pods, all connected by tunnels, which ultimately led back to the center tower. The entire city is run by a queen, the current queen being Queen Amina. Big brother seems to be in full effect, with cameras all around.
The main character, El, is mostly a loner, although she enjoyed talking to people when they were pleasant to her. But she was treated like a slave by her step family, who kept her social grid standing down by posting bad things about her. Social grids are crucial in having a decent enough social standing by which a person could move around and function in Rove City society.
I found myself growing more and more angry at the futility of El’s situation. I knew why she couldn’t and didn’t fight back–they could destroy her lowly grid score even further by posting harmful but false information, preventing her from ever being able to leave.
On top of all of the work that El was expected to do inside of the house, she also had a job outside the house, in a machine shop, repairing spaceships and other aircraft. She enjoyed her job and was good at it. When she had a few moments to herself, she played video games, especially her stepmother, Patricia’s, simulator, of which she was also good at, along with spending a few moments alone at Rove City’s beautiful greenhouse. Those three activities would play an important role in El’s life.
Midnight Wings was a very enjoyable read, very refreshing and entertaining. And although most of us have read and know the fairy tale, Cinderella, Ariele Seiling’s version is imaginative, evoking emotions I wouldn’t have expected while reading it, and just plain fun. I would classify it as a book for tweens on up, mostly because younger children might not understand some of the words and terminology although they might also enjoy it if it is read to them.
I definitely look forward to reading more from this author.
Pamela D. Beverly