Review: The Prince and the Cyborg by J.M. Page

Posted September 19, 2016 by Lola in Coyer, Review, Romance, Sci-Fi / 18 Comments


The Prince and the CyborgThe Prince and the Cyborg: A Space Age Fairy Tale (Star-Crossed Tales)
by J. M. Page

Rating: 3 stars

Celine Velmann’s never seen the sky. Her entire life, she’s lived in the Wastelands, where brutal dust storms that fill the sky are a way of life. She’s always dreamed of the stars that she’s only seen in pictures, but even her infallible robotic arm can’t craft the technology to get into orbit, so she’s stuck on the ground.

When she sees a ship crash, Celine’s drawn toward it like a magnet — maybe this is the chance she’s always hoped for, the chance to escape her dusty life for something more. But when the hatch opens to reveal a half-dead but handsome human, she thinks twice.

After all, her father’s warned her that humans are dangerous. That, if they could, they’d kill every last one of Celine’s kind.

Ben’s never been good at anything but flying, but in the air, he’s the best there ever was. When the King — Ben’s father — orders all flights in the city grounded, he’s left stir-crazy and starved for action. Crazy enough to steal a ship and volunteer for a desperate, doomed, last-resort mission straight into the gaping maw of the Wasteland.

A day later he wakes up in a hospital bed, broken and bruised. The only thing he can remember about the Wasteland is a beautiful woman with vivid eyes, a soothing voice… and a mechanical arm.

Everyone knows cyborgs are just a legend, something parents tell their kids about to keep them in line. But when a beautiful, familiar woman shows up in the City, Ben finds her very intriguing. Things go off the rails quickly when Ben’s city is exposed to the punishing dust and Celine realizes her family is in the crosshairs of a vengeful alien.

Can Ben and Celine overcome age-old prejudice to discover happiness together and save the planet, or will fear and suspicion get the best of them and doom them all?

The Prince and the Cyborg is 48,000 words of thrilling, page-turning, romance with strong themes of self-acceptance and adventure. This book contains NO harsh language, explicit violence, or graphic romance scenes. It is an adult romance, but is suitable for older YAs as well. I hope you enjoy!

My Review:
A sci-fi retelling of the Little Mermaid that’s how I saw the author describe this book in a group I am part of and it caught my attention. The Little Mermaid was always one of my favorite Disney movies and retelling it as a sci-fi story sounded great. Combine that with my current mood for sci-fi romances and it seemed a good idea to buy this one. The prince and the Cyborg is a fun fairytale retelling and while I normally stay away from fairytale retellings I am glad I picked this up and gave it a try.

The story is told from Celine and Ben their point of views. Celine is a dreamer, she dreams of seeing the sky, but she’s stuck in underground tunnels with the rest of the cyborgs. She fights for what she wants even when it’s dangerous. Then there is Ben who is a prince who loves flying, but is stuck on the ground due to a government issues grounding. At the start I wasn’t sure if I was going to like this one. The writing felt a bit chunky? It’s hard to explain, but I had some trouble getting into the story, but as the story progressed it only got better and better. And by the end I was sad to see the book end and am looking forward to read more by this author.

One of the small issues I had with The Prince and the Cyrbog was that at times you really noticed the hints to the tale it was based on, a bit too much for my taste. This is the reason why I normally don’t read fairytrale retelling as it seems like it’s just retelling an already existing story. And at times that’s pretty much what this novel felt like. There are scenes that feel so familiar, even sentences that felt almost exactly the same as in the movie and the character all could be lead back to who they are in The Little Mermaid. And twist I could predict almost exactly because they were so in tune with what happened in The Little Mermaid.

So that’s the part I struggled with a bit, but as the story progressed I also got a better eye for the differences. Celine isn’t like Ariel, she can actually talk and tell the prince of her hopes and dreams. Rufus might be like Flounders, but he can travel with Celine to the walled city. And the sci-fi elements gave everything an original touch as well. And then towards the end it felt the story deviated more from the original story as well. So it took me some time to look over the similarities to see the differences, but when i did I enjoyed it a lot more.

So I did end up enjoying this book for the most part even though I struggled with the retelling parts and writing at first. The story got smoother and more original as it progressed and it did keep my attention. I liked the world the author build with the cyborgs who live out in the tunnels and the rest of the citizens live in a big walled city and can travel to space.

I would’ve liked to get more of a feel for the technology and everyday life, but I was able to create a good mental image of the planet and the city, so that was nice. It did feel like a few scenes could’ve been expanded on a bit and things that went a bit too easy or a tad rushed towards the end. And I would’ve liked to get to know the villain a bit better. At first she didn’t seem as nasty, but at the end it just left me wondering why she acted that way and how she had planned things. There also is a fun epilogue that shows what happens afterwards.

I did like the main characters and the dual point of view worked great to get to know both Celine and Ben. They both have enough depth to make them interesting and I also felt like these two really connected with each other, not only because she saved him but they also got to know each other and had things in common. Also while that cover with the half naked man might suggest otherwise, this is a sweet romance story. There’s some kissing, but that’s it. I enjoyed reading about Celine and Ben and follow their story and see them fall in love.

To summarize: I enjoyed reading this book, although I struggled with the start a bit. The writing felt a bit off at first and I had some trouble seeing past the similarities with The Little Mermaid, but as the story progressed that both got better. And at the end I was really enjoying this book and am curious to see what this author writes next! The sci-fi setting was interesting and I liked the main characters. Both have enough depth to make them interesting and it was fun to see them fall for each other. Add in some fun side characters and a interesting desert planet setting that was easy to visualize and this was a fun read.



Do you like fairytale retellings?

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18 responses to “Review: The Prince and the Cyborg by J.M. Page

  1. I adore fairytale retellings and this actually reminds me of the way Marisa Meyer wrote her Cinder though that was a different fairytale. Some authors put enough originality into their story and don’t try too hard when doing a retelling while others over balance and end up doing just a re-write which makes it hard to not be bored. Glad this one had some originality. Bummer it didn’t describe the setting as well b/c that is one of my favorite things about reading sci-fi.

    Definitely want to give it a shot at some point. Nice review, Lola!
    Sophia Rose recently posted…Planning…my addictions #YakketyYakMy Profile

    • It’s nice to have a sci-fi twist on a fairytale. I haven’t read Marisa Meyer her series yet, but I do plan to give it a try eventually. I think at the start it had a bit too much or the original tale in it, but it did got better as it progressed. Also I am not used to reading this genre, so I am not sure how much similarity with the original tale is normal for this genre.

      I would love to hear what you think of this one if you give it a shot. I think you might enjoy it as well :).

  2. I do like fairytale retellings – I think Cinders does the whole thing beautifully, but this doesn’t sound like it is in the same league. Thank you for sharing:)

  3. Execution is everything, i think. I think the premise has great potential, but yeah, if things get too obvious in the retelling aspect, I would lose some enthusiasm for it too.

    • I am not sure how much similarity is normal for a retelling, but it felt just a bit too much for me at the start. But it was a decent read overall and I hope the next book will be even better.

    • I never really got into the retelling genre, but this one was nice, so maybe I’ll have to give them a try more often. A few parts didn’t quite work for me, but it really got better as the story progressed.

  4. It’s funny, the thing you disliked is the thing I like about retellings. I like seeing how the author uses the bits of the original stories. But then, without actually having read this, it’s impossible to know whether I would feel like it’s too similar too. I’m glad it got better for you though! This does sound interesting. A sci-fi Little Mermaid retelling is definitely not something you see often! (Or ever lol.)
    Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight recently posted…Book Review: The Ghost Chronicles by Marlo BerlinerMy Profile

    • I don’t really read a lot of fairytale retellings, so it’s hard to judge how well it was done. As the story progressed I did started liking it more, but it was just a bit too similar to my taste at first.
      I do plan to read any other books in this series if the author writes them as I think I will enjoy later books more now that I know what to expect. I did really like the idea of a sci-fi retelling of the little mermaid and liked seeing how the author handled it.

  5. A sci-fi Little Mermaid? That sounds… different. Ya know, I get what you’re saying with the similarities, but I think I’d like them… or at least some of them. I hate when a book says it’s a re-telling of a classic and I read and am like, “How?” So, I think I’d like a bit of the Little Mermaid feel to it. Maybe not so much the dialog, but the feel of it at least.
    Kristin (Book Sniffers Anonymous) recently posted…The Latest Additions to My TBR List…My Profile

    • It sure was a fun twist on the original story. I don’t read a lot of fairytale retelling so I am not sure about my stance on them. I do get what you’re saying about them being retelling and thus they do need to have that feel of the original, which this book did have. So it succeeded there at least, it just felt a bit too much at times.

    • I haven’t read Cinder, so I can’t really say much about that. I did like she was a cyborg and how it played into the plot. The mermaids of the original tale are basically the cyborgs here.

    • I love the stars too! Every time I see them I like them more. I am really glad you made these as I think they fit my blog perfectly :).

      Let me know if you decide to pick it up, I would love to hear what you think of this one. I don’t read a lot of retellings, so I am not sure how much similarity is normal. It felt a bit too much at first and later it did got better.

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