Once Upon A Con

The only other fairy tale re-telling I have read is Marissa Meyer’s The Lunar Chronicles. Ashley Poston’s take on the beloved fairy tales is more rom-comy and very adorable.

All three books in the series revolve around ExcelsiCon – a convention for sci-fi shows – and the fictional world of Starfield. As a fangirl of many fantasy shows myself, I was truly drawn into the allure.

In the Con series, Starfield is this cult famous tv show based on a book, that is now getting a movie re-boot. As readers, we are getting introduced to the Starfield franchise as a novice but every time the author spoke about it– the Prospero streaking across the never ending expanse of an universe spangled with stars and planets, Princess Amara in a gown swirling like the nebula with stardust softly falling of it, the look on Prince Carmindor’s face as Amara sacrifices herself into the Black Nebula – I strangely felt like I have experienced it and I am one of its life-long-die-hard-fan too.

There are many references to shows and movies that we all have watched and loved and fangirled all over – there’s Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, Twilight – even my favorite Nathan Fillion is mentioned. And the fandom is depicted so well – the merchandise, the fan-fiction and this craze or obsession that we fans tend to have. Absolutely, delightfully, relatable!!

The first book is a very cute modern-day version of Cinderella. I am just smitten by Elle and Darien!!

Elle Wittimer lives with her step-mother and twin step-sisters. Elle and her father are passionate lovers of Starfield and her father even founded the ExcelsiCon. After her father’s death, however, Elle is reduced to being at the beck and call of the step-monsters. When a Cosplay contest is announced for the new Starfield movie, Elle is determined to enter and win it – for herself and her parents.

Darien Freeman is the actor playing Prince Carmindor (in a too blue uniform) in the movie. Even though he grew up as a fan of the show, his PR advises him to act otherwise and he is getting a lot of backlash on his casting.

Cinderella is one of my favorite fairy tales and all its dreamy elements are all there – the evil step-mother, the step-sisters, how the step-sisters ruin her dream of entering the contest, the clock striking midnight, the Prince fitting the glass slipper to her foot and best of all – the very vegan Magic Pumpkin foodtruck which an amusing take on the pumpkin carriage.

In the second book, Jessica Stone, the actress who plays Amara in the movie, wants nothing more than to leave Princess Amara forever squished in the Black Nebula so she can finally be free of her Starfield contract. Meanwhile, her look-alike, Imogen Lovelace has started a #SaveAmara campaign to get her Princess back in the sequel.

A case of mistaken identity leads to Jess and Imogen crossing paths and now they both must exchange their lives for the con weekend à la The Prince and the Pauper style, to stop the script of the sequel from being leaked online.

I have not read The Prince and the Pauper but I get the moral of the story and I loved reading about how Jess finds Imogen’s life “normal” and how Imogen is drawn to the glamour of Jess’s life.

Every good story has a villain – Starfield’s is General Ambrose Sond. And the actor who plays him, Vance Reigns, is akin to his character. He is the bad boy who destroys everything he touches. When his parents “exile” him in a town out of nowhere, he meets Rosie, the Beauty who tears off his Beast mask and sees him as he is.

I have never read Beauty and the Beast either but I watched Emma Watson’s movie. And the one thing I remember from it is the library. And I liked how the library is described by Rosie. Many people ask me why I love to read, well, Rosie’s answer to that is the exact reply to why I do it – “I love words and how they’re strung together into stories. How books are not really just books at all but portals into places I’ve never been and people I’ll never be. In them, I am not a simple going nowhere girl.”

I love how Rosie and Elle both draw strength from Princess Amara and how Rosie also uses her role model to push herself up. (Amara Up!!)

This series is so feel good and lovely. Just a world of possibilities and dreams and love!!

About the Author

Ashley Poston is a part-time author and a full-time fangirl. When she’s not inventing new recipes with peanut butter or having dance-offs with her cat, Pepper, she writes books. She lives in small-town South Carolina, where you can see the stars impossibly well.

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