Friday, May 3, 2013

Book Review: Cinder

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

I picked up Cinder by Marissa Meyer shortly after it hit the shelves. I love faery tales, and faery tale retellings, but Cinderella isn't my favorite. However, when I heard that Cinderella was going to be a cyborg, I knew I had to read it. The cyborg element gave the story a new and unusual twist, that I know hadn't been done before.

Like so many of my books, I let it sit on my shelf for too long. This happens when there are too many unread books to choose when picking out a new one. And like so many, I wish I had picked it up sooner. I absolutely loved it. Chapter One starts with Cinder, a gifted mechanic, sitting at her booth in the market, waiting for a customer to bring by something for her to fix. And while she's waiting, she removes her tiny, rusted foot, excited that her assistant Iko is on her way with a new one. And who shows up, but Prince Kai, asking for Cinder to fix his android. She certainly can't turn him away.

I really enjoyed Cinder and Prince Kai. There was something between them from the beginning. But in New Beijing, cyborgs as seen as "less than." So she hides her true self from him. This book is a good mix of futuristic sci-fi with dystopian elements and faery tale. The society is still working on building itself up, and the Lunar Queen wants nothing but destruction. Prince Kai and Cinder work together to prevent the queen from getting what she wants.

The stepmother and stepsisters from the original Cinderella play a big role in Cinder's life. But other than the characters, and the ball at the palace, there isn't much pulled from old tale. I definitely think that helped me to like the story more, as it was much more exciting and interesting than an ordinary girl falling for a prince, and vice versa. Iko, Cinder's android assistant, was my favorite character in the book. She was so much fun!

The most unfortunate part of the book, the thing that kept me from giving it a full five stars, is that I figured out a major reveal very early on. I don't think there was much Marissa Meyer could have done differently to avoid that. It was just really obvious. And it did detract a bit from my enjoyment of the book. The next book in the series, Scarlet, is out, and I'm hoping to read it soon! I'm also hoping to read "Glitches", the prequel short, and "The Queen's Army" (story 1.5) before that.


Dianne K. Salerni said...

I know exactly what big reveal you mean, and I saw it too. I loved the book except for that one thing. I kept thinking of how she could have rephrased things to cover that crucial information longer.

I recently read Scarlet. It took me a long time to get into it, but I was distracted by other things at the time so it might not have been the book's fault. I was into it by the end though and will definitely want the next book.

Midnyte Reader said...

Great review. And you know what? I think I know what the reveal is too and I haven't even picked it up yet. But maybe I'm wrong. I keep hesitating to actually start this and I'm not sure why. But I think I'm more inclined to now, especially when you described how different it is from the original fairy tale.

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