Author: Marissa Meyer
Published: Published January 3rd 2012 by Feiwel and Friends
Number of pages: Hardcover, First Edition, 387 pages
My rating: (3.6 stars)
Sixteen-year-old Cinder is considered a technological mistake by most of society and a burden by her stepmother. Being cyborg does have its benefits, though: Cinder’s brain interference has given her an uncanny ability to fix things (robots, hovers, her own malfunctioning parts), making her the best mechanic in New Beijing. This reputation brings Prince Kai himself to her weekly market booth, needing her to repair a broken android before the annual ball. He jokingly calls it “a matter of national security,” but Cinder suspects it’s more serious than he’s letting on.
Although eager to impress the prince, Cinder’s intentions are derailed when her younger stepsister, and only human friend, is infected with the fatal plague that’s been devastating Earth for a decade. Blaming Cinder for her daughter’s illness, Cinder’s stepmother volunteers her body for plague research, an “honor” that no one has survived.
But it doesn’t take long for the scientists to discover something unusual about their new guinea pig. Something others would kill for.
The premise of cinder is so out of this world but I can’t say the book is. The book doesn’t exactly deliver everything that would be expected.
A plot that is based on the classic fairy tale Cinderella already has so much to compete with. There are so many retellings out there already the question to start with is why read this one? This book I can at least say is unique being the only one (that I know of) to go one step further and include cyborgs and moon people and all that jazz 🤗 Which should have been great …
The main protagonist is Cinder a mechanic who also happens to be a cyborg orphan. Cinder is a strong character and I’m glad to see that she is not so passive as in other Cinderella retellings. She frequently stands up to her stepmother and always has a witty comeback but, yes there is a but, Cinder as a character in my opinion wasn’t fleshed out enough. I did like her as a character but I didn’t see any character development, growth, change or anything really. She was pretty bland.
Then again most of the characters lacked substance. Dull characters, means a dull read. There was no interesting dialogue, except a few flirtations and no interesting traits, etc. The characters lacked personality. They were all pretty flat and not at all complex. either too bad it was inconceivable or too good to be true.
Lack of character development also leads to bad relationship dynamics …
There is no real romance in this book. This isn’t bad at all. I like that for once there was no crazy love triangle (mostly) and that the book didn’t revolve around a relationship. There were flirty moments but no one professed their love. Think courting, it was like the moments before a relationship. There is clearly something that will develop later on in the series, fingers crossed it doesn’t overshadow the plot.
Marissa Meyer writes in third person, which I have no complaints about. Her writing is actually okay, the book had a good tone and flowed really well but Marissa Meyer didn’t really make me feel like I was in New Beijing, the book could have been set anwhere, I found picturing it hard.
This was due to lack of world-building. I didn’t get enough of the world around Cinder and the world is what drew me to the book in the first place- I really wanted to know more. I wanted more insight into everything. When reading a dystopian I really like being present in that time. What I can’t comprehend is the fact that although there was a lot of info dumping, my mind was blown with science and it was hard to process at times there were still major unanswered questions like:
Why the heck are people, even on the moon?
Don’t ask me because I don’t know. I do however know that the people on the moon are threatening the earth people i.e humans/cyborgs/androids (let’s not discriminate). As with many dystopia novels there were wars ( in this case WWW3 and the big one WWW4) which lead to a huge change. Change in how the earth itself is run etc. leading to only six main ‘countries’ on earth. Since that decision there has been no wars for over a century, good job earth people… Till the new Lunar queen Levana starts threatening war and will only accept a marriage alliance with the emperor of New Beijing in exchange for peace. There is also a deathly disease called letumosis that scientists hadn’t figured out an antidote for.
The plot sounds amazingly full and incredibly awesome (moon people, threat of war.. hell yeah!) yet it was lacking something. The book is still tame, even with cyborgs?! We just don’t feel enough. Marissa Meyer doesn’t really grip you until the end.
The end really hits you hard. Packed full with so much. It seems rushed even, all over the place. There were a whole load of plot twists just casually thrown in although I saw most of them coming (all) from a mile away it was entertaining to watch it all unfold. The ending is what had me wanting more and why I will continue the series.
The premise is definitely interesting and I’m hooked enough to want to know more. I hope for a lot more in the next books.