Monday, 13 January 2014

Review: Cinder

Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer



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.

My Thoughts:

I am a bit of a sucker for fairy tale retellings - I love them! As soon as I heard the rumours of a "cyborg Cinderella" retelling, I was hooked. Cinder didn't end up like I thought it would, but boy was it good. It took the very basic foundation of the Cinderella tale - orphaned girl, evil stepmother and sisters, shoe falling off at a ball, a prince; I think you get the picture - and threw them into the blender with a dystopian Beijing, a cyborg, a mysterious plague and a bunch of moon people called Lunars, in a creative spin-off that rivalled the great Jackson Pearce.

I will say that the plot of this book kept me eagerly page-turning though I was disappointed by the predictability of many of the novel's supposed "twists". Too many clues were dropped numerous times before the "big revelation" and so I was never surprised by them. The overall plot was well-paced, I was able to easy fly through it without too much bother but I wasn't impressed by the final scene which I felt was rushed and sloppy. Marissa Meyer is obviously a little inexperienced writing action scenes which was quite the let down and very anticlimactic.

The characters were borderline great but mainly stuck in the "good" category. I liked many aspects of Cinder's strong-willed personality but her submission to her stepmother and lack of confidence with her identity was just a tad disheartening. I felt she had a lot more potential but was too scared to show it off. Many of the other characters just didn't work for me, Prince Kai and Peony, mainly. I just didn't understand them as well as I would of hoped, I wanted to know more about them and their history. I felt they were almost glazed over a little with too much attention on Cinder herself.

The retelling was very well done, in my belief. I really do love fairy tale retellings - though I usually stick to Red Riding Hood ones - and I liked the futuristic and rather original approach
Marissa Meyer took in Cinder.

Also the setting was amazing. I have never read a book set in China, let alone a dystopian China. I liked how it was kept traditional and modern at the same time and I can almost believe that one day maybe Beijing will turn out to be like that. Hovercrafts all the way!

Cinder was a pleasant surprise. I do understand people's lack of enthusiasm for it, barely any of my friends rated this book above three stars and, truthfully, I can see why. There were many little things that I could pick on, that didn't work for me, and that was summarised well in Brandi's review. I wasn't in the mood for nick-picking though when I read this, I wanted something engaging and fun and I got that. I will most definitely be picking up Scarlet and I would recommend this for people who want an enjoyable and original dystopian novel or fairy tale retelling.

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