Cinder by: Marissa Meyer – #1 in The Lunar Chronicles!
AGE GROUP: 13 and up (due to lack of profanity)// GENRE: Science Fiction/ Dystopian// AMOUNT OF PAGES: 390// RATING: 4/5
CINDER, a gifted mechanic in New Beijing, is also a cyborg. She’s reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s sudden illness. But when her life becomes entwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she finds herself at the centre of a violent struggle between the desires of an evil queen – and a dangerous temptation.
Cinder is caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal. Now she must uncover secrets about her mysterious past in order to protect Earth’s future.
This is not the fairytale you remember. But it’s one you won’t forget.
*I did not write this summary, as I have just finished the second book in this series and many details have melted together, so the summary would’ve most likely been inaccurate.*
Welcome back to another review! Yes, it’s been awhile since I’ve posted, and no, I do not have a good reason for being off the radar. I’ve been reading and simply too lazy to gather my thoughts and post. Whoops…
Going into Cinder, I had low expectations for the sole reason of never having read a retelling and believing that they’re boring. But this one, for the most part, shocked me!
Let’s jump right in!
I found the plot in this book to be intriguing yet depthless at the same time. The entire premise of a plague and searching for a cure is not unique and did not, in fact, grasp my attention. However, what I did find interesting was the world, however much it scared me. Cinder, our main character, is a cyborg, meaning she is part human and part, for want of a better word, mechanical. At first, I was totally frightened and opposed to the idea of our main character being anything other than human. Nevertheless, this is original and authentic.
Now, though I was very much fascinated by the idea of a futuristic world — something I had very little experience in reading — I also found it quite difficult to become used to and immersed in. However, I think the fresh setting mostly outweighed the bland plot.
Though I’m bashing the plot, this book was so entertaining. Although I predicted everything in Cinder, due to awful foreshadowing and simply predictable plot twists, I still enjoyed reading it.
Cinder was such a pleasant character to read about, what with her amusingly sarcastic attitude (yes, I know that’s clichéd) and her most dreadful home life (as she is supposed to mimic Cinderella to some degree).
Kai, the soon-to-be emperor, owing to his father dying from the plague, is different from all of the other leading love interests in YA fantasy, in the way that he is genuine and sweet. Admittedly, I had my doubts about reading about a prince, or rather, prince charming. Yet in the end he turned out to be a lovely change from the constant flow of “bad boys” in young adult fantasy that are utterly formulaic. Still, Kai’s character was flawed, as he was, I would say, quite one-dimensional. However different from the “bad boys,” he kind of appeared to be merely a prince and… wait for it… didn’t actually want to be in the position of almost-emperor. I know, shocking! He did have some sarcastic remarks that I loved. But as I finished reading Scarlet (the second in the series of four), I found that I felt differently about Kai; I no longer liked him as much as I seemed to in Cinder.
Anyway, aside from the world, the characters certainly held my attention throughout the whole book. I would not say that the characters were entirely fleshed out, however, but I hope they gradually evolve throughout the series (especially the villain, Queen Levana, who I’m eager to learn more about).
As for the literal writing part, I thought Marissa Meyer did pretty well. Her vocabulary wasn’t as varied as, say, J.K. Rowling’s or Holly Black’s (but using big words is far from everything), yet she did an incredible job at creating a science fiction setting for a retelling of a renowned fairytale. Although Cinder was insanely predictable, Scarlet was not so much, which I am immensely relieved about. Going on, I’m interested to see if Marissa Meyer’s writing expands or remains the same.
I was pleasantly surprised by Cinder, and I cannot wait to continue with Cress (the third book) and Winter (the finale), as I enjoyed Scarlet very much.