Friday, February 28, 2014

Review: "Cinder" by Marissa Meyer

Title: Cinder
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #1
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Puffin
Year: 2012

"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."

Well. I feel sort of underwhelmed. This book seems to be quite popular and has been recommended to me numerous times. I guess I just expected more. Not to say that this a bad book, but I feel sort of meh about it. 

First of all, let’s list the things that this book has going for it, because there were a few things that were potentially redeeming qualities.

First of all the book was well written, it was an easy pleasant read. 

Second, the idea was great. I love fairy-tales and have developed quite a liking for all sorts of retellings. So Cinderella crossed with cyborgs sounded like a wicked idea. The other good part was that the Cinderella element was woven in quite well. There were a few times where it was obvious that the reader was meant to think that “Ah, this is the part from Cinderella”, but mostly it was very smoothly linked to the rest of the story, which by the way was intriguing.

Now there were a few things that bothered me. Sort of like a splinter under your skin, but less pleasant. 

The cyborg/android part. Very underwhelming. I was hoping this book would have more of a sci-fi element, but it sounded like someone had read one too many smart-phone manuals. All the robotics parts seemed very hurried and not properly researched. And come on, Cinder fixed up an old-time (which means our time) car and we did not get even one scene where she actually worked on it! 

Cinder. At the beginning of the book, I really liked her. I thought she was witty and fun. But she became one-dimensional very fast. I mean how can it be that she has never been interested in where she came from? Especially if all people carry ID-chips that should give her info, but presumably doesn’t? How can someone be so uninterested in themselves? 

Kai. Well, I’ll give you that, he is like a real prince from the early Disney movies. As in absolutely brain-numbingly boring! I meant he is meant to be a ruler and he sounds like he sort of looks at everything like a bystander and keeps going: ”Aww, that is really not working out for you, is it?” Also, how he keeps saying to Cinder that he doesn’t want special treatment and then goes “Hey, I am a prince, give me special treatment.” Just give me a break. 

And the biggest one. This was the single most predictable big surprise ever. I usually do not mind spoilers, because I am more interested in the story than the climax. But this was obvious from the very beginning and it was very easy to see how it will all work out. I mean try to throw some twists and turns into it. Give a little spice. This felt like walking into the same wall repeatedly and expecting it to turn into a door! It was a good but poorly executed idea.

I do not regret reading this, but I’m quite happy to put it back on my shelf and go find something juicier. Three stars. And that feels kind of generous.   

 This review has been brought to you by your Book Mistress for the day.


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