Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Cinder marissa meyer the lunar chronicles
Cinder Marissa Meyer cover the lunar chronicles

Title: Cinder 
Author: Marissa Meyer 
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #1 
Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Retelling, YA 
Publication date: January 3, 2012 
Rating: ★★★★ 

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.

Even in the future the story begins with Once Upon a Time.

I've sort of started this thing where I begin reading (highly anticipated) books without looking at the synopsis first. I like the thrill of the surprise. So I had basically no idea what this book (or this series) was going to be about, except that Cinder was supposedly the main character and that she was considered really awesome and that she was half robot-half human. I also knew there would be girls called Scarlet, Cress and Winter at some point. There’s simply no way to be in a book community and not know this. I did not, however, expect this to be science fiction. My bet.

There were many reasons to love this book. Linh Cinder for one. I really admire her character. She has a pretty shitty life. She’s a mechanic, and a great one at that. But she’s also cyborg, which means she’s been altered. When she was young she was in a car accident that left her body broken. They fixed it by giving her a metal hand and leg. She survived, but became an outcast. Despised, maybe even feared, by many. Especially by her own stepfamily. (Big surprise, her being called Cinder and all.) She was really great though. Sarcastic, loyal, brave and very easy to relate to.

Prince Kai(to) was just as easy to love. He’s a typical ‘Disney’ prince, I suppose. Struggling with his destiny, trying to do the right thing for his country and all the while longing for a normal life. He’s sometimes funny, other times sweet, yet grumpy and stern when necessary. He’s the kind of stereotype you can’t help but love.

“We all have our weaknesses.”
“I know,” said Iko. “Mine is shoes.”

Another character worth mentioning is Iko, Cinder’s android. She’s just awesome. She’s supposedly programmed to serve and to be the perfect inhuman help, but her chip has some malfunctions and she has started to develop her own personality. She’s terribly girly and her comments often made me laugh. It’s easy to forget Iko is not actually human.

Queen Levana is delightfully evil. She’s all you want a villain to be. I couldn’t stand her, but that’s the point obviously. I also have a feeling we only know half of what she’s capable of so I’m curious about what the future will bring.

Vanity is a factor, but it is more a question of control. It is easier to trick others into perceiving you as beautiful if you can convince yourself you are beautiful. But mirrors have an uncanny way of telling the truth.

The story is loosely based on the fairy tale of Cinderella. I love fairy tale retellings and I appreciate them even more when the author succeeds in making a truly creative adaption. That’s definitely the case here. Cinder’s life sort of resembles that of Cinderella, but the interpretation is really different. I would almost say there was no way to tell how this book would end. Except..

And here’s the big reason why I couldn’t give this book five stars. Despite its creativity, it was just way too predictable. I think figured out who Cinder really was after just two or three chapters. So the entire research program couldn’t capture my interest the way it should have had. And when my suspicions were confirmed at last, I couldn’t help roll my eyes. As in.. BIG SURPRISE – jee, whoa, I’ve known this since the very beginning.

Still, there are many reasons to love this and it’s the kind of book that keeps you reading from beginning until end without stopping. Cinder is very promising and I’m really excited to read on!

If there was one thing she knew from years as a mechanic, it was that some stains never came out.

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1 comment:

  1. I've JUST started reading this too! Haha, finally. I've heard such great things, including your review! I'm glad you enjoyed it. Great review!


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