Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Published by: Feiwel & Friends
Genres: YA, Sci-Fi, Dystopia
For Fans of: the Legend trilogy, Fairy Tale Retellings, the movie Treasure Planet
My Rating: 3.8 stars out of 5.

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.

So, I stared at my computer screen for a good five minutes, trying to decide if I could actually give a book 3.8 stars. And then it hit me – this is my blog. I can do whatever I want. So 3.8 stars it is. (You figure out what that even looks like on your own)

I went into this book with low expectations, mostly because I figured that a YA, Sci-fi novel about Cinderella (Cyborg edition) set in a Dystopian China sounded a little too good to be true. I figured there had to be something wrong with it. A few pages into Cinder, however, I realized I was going to enjoy it.

The characters, I thought, were very good. You had your charming Prince Kai who, honestly, I ended up really liking because he actually put duty to his country before his feelings and it isn’t very often that you get to see that in a novel where romance is involved. Cinder, our main character, was pretty cool too, even if she did a bunch of things that I didn’t agree with and acted without thinking sometimes. She had personality. Iko, I thought, was the best character from the lot. Hands down. Iko wins all the awards. I WANT an Iko. I just… Iko is my fave.

The plot lines were pretty interesting too. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that dealt with lunar colonies before, but I have to say, I loved that about this book. Lunar colonies seem cool and if there are more books out there that deal with them, please recommend them to me stat.

I even liked how the romance played out. It wasn’t sappy or cheesy, SPOILER: (okay, except for that dance bit at the ball. But that was more me having an issue with Cinder’s priorities than anything else) and, even if I didn’t find myself passionately shipping them, I did like their dynamic. 

And while all those things were great, I still have to say that Cinder wasn’t without its problems. I mean, this book was a lot of things, but subtle was definitely not one of them. Throughout the course of the story, we were given hints so many thinly veiled hints that, but the 30% point, I had already figured out what the story’s major plot twist was going to be. And that’s not even the worst part. Our friend Cinder took way more time than was reasonable to figure these things out herself, even though she was given the same information we were. Actually, no. She never figured them out at all. Someone had to come out and tell her. It was beyond frustrating.

Another thing I had a slight issue with was the whole fairy tale thing. Don’t get me wrong, I love fairy tales and fairy tale retellings as much as the next girl, but I felt like it was a little too much. A little too… forced, if you will. If you took away the forced parallels and had the characters move through this story on their own, it still would have worked – better, in fact.

What I’m trying to say is that I would have preferred to read this book and go, “huh, there are a couple of Cinderella parallel’s in here.” As opposed to what I actually did say a couple times while reading the book, which was, “yes, yes. She’s Cyborg Cinderelly. We get it.”

Basically, if you like cyborgs and androids and cute, oriental princes and female mechanics and fairy tale retellings, then you should definitely pick this book/series up. And if you don’t like any of these things, stay the hell away from it.

And, as always, if you’ve read it, let me know what you thought. I like discussing books, you guys. Remember this.


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