Author: Marissa Meyer
Series? Yes. Book 1 of 4
POV: Third person, past tense, multiple perspectives
Publisher: Square Fish
My Rating: 3 of 5 stars
About the Book (from author’s website)
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.
I feel the same way about Cinder as I did about Storm Siren. No, actually I liked Storm Siren better. A half start better. :) Cinder was a great book, but I would have liked it more if I was younger. The writing was great and kept me interested, but it was way too predictable.
Of Robots and Cyborgs
In Cinder, cyborgs are people who need robotic limbs or other robotic parts. They are look upon as outcasts.
There was one problem with this set up, we never knew how much of Cinder was robot and how much was human. I was fine with the limbs and whatnot, but her eyes are robotic, and it appears her brain worked robotically (this is more apparent in the novella Glitches). Yet Cinder was supposed to still be human. This bothered me in the first part of the book, until I read a review that it was never explained. After that I gave up trying to figure Cinder out and just went with it.
Iko was Cinder’s cute sidekick. Iko is an android with a faulty personality chip that causes it to say things that normally would not be social acceptable. Again we have the problem of a blurry line between robot and human. All the other androids in the story were clearly recognizable as robots, but Iko seemed quite human to me. That aside, he was quite cute, and had the funniest lines.
I really liked Cinder as a character. Other than the cyborg part, she was a fleshed out character. Her motives made sense as she tried to make the best of her situation. She is a strong, smart protagonist. I really liked the parts where she was working on something. It showed that she was gifted with working on the mechanics of the robots in her society.
The story was really, really predictable. This is one of the main reasons I think I would have liked it better when I was younger.
Cinder has this orange light that flashes in her eye when someone is lying. I kinda felt like I had one too. I knew the moment the author was feeding us misinformation. I also was able to guess lots of things well before they happened.
Despite this, the plot worked. There were obvious ties to Cinderella, but the story made sense in the futuristic setting.
Peony is the younger stepsister. While in the most Cinderella stories we are not suppose to like the stepsisters, here we are suppose to like Peony. She is more sympathetic to Cinder. When we are first introduced I thought I might like this twist, but I quickly regarded Peony as only a plot device. Everything that she did or happened to her was solely to advance the plot. [Spoilers: highlight to view] (Peony got sick so Cinder would be sold off and find out that she was Lunar. Peony entered a new stage of the illness at the most annoying moment, all so Cinder would not find out she was the princess. She died so Cinder would turn off her comm and not hear from the prince. And if course, her dress was saved so Cinder would have one without a fairy god-mother.)
What Made the Story Great
Now that I have all that out of the way, I can talk about why I liked this story. This twist on the classic story was great. A Cinderella story involving interplanetary relations? Now that is a great idea! Seriously, I loved that we heard from Kai, the prince, and learned more about the political situation. And Kai was just awesome. He had the pressure of the world (and the moon) on his shoulders. He wasn’t perfect, but he truly wanted to help his people any way he could.
I also loved how things happened at the ball. It is just like the original story, where everyone is looking at this strange girl who arrived late, but they are not looking for the reason you think.
Despite the problems I had with this story, I did enjoy it. It was a fun, quick read. I will be reading the next books in the series.