Cinder, by Marissa Meyer
Humans and androids crowd the ravenous 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. . .
Sixteen-year-old Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She's a second class citizen with a mysterious past and is reviled by her stepmother. 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. Because there is something unusual about Cinder, something that others would kill for.
I know I was supposed to post something last week, but in my defense, I had midterms last week, and my brain was kind of dead.
Anyway, I've been busy these past few weeks and haven't had much time to read new books. I did, however, read the first two Renegades books, also by Marissa Meyer (reviews on both coming soon. Probably.) as per request of a friend. After I finished those, I was like, "Wow--why have I not read any of her other books before?!" and checked Cinder out of the library. Thank you for listening to my life story.
I have to admit--I didn't enjoy Cinder as much as I did Renegades. I felt like the plot was a little predictable, and that the secret identity of Cinder was kind of an obvious one. It was very trope-y compared to her other series, but I suppose that that's a given when you're retelling any fairy tale.
That being said, I did think that the cyborg, future-esque setting of the novel was a very original idea, and I enjoyed learning about the world of New Beijing.
I do admire Meyer (hey, that rhymed) for taking on such an interesting take as to turn Cinder into a cyborg. I think that she did as good of a job as she could, making a not-completely-human character read as human. But, Cinder cannot cry, or blush, or feel everything the same way a human would and I felt that her character was a little hard to relate to as a result of this.
The Lunar people (who also aren't human) that Meyer introduced into her world were a great addition, and a fantastic way to intertwine some other traditional fairy tales with this one. The Lunar Queen made a compelling antagonist, and I can't wait to see what she'll have in store for Cinder in Scarlet.
I also adored Prince Kai, the charming emperor of New Beijing. In my opinion, the scenes that included him were the most enjoyable to read. I think it's safe to say that I have a new favorite character. XD
Me--fangirling over Kai
However, as much as I enjoyed the setting, I wasn't very invested in the story until about half way through. The pacing at the beginning was a little slow for my taste (but then again, I am very picky about pacing).
I was told by a friend who'd read the full series, that Cinder was sort of the "before story" and that the rest of the books are where the real action happens.
I have high hopes for Scarlet, and I think that Meyer left off at a good point, leaving herself a good chunk of action to let unfold in the sequel.
Overall, I give Cinder 3 out of 5 stars, but have higher expectations for the rest of the books.