Book Review: Cinder
Author: Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles (Book #1)
Length: 390 pages
Genre: YA Sci-Fi Fairytale Retelling
My Rating: ★★★★☆
Cinder is a typical teenaged girl living in New Beijing. Oh, except she is also a cyborg, happens to be the adopted daughter of an evil woman, and has two half-sisters. That's right, this book is a retelling of Cinderella, with a futuristic twist. That's all you really need to know going into this novel/series.
Let me start off by saying I really enjoyed reading Cinder. I finished it in about a day and a half, because it was so fun and addicting to read. What I love about Marissa Meyer's writing is that she continually made me want to keep going with the story. It's been awhile since I had a book capture my attention that much (ok, not that long, Child 44 really got me too). The two things that really hooked me were the short chapters and the mini cliffhangers at the end of each of them. For all those reasons, I ended up giving this a higher rating, despite the few issues that I had with the plot and characters.
Let's get into some of the issues I had with the story. New Beijing is apparently the technological center of the world in this series. Somehow, despite that, there are many people who have a severe prejudice against those that are of the cyborg persuasion. Cinder, of course, is a cyborg and to me it just seemed like a pretty weakly grounded source of conflict. I just don't see how that type of deep hate for cyborgs would be plausible when it is so widely used.
Another issue I had was just the general predictability of the story. I saw the big twist coming from a mile away, and as far as I can tell, MANY other people did as well. The foreshadowing might as well have been a frying pan hitting you over the head. I wouldn't say that it ruined the story, but it definitely dampened the effect.
The last major problem I had with this book was the lack of background information. I wish this story had leaned a little more on the sci-fi side, just because I'm a nerd like that. I would have liked more details about how the technology works, how New Beijing came about, how the Lunars get their powers, etc. In general, the story was sparse on the details and focused more about the events going on. I'm hoping that a lot of my questions will get answered in the next installments of the series, but I did find it disappointing that many things were not addressed in Cinder.
Overall, I loved my experience of reading this book. It was definitely a pleasant surprise and a far better YA novel than the last few I've read. It surpassed my expectations and I can see why so many people love this series. Personally, I have already bought the next two books in the series and can't wait to get to them!
Do you plan on reading Cinder? If you have read it, let me know what you thought!