Review: Cinder (Marissa Meyer)


I don’t know how this happened. I was supposed to be reading 1984 and The Pilgrim’s Progress. I have a list of 30 books that I have to read before November 13. This book is not on that list! Okay, so I’ve seen some reviews of this series and I saw Cress in the bookstore the other day. I’ve been thinking about fairy tale retellings, and this was certainly an interesting one, so I got the e-books. Then, one night I was trying to read 1984 but I’m currently reading the part where Winston was reading a non-fiction book and it’s really hard to get through (mostly because I keep thinking how much the things written there make sense, but that would be in my review for 1984), and I decided I need to read something else, and I decided to give Cinder a go. I was going to read only a chapter or two each night, but it was… so good!

At first I thought I wasn’t going to like it because of all the android-cyborg-hover talk. Not really my thing, I guess, though not really since I adore gadgets and tech-advancements, and eventually I actually enjoyed it. I loved the fact that Cinder was a renowned mechanic (I’m all for Girls & Tech!).

I also wasn’t sure how I would feel about a fairy tale retelling, but as it turns out there was a fine balance between the elements you knew would be there because it was in the fairy tale and the things that were completely unexpected, original and surprising. Although, like many other readers have noted, the last plot twist was so blatantly obvious I kept expecting Cinder to actually figure it out herself on the next page, but of course she has a major lack of confidence except when it comes to tech stuff (Geek Girls ftw!) so she would never have thought THAT, but yeah, that was obvious.

Another thing of note is that I actually had a little difficulty placing the characters because despite the novel being obviously set in China Asia, I somehow pictured everyone being white. It took a while for me to start considering that Kai should probably look Japanese and Cinder, well, okay, so the cover of Glitches (the Cinder prequel) has her looking Japanese as well but shouldn’t she look more… I don’t know, European, maybe? Anyway, I wonder if that says more about my reading habits (too many American/European authors!) or more about the novel, because despite its supposed setting it somehow doesn’t convey that. Or maybe in the future we’re all become too similar to each other and thus there won’t be much of a difference between one context or another. Or maybe I’m over-thinking this. That’s probably it.

Well, the book was so engaging that I ended up reading it through. And then I read Glitches, and I’m tempted to read the prequel to Scarlet, but I’m afraid I wouldn’t be able to resist reading Scarlet afterwards, and then I would definitely want to read Cress, and then there’s the horrific part that the next book isn’t out yet, and won’t be for another year and a half. Why? Why? Just… why??

Cinder Book Cover Cinder
The Lunar Chronicles
Marissa Meyer
387 pages

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.

If I had my way, I'd spend the rest of my days at the corner of a coffee shop, reading, writing, and talking to the one I love.

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