By: Marissa Meyer
Publication Date: January 3, 2012
Published by: Feiwel and Friends
Hardcover: 387 pages
Mini-summary: Cinder is a modern twist on the classic fairy tale Cinderella where our heroine is a mechanically inclined cyborg fighting against Levana, the Lunar queen.
Why I read this book: After seeing this book in just about every bookstore I've frequented lately as well as on Goodread's Listopia, I decided to give this one a try. I'm always looking for debut authors and really, a cyborg Cinderella? How could I refuse?
There are so many areas I wanted Marissa Meyer slow down and explore further. New Beijing is a gold mine opportunity for world building and I had a difficult time picturing this futuristic but desolated place. The definite lack of Chinese atmosphere, customs, anything at all, really threw me. If not Chinese, that's fine, but pick something else then, clue the reader into this world.
Cyborgs. How did the humans and cyborgs relationship get to be this way? Does Cinder have artificial intelligence? Where do her emotions, thoughts, motivations, fears come from? There is some explanation, but this really would've helped me to better connect with the story.
The Lunar Empire. Good concept. But I'm still not completely sold how exactly they are so powerful that all of the Earth's armies fear this tiny population of people. How did the Lunar people get there and how to do live on the Moon? And why is Levana so intent on becoming queen of New Beijing, what's so special about that place in particular? I still have many unanswered questions.
As unique as this re-envisioning is, this novel had the potential to stand on it's own, without the Cinderella backdrop. Things like the ball. Eh, I could have done without it. It just didn't seem to fit. The predictability factor was high with Cinder as well. Sometimes, when you see the ending or big twist coming, it works if the journey is engaging. Even then, if the reader figures out what's going to happen by the first 50-60 pages and then has to wait around for the main character to have the light bulb moment, it's not as satisifying.
“I'm sure I'll feel much more grateful when I find a guy who thinks complex wiring in a girl is a turn-on.”
“Vanity is a factor, but it is more a question of control. It is easier to trick others into perceiving you as beautiful if you can convince yourself you are beautiful. But mirrors have an uncanny way of telling the truth.”