17 July 2014

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

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.
Here we go, folks.  Another book that is wildly popular that I have read simply because, if I hadn't done it willingly, somebody would've held me at gunpoint.  As with any wildly popular book, there is more than a bit of skepticism running through me when I start into it.  Very few have had the honor of meeting the expectations I held.  Here's the verdict for Cinder.

It was interesting, but.  There was the gifted, cyborg mechanic with a heck of a tailspin headed her way.  And the ugly plague running rampant through the Eastern Commonwealth.  And a crazy queen witch come down from the moon to spread chaos everywhere.  But.  The prince was a heartthrob and instantly took to our protagonist, which grated on my nerves from the get go because it's so typical.  Here it is, Cinderella is reimagined as a cyborg, but the prince is still a lovesick puppy?

My notes for the first half of the book went something like this: "entirely generic," and "nothing overly surprising" and then a little rant about how difficult it is to portray self-pity.  Things were headed nowhere fast.  My notes are scarce for the second half of the book because finally around the 250 page mark, things actually picked up and started moving forward in a compelling manner and I didn't pause to take notes.

Despite the second half being pretty interesting, Cinder is not my new favorite book.  I don't crave its presence on my shelves.  I won't be rereading it.  But, after the first half of the book, it wasn't half bad.  I still thought that Cinder was a bit full of herself, wallowing as she was in her own vat of self-pity and "woe is me"-isms.  My lack of sympathy for Cinder is what put a dent in my overall enjoyment of this book.  I got that her life sucked, but I was left going "So what?  Big whoop.  Let's see you actually do something about it."

The writing wasn't overly impressive, but served its function.  It was a style that said plainly to me that Marissa Meyer hasn't grown into her abilities as a writer yet.  And the storyline was interesting because the combined elements of sci-fi/dystopian with fairytale.  I liked how Marissa Meyer incorporated bits of the original tale in with this reimagined one.  But because I wasn't a big fan of Cinder herself, my engagement in the plot suffered.  

Whether I'm going to pick up the next book is still in question.  The second half of the book didn't pick up my enthusiasm enough to have me going "Heck yeah!  Next book!  Here we go!"  I like the concept of the entire series, though.  For that, I give Marissa Meyer a thumbs up.

Book Info
  • pages - paperback, 387
  • published - January 2012
  • publisher - Square Fish
  • genre - sci-fi/dystopian
  • received via - library :)
  • rating - 4/5 stars
  • series - Lunar Chronicles
    • Cinder
    • Scarlet
    • Cress