Thursday, 17 May 2012

Book Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Title: Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1)
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Puffin
Pages: 387
Release Date: 5th January 2012
Read in: May 2012

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, the 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
I can’t remember the last time, or if ever, I have read a fairy tale retelling. It is a genre I have always wanted to get into. Cinder has been getting pretty good reviews and, along with it being a dystopia novel, it seemed like a good place to start. And, thankfully, I chose correctly.

“The screw through Cinder’s ankle had rusted, the engraved cross marks worn to a mangled circle. Her knuckles ached forcing the screwdriver into the joint as she struggled to loosen the screw one gritting twist after another.”

Apart from the story being a retelling of Cinderella, I had no idea what this book was going to be like getting into it. The blurb doesn’t give much away at all. Cinder’s sister’s illness it is a lot more than I originally thought it was going to be and Kai is not just the handsome prince swanning around. He has depth and a story all of his own.

The world that Cinder lives in was pretty interesting. Normally in dystopia/ post-apocalyptic novels, it is the government that is secretly corrupt. However, we meet Kai, who is the crowned prince of the Eastern commonwealth. He is the government and one of the point of view characters of the tale. It is not his government that is corrupt. Is the society perfect? Well no. It wouldn’t be dystopian if it was. But it gave the book that slight twist.

I also loved the fact this book is based in China. I have never read a book set in Asia, outside of Japan. I read the occasional manga. I was really interested in the culture and how the different Asian cultures are brought together for this futuristic view of the world. Definitely adds bonus points.

I loved the character of Cinder. She has spine. She can talk back, even if she is a second class citizen. Even with Prince Kai, she is not fawning all over him like a pathetic fan girl. But also she has a perfectly caring nature too especially for her sister and Iko, her robot sister. I have huge respect for her as a character. Great lead to follow.

Oh how I loved Prince Kai as well. He has to grow so quickly, throughout the course of this book, that sometimes you forget that he is only 18. He is the only heir to the throne of the Eastern Commonwealth and his father is dying. He suddenly has comes to terms with the fact that he is going to be ruling a realm and I loved the connection we, as the readers, get to see as he experiences this.

I have always had an interest in royalty, especially how their status affects their emotions and relationships with other people. I want to read more books with royals now, preferably from the point of view of one. I have never really experienced that before. It is usually other characters perceiving them from the outside. Better track some down.

Unfortunately the story was a little bit predictable. I fathomed a great deal of what the plot and the twists would be within the first 50 pages. However this didn’t seriously detract from the enjoyment. I still wanted to read it. Just a hint of warning for those who like to be surprised.

Even though it was predictable, I still really enjoyed it and I want to see where the series will take me; especially if the next book is a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood. Hmm…


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