Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Sixteen-year-old Cinder is considered a technological mistake by most of society and a burden by her stepmother. Being cyborg does have its benefits, though: Cinder’s brain interference has given her an uncanny ability to fix things (robots, hovers, her own malfunctioning parts), making her the best mechanic in New Beijing. This reputation brings Prince Kai himself to her weekly market booth, needing her to repair a broken android before the annual ball. He jokingly calls it “a matter of national security,” but Cinder suspects it’s more serious than he’s letting on.
Although eager to impress the prince, Cinder’s intentions are derailed when her younger stepsister, and only human friend, is infected with the fatal plague that’s been devastating Earth for a decade. Blaming Cinder for her daughter’s illness, Cinder’s stepmother volunteers her body for plague research, an “honor” that no one has survived.
But it doesn’t take long for the scientists to discover something unusual about their new guinea pig. Something others would kill for.
Well this was quite an adventure.
As far as characters go, I really liked Cinder, Iko and Peony. I hated Dr. Erland at first because he seemed like a heartless jerk but I think he’s alright now. I’m sort of indifferent toward Kai. I thought I would like him at first but then he was super cocky about asking Cinder to the ball and it just went downhill from there. Plus, his reaction when he found out that she was cyborg is appalling. Adri and Pearl could both disappear from the series and I’d be okay with it. Levana….I mean she’s the villain. A good one in the sense that I hate everything about her.
I like that the history of Lunars was explained within the story and that we were finding out at the same time as Cinder. I was wondering where the title for the series came from so now I get it. By his explanation though, I knew that Dr. Erland had to be Lunar. When he asked Cinder why she was interested, I knew that she was probably was too.
By the end of Chapter 21, I guessed that Cinder was actually Princess Selene and I’m so glad that she is, because I feel like that’s going to make way for such a good series. I mean, I already think it’s good but it will definitely add to it.
I was really annoyed that Cinder made it to Peony in time but that she still died. I felt like that was a low blow. On the other hand, she saved the baby so that was good.
Things that I like about the structure of the book include the way it’s broken down and how there are quotes before each new section.
There were a few little things that I didn’t like though. I felt that the chapters ended abruptly. It seemed like many of them ended at a place where more could easily be said and a few times I would turn the page and be surprised that a new chapter was starting already.
I also could not help but notice the way that Dr. Erland described Fateen and it bothered me. She’s a dark skinned woman who’s name he can’t bother to remember and he constantly describes her as intimidating. It’s mentioned that part of it is supposedly her height but was that really even necessary at all. It’s such an annoyingly common stereotype that it felt like it served no real purpose.
Also, I know that there’s a war between planets and all, but I was bothered by the fact that everyone so willingly described Lunars as “savages.” Again, I’m looking at that from a standpoint of understanding historical context so I feel like there could have been other words used in place of that one.
I appreciate the bits of diversity in the book and I was wondering how much research Meyer put into this book since it’s set in Asia (in the future of course) and I found out from her blog that she did a good amount, so I’m glad to see that.
4 out of 5 stars.
I’m excited to see what happens next!