My rating: 2 of 5 stars
What this book is about:
Cinder is a cyborg and the best mechanic in New Beijing. One day prince Kai stops by her counter and ask her to repair his android. Prince Kai, a charming young man that all the girls want to dance with at the ball. But of course Cinder can’t go to the ball. First of all, she is a cyborg and if prince Kai knew he would think her as a pariah like everyone else. Second of all, Cinder doesn’t have and will never have a fancy dress and pretty shoes like her step-sisters do. And third of all, her step-mother would never allow her to go to the ball!
Be warned! As you can probably tell from my star rating for this book, I hold a very uncommon opinion about Cinder. I am aware of the risks this entails as so many people love and praise this series. But for me it was just simply okay. More like..meh! So, a few things to begin with. Cinder is the first book in the Lunar Chronicles series which is a series of fairy tale retellings, Cinder being of course Cinderella. It’s a YA, sci-fi, fantasy book that has not only been overly hyped but the hype seems to be justified for most people (apparently not me!).
Even in the Future the Story Begins with Once Upon a Time.
Don’t get me wrong, this was a fast little read with a fast-paced rhythm that helped me pass the time for a few days. We have Cinder who was an amusing character who I didn’t expect to like but I kind of did, prince Kai who is of course prince charming, a character acting too old for his age, the evil step-mother and queen Levana who as I understand will play a big role in the books to come. Moreover, there are a few extra characters that filled the story and added to the humour, like Peony and Cinder’s android.
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.
So, Cinder is a 16-year-old mechanic. Is it really that difficult for people to make their characters at least 18 to help the story be more realistic? While I did find some of Cinder’s lines funny, her whole character was just so childish. I mean, I understand it’s a fairy tale retelling and we’re not supposed to dig to deep into it, but when the whole world is about to start a war, Cinder still cares about what she is wearing and how she looks at the ball? Is it spoilers to say that Cinder went to the ball? I mean, probably everyone knows the story of Cinderella but if you think I spoiled you, I apologise. Anyway, when did the ball become this super-important, life-changing event that we don’t even care about the war with the Lunars? Anybody? No? Just me?
Imagine there was a cure, but finding it would cost you everything. It would completely ruin your life. What would you do?
One part of the plot that I initially liked a lot was the plague. I love plagues in books, in movies, in games, you name it. Another thing that I appreciated was how the image of Cinder was presented as a girl who doesn’t care much about her appearance and is constantly dirty from working as a mechanic. And, if I may be very superficial, the cover and the pages of the book (font and extra decorative elements) were visually pleasing. You have to give it to the publishers that they try to make the book look nice when we live in 2016!
He was the fantasy of every girl in the country. He was so far out of realm, her world, that she should have stopped thinking about him the second the door had closed. Should stop thinking about him immediately. Should never think about him again, except maybe as a client–and her prince.
And yet, the memory of his fingers against her skin refused to fade
So, if I could change something, I think I would add more details on the implications of being a cyborg has in Cinder’s life, who and what these Lunars are and where did they come from and I would also make the politics of it all, since there is politics in the story, more realistic. Or maybe I was too influenced by the new season of House of Cards? I understand that it’s a retelling but from all the different ways these story could be told for me this was a 2 out of 5. I know that I’m too strict but this is how I feel about our dear Cinder. Still, I will be continuing on with the series as everyone insist that it gets better and better and maybe Cinderella is not my thing. Scarlet sounds like a more interesting story.
Do your kind even know what love is? Can you feel anything at all, or is it just… programmed?
So, to sum up, I found Cinder to be a very mediocre novel BUT my opinion is one of the unpopular ones. That said, I would probably recommend that if what I wrote sound like things that wouldn’t really bother you in the book, you should check some more positive reviews. I’m quite certain most people will enjoy this book. It’s a fresh, innovative idea and a fast, quick-paced read.
Have you already started with the Lunar Chronicles? What did you think of Cinder and do you agree that if I stay on the series it will soon get better?