When I first purchased Cinder by Marissa Meyer, I had no idea it was a retelling of Cinderella (because I’m an idiot, apparently). However, Marissa Meyer stayed very far away from the plot of that story, and used only the bare bones as little highlight points throughout her novel to indicate that it is a retelling.
Cinder follows the story of the cyborg-mechanic girl Cinder who earns her family’s living through her services at the weekly market. As with the original story, Cinder’s stepmother is cruel and evil, as is one of her step sisters. The land is plagued by a disease called letumosis, or the blue plague. As Kai, prince of the Eastern Commonwealth of Earth, learns of the impending death of his father the emperor due to a contraction of the plague, Cinder comes into her own story where death of a loved one, betrayal, and identity crises intertwine with Prince Kai and the rest of the world’s fate. (Is that a run-on sentence?)
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.
My Review of Cinder by Marissa Meyer:
First of all, Cinder has an interesting twist on a somewhat basic plot. I think the setting’s function is to drive readers away from thinking that this story isn’t all that unoriginal. It’s futuristic. Almost a little steampunk. Dystopian. It’s diverse. But it all boils down to this: disease causing trouble for earthlings, while Lunars (those who reside on the moon and had special biological mind powers) pose a threat to these earthlings, and a prince is faced with the decision to make a political marriage when maybe his heart lies elsewhere. Meh.
I found hardly any of the characters in this book interesting. Cinder’s stepmother and stepsister were horrible, and the other stepsister was the typical too-sweet, too-young, too-naive girl. The prince was bland and too-caring, no vices. Even the villain was bland. She’s vain, and she’s power-hungry. Cinder wasn’t much better, only made intrinsically more interesting because she’s a cyborg and is faced with more adversity than others. But overall, Cinder is a reactive character, not a proactive one, and that made her kind of boring. The most interesting character to me was Dr. Erland, as he was pretty creeping, and then very interesting and unique as the story progressed.
Cinder was okay. The ending was interesting enough to entice me to buy the rest of the series. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t too great either. I am really hoping this story gets better as the plot progresses and matures.
I give Cinder by Marissa Meyer 3.5/5 stars.
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