Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Hello everybody! 
I'm going to try a new format for my reviews. So, without further ado, here is my review of Cinder by Marissa Meyer.

ISBN: 978-0-312-64189-4
Pages: 387
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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.

What I liked the most: The concept and setting
I really like the new twist on the old fairy tale. This is set in the future, more than a century after the Fourth World War, in New Beijing. It has a lot of futuristic ideas like saving people who have sustained serious injuries by turning them into cyborgs. This plot doesn't follow the traditional Cinderella story line, where a fairygod mother poofs Cinderella into a dress and Cinderella and the Prince live happily ever after. Most of the time, it doesn't feel like it's a retelling of Cinderella, but rather like it's own idea. The story focuses a lot on Cinder and her struggles as a cyborg, from enduring her second class citizen status to being physically barred from certain things. 
The Lunars were also interesting. In a world full of technological developments, I wasn't expecting magic to be thrown in there. 

What I liked the least: How in depth the author explored some ideas
As I said before, I love the concept of cyborgs in a futuristic world. However, I would've liked to see some of these things more in depth. Marissa Meyer touches upon cyborgs, the plague, and New Beijing, but she doesn't go very far with them. The book mentions how cyborgs are looked down on and seen as sub human, disposable, but why? In a world of advance technology, shouldn't they be accepted? Eastern influences can be seen in New Beijing, like dumplings and Buddha statues, but there is not much about Asian culture there. As an Asian, I'm happy the book is set there, since not many are, but we're not just about dumplings and sticky buns. 

The characters:
I found it a bit hard to connect with the characters in the book. 
Cinder is dealing with an identity crisis... well, maybe not that extreme? She struggles with the idea that she's human, but not really. She doesn't know if her emotions or thoughts are her own or if they're programmed. That would definitely cause turmoil in anyone.
Kai is a young, naive prince, who has a lot to learn about ruling a country. I found him kind of flat with no real personality. He wants to do what's best for his people and what his father would have wanted, but his desire for freedom influences him a bit. He does learn the people with great power have to make great sacrifices.
Iko and Peony are just absolutely adorable. I love them the most.

Marissa Meyer has a great imagination. I was engaged throughout the entire book and couldn't put it down. I finished this in two days, which is fast for me considering it was in the middle of a school week. 

Rating: 3 / 5
I will be reading the next book and possibly the entire series (mostly because of Riv x). 

There you go! I hoped you like this review, let me know what you think of the book and if you like this new review format. 

Thanks so much for reading. I'll see you soon!
~Claudia Chen

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