Remember all the hype Cinder had when it first out? It was the book that book bloggers and bookworms on twitter gushed about (the ones I follow at least). I remember thinking, It’s probably not that good!
I was wrong.
With awesome characterizations, a gripping plot, and an authentic story world, Cinder always kept me up passed my bedtime.
Cyborg and mechanic Linh Cinder was just trying to survive her miserable life with her step mother when Prince Kai appeared at her shop with a malfunctioning android. Little does she know that the secrets locked within the android’s mainframe, her favorite sister’s sudden illness, and her developing affection for Kai will propel her into the center of an intergalactic conflict.
What I Loved
The amazing characters
There’s something to love about all the characters in Cinder, but there’s only a handful that made an impression on me.
Cinder was my favorite. Whether it meant bashing in android heads or sassing bad guys, she never played the victim. She wasn’t passive and actively tried to solve her problems. And…well, she’s a cyborg!
Prince Kai wasn’t just the snarky, yet charming, love interest whose sole purpose was to sweep Cinder (and, let’s be honest, the reader) off her feet. He had his own story and faced his own conflicts.
Then there was Queen Levana. She’s a sadistic control freak that’ll make anyone do anything with just a thought (or she murdered them). Surely, a villain I loved to hate!
The beautiful world building
Marissa Meyer did an awesome job with the setting. The way she fused traditional China with sci-fi elements gave the story an authentic feel.
Some scholars believe that the earliest Cinderella tale came from 9th-century China. Additionally, some believe that the iconic glass slipper (which was gold in the Grimm version) came to us from China’s tradition of foot-binding and a culture in which women were praised for tiny feet. So having Cinder set in China was my way of paying homage to the story’s roots.
It also seemed more interesting than setting another book in America!
There was also a ton of nifty gadgets and androids! Cinder had an augment that could tell her when people were lying. Plus, she could download information to her brain from the Internet! Cool, right?
…Or would that be painful?
The light romance
I like to think of myself as an open minded reader, but the one thing I just CANNOT tolerate in books is a love-struck protagonist who never stops gushing about the object of their affection. I’ve had to put down a couple of books because of this.
Romantic moments between Cinder and Prince Kai were gingerly sprinkled throughout the prose, making them more memorable.
Oh no, a cliffhanger!
I wouldn’t have finished Cinder if I thought it was horrible, but I have one problem with it: the ending.
(Spoiler Warning: There’s spoilers galore from here to the end of this post. Continue at your own risk.)
After getting thrown in jail, Dr. Erland convinces Cinder to escape and gives her the tools to do so. She commits to the idea and mentally accepts her new life as a fugitive, but that’s it! The story ends. I wanted to see her sneak out of prison Mission: Impossible style (or fight more androids!) at least.
I mean why? Why a cliffhanger?!
Cinder’s life lessons
Stories can teach us things. They can give us a new perception of the world around us or even teach us something about ourselves. With that said, here’s two things Cinder taught me.
Don’t loose yourself
Prince Kai’s carefree life ends the moment his father dies. A ton of responsibilities are tossed on his shoulder before he has time to grieve: prepare for his coronation, conduct official meetings with Earth’s leaders, negotiate with an evil moon witch (and possibly marry her)–Kai had it rough!
He had to change the way he behaved just to fit the mold of Emperor. Sure, he fought to hold onto who he was, but he slowly gave into what other’s wanted him to be.
He chaffed under social pressure, but we don’t have to. Everyone will always have expectations for us or try to force us into cookie cutter molds, but we’re the ones who have to live with ourselves. It’s our lives and our decisions and we should stay true to who we are.
Don’t like your situation? Do something about it.
Whether it was Cinder’s decision to leave her verbally abusive family or Kai’s mission to find the heir, both characters sought solutions to their problems.
No matter how bad a situation is, there’s always a way to make things better if we’re willing to look.
Overall, I enjoyed this book and if it sounds like something you might like, consider following the links below to learn more about it.