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Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Update
Thanks to Esther from Macmillan Audio, they have kindly given us a audio clip from the Cinder audio book to share. Please scroll down to the bottom of the review for the audio clip.

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Where did you get the book: e-ARC
Release date: January 3rd, 2012.

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.

*blurb taken from goodreads*

When I saw this on Netgalley I was quite excited after reading the blurb. A Cinderella type heroine, but who is Cyborg, and set in China in a futuristic setting? Simply awesomesauce.

Cinder follows the Cinderella theme, but it does so loosely and the whole premise was unique with a heroine who is part cyborg and is a mechanic. So whilst I enjoyed Cinder, I did have some problems which marred the reading experience.

The heroine, Cinder, works as a mechanic in the markets of New Beijing, for Adri, who is the epitome of the evil step-mother, and her two daughters whom are not the ugly sisters, but beautiful ones. In fact Cinder loves Peony, one of the sisters, very much. Cinder came to be in the family when their father adopted Cinder when she was eleven years old in Europe, but he died soon after and Adri was left with the orphaned Cinder and didn’t bother to hide her hate and revulsion for a cyborg. Cinder does feel emotions, she’s just unable to show them due to her being cyborg. And when I say cyborg, she’s not all robot. She’s flesh and blood, but she has a chip inside her, a quarter of her is robotic, and she has access to a Net inside her mind. Cinder is just as human as anybody else, and whilst she feels all emotions, she can’t literally show them — such as blushing, or crying as she doesn’t have tear ducts.

Cinder is one day working in her mechanic shop, fitting on her brand new bionic foot with her very funny and sassy android, when she is interrupted by Prince Kai, who has heard of the infamous skills of Cinder and wants her to fix his childhood android. This at first I found hard to believe and it sounded like a contrived meeting, and when it’s revealed why he wants to fix the android, it’s still a little hard to believe that nobody recognised Prince Kai. But anyways, this is Cinder’s first meeting with Kai, and she’s not immune to his good looks, and he is very kind to her.

Both are worried about the Plague that is ravishing and killing everyone, with Kai’s father also infected. When Peony gets sick with the Plague, Adri blames Cinder and she orders and gives permission to Cinder to become a test subject as she is Cyborg. And it’s at the palace that Cinder comes into contact with Kai again, and soon realises that the life she thought she knew is a complete lie, and she becomes embroiled in political intrigue with the Lunar people, and their Queen, who wants to marry Kai for an alliance. Cinder soon becomes embroiled into political intrigue, and learns that the potential war might get her killed.

What I liked so much about this novel was the newness of it and its originality in regards to its setting and having a cyborg heroine which is just too awesome for words. Cinder is a really likeable heroine, though I do wish she had more spunk and more edge to her character. She’s had a hard life, and she’s weathered it quite well despite how horrid her family life is. But Cinder is very self-reliant, and has her android, but she doesn’t have any friends except Peony her step-sister. Kai is also very likeable, though he was a little mundane. As Prince, he has a huge responsibility and when he’s left in charge after his Father becomes sick with the Plague, he feels the weight so heavily on his young shoulders.

When Cinder is experimented on as a test subject, she comes into contact with Kai at the palace again and their interactions were really friendly, and I liked there was no instant love, though there was a cute crush on both sides. And whilst I really liked the premise and the world, I thought the world building was weak because there didn’t seem to be any deep though that went into the framework of how the world came to be like that in the future. It just was. The villain I don’t think was really chilling. She was cruel and sadistic, but she didn’t seem scary to me, and came across as too dramatic.

I went into reading this book thinking that the story would finish at the end. But no, nothing was tied up and I got quite angry that nothing was resolved, then realised that it’s to be continued in the next book. And that simply annoys me because I think that a reader deserves to have a conclusion of the first book without being made to buy the second to find the conclusion of the first. And what really annoyed me was that I didn’t find any Eastern and Chinese influence in the book whatsoever. It’s set in China, but you wouldn’t have thought it reading the book and that really disappointed me.

Cinder I found to be an enjoyable read that cuts through the bulk of the sameness in YA, but I don’t think it lived up to what it could be. The ending was left up in the air with a hint with what Cinder goes in the next book, and I can’t explain much more than that because it’s huge spoilers.

I give Cinder a C+.

Here’s the audio clip of Cinder from Macmillan Audio. Click the link and it will take you to another page where you can listen to it. (Sorry, I had tech problems trying to upload it onto this page)

Cinder_webclip

Amazon Book | Kindle eBook

By Lou

One thing that Lou loves most is her HEA in romances.

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