Thursday, January 5, 2012

Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Title: Cinder
Author: Marissa Meyer
Genre: YA, Fairy tale, Steampunk, Scifi, Romance
Perfect for: a lazy afternoon
Star Rating: 3/5 stars

Borrowed from 'Goodreads', "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."

With loads of five star reviews, I expected a twinge more from 'Cinder'.  There are many points in which I'll give it credit.  As far as putting an original twist on a handful of popular fairy tales?  Author Marissa Meyer gets a gold star.  I loved the almost steampunk elements of Cinder's society and Cinder's own human/cyborg nature.  The world in which 'Cinder' was set was different enough for me to be intrigued by, while not making me terribly confused.

The cover art?  Love it.  That and the title are the reason I decided to read this novel.  

'Cinder' is a mixture of fairy tales.  Not just inspired by Cinderella, it also takes elements from other popular tales, which (without going into spoiler territory) make the story slightly more predictable than I would have liked.  I'd be lying if I said I hadn't figured out the story arc (even the 'surprise' elements) pretty early on.  

What saved the story, in my opinion, were the characters.  As a character, I latched onto Cinder right away.  I found her sarcasm amusing and character arc worthwhile enough to keep on reading, even though I had the story figured out. The good doctor, the Da Vinci of the novel (if I were to relate this to the movie 'Ever After'), was also quite endearing.  I liked him from the get go and look forward to seeing more of him in later installments.

Which brings me to my final point about this novel... It is the beginning of a series and you will know that by the time you get to the ending.  This book had one of those love/hate 'non endings'.  There was an almost ending, but then, boom, us readers are hit with something that takes the story in a complete 180, and then the book is over, leaving us waiting for book 2.  I see the strategy, but wish there had been a more solid ending in place.  Just a little more of a bow would have been great.

'Cinder' is a steampunky fairy tale that will, at the very least, help you get through a rainy or snowy day.  It gets 3 out of 5 stars.

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