Cinder by Marissa Meyer

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Cinder by Marissa MeyerCinder by Marissa Meyer

Series: The Lunar Chronicles #1

Rating: 3 of 5 stars

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.

I have a confession to make: I’m a ginormous fuckin’ skeptic. I always have been, especially when it comes to my reading material. Which is weird because I’m also extremely gullible. (No, seriously. To a fault.) When first learning of the buzz that surrounded Cinder, I got just as swept up in it as the next bibliophile. But then as it grew, I began to wonder: “There’s no way this many people all love a book that’s actually good.” (I know. I’m a bit of an asshole.)

And I’m not saying I was right, but I’m not saying I was wrong, either.

Hear me out. Despite its roots in the fairy tale of Cinderella, Cinder was nothing if not original. Its amalgamation of futuristic sci-fi and dystopia and mystery – all while being something of a retelling – actually made for quite the ride. The problem was I didn’t really enjoy it. And it’s no fault of the story’s. It’s the writing I couldn’t get behind.

Look, I know to many readers that writing doesn’t mean a thing. But I am a writer. It matters to me. And when I’m looking at this narrative unfolding before me with little skill or tact, it pulls me out, okay?

The worst part was all the side characters had the most dimensionality. Pearl and Adri, Cinder’s evil step-family; Queen Levana and her thaumaturge, Sybil; Dr. Erland, the research scientist heading the program to find a cure for letumosis. Even Prince Kai. (I liked him the most.) It’s a shame that Cinder herself, the titular namesake, had little personality throughout most of the book.

Yes, Cinder was a good book. It was. Trust me. I wouldn’t discourage anyone from reading it. It has some seriously cool elements to it. And I’m definitely gonna continue the series. No question about that.

But… y’all, this is not a 5-star read, not for me, no matter which way I look at it.


4 thoughts on “Cinder by Marissa Meyer

    Zoe said:
    24 May 2014 at 545

    This was a 3 for me as well, because of the slight lack of world-building. Certainly a good book regardless though! :D I personally loved Cinder as a protagonist, but I can see how you might find her emotion / personality – less. That’s definitely a shame! :( Glad you liked it otherwise though! Are you planning on continuing the series? (This was actually – personally – my least favorite of the quartet so far, it definitely goes uphill from here!)

    Thanks for sharing Sierra, and, as always, BRILLIANT review! <3

      Sierra responded:
      24 May 2014 at 827

      Yeah, I found the worldbuilding extremely vague, and that was a big point of contention with me and this book, but it wasn’t my biggest bone to pick (clearly haha). I do intend to finish the series – I actually purchased Cinder and Scarlet int he same breath – so here’s to having high hopes for the sequels.

    Stephanie said:
    25 May 2014 at 404

    There is little doubt that there are some issues, especially with worldbuilding, but I think what this book boiled down to for me was expectations. I reviewed Cinder before it was released and I was relatively unclear what sci-fi was, but was pretty sure that I wouldn’t like it. I ended up pleasantly surprised and have been hooked. Obviously I discovered as time went on that there exists masses that are even better.
    Great review. New follower through RSS. Looking forward to your posts.
    -Flirting with Fiction

      Sierra responded:
      28 May 2014 at 644

      I think you’re definitely right about the expectation factor. I know my way around some sci-fi, but I had heard such good things about this book that when I started reading and realized it wasn’t all that great, it was that much more disappointing.

      Still wanna read the sequel, though, haha.

      Glad to have you on board!

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