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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.