It’s been a while since I’ve read a book that I breezed through. Somehow, the past few weeks I’ve been mainly reading stories filled with poetic prose that was impossible to get through. Then I ordered some books from the Book Depository, one of which was Cinder by Marissa Meyer. A while ago I was in the bookstore and I picked it up but decided to put it back. I decided to just order it a while later. Especially since I was a fan of Meyer’s book Heartless. Question is, was it any good or not really? Let’s take a look and find out.
What is Cinder about?
Summary taken 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.
Cinderella meets Sailor Moon
Meyer has stated on her website that the idea for Cinder came after she entered a Sailor Moon Fanfiction Writing Contest. While her story which mixed Sailor Moon with Puss ‘N Boots came in second, she got the idea to write more fairy tale retellings. Cinder was born then. A lot of elements from the Cinderella fairytale are used in the novel. Cinder has an evil stepmother and two stepsisters, although she actually likes one of them. She has to do chores in order to bring in money and naturally there is a prince who doesn’t really know who she is. At the same time, the Sailor Moon influences are strong too. Similar to Sailor Moon, they are looking for a princess who was considered dead and who is the only one who can dethrone an evil queen on the moon.
An Easy Read
Cinder does not pretend to be anything it isn’t. The story is written in quite an easy way, which makes it fun to read. I breezed through it without having to think much, which was enjoyable for a change. If you expect a life-changing story that will touch your deepest core, then this one is not a book for you. However, I did enjoy the recognizable elements in the novel. Specifically those based on Cinderella. I have to be honest, I don’t know too much about Sailor Moon. I only found out it inspired this story when I was doing research afterwards. Cinder is not a book that will make you think, but sometimes it is also nice to just read without having to ponder about life’s greatest mysteries.
What could be better?
Despite the fact that I loved Cinder, there are some things I wish would have been done a little better. For example, the story takes place in New Beijing, however, we rarely get a glimpse of what the city is actually like. We hear about this new world, but we barely get to experience it. It’s a shame, because that would have made the book so much richer. Also, the book introduces the Lunars, people who live on the moon. And while I’m sure in the sequels more will be explained (No spoilers please), I would have liked to get to know more about them in this book. How the hell did they get on the moon? Where do their powers come from? So many questions!
Another thing that could have been better was the plot twist. It wasn’t actually a plot twist at all. You did not even have to pay attention to know the big reveal about 10% into the novel. Normally that would put me off a book. However, I considered this book fun enough to keep reading.
If you enjoy fairytale re-tellings and are just looking for a fun book to read, then Cinder is definitely a book you should try out. Do not expect great depth from the story. However, Meyer’s great writing style make up for it. While the story is predictable at times, it is still quite a good read.