When I first heard about Cinder, it sounded interesting, but did not really appeal to me initially. Then I kept I hearing nothing but love for it, so I finally checked it out.
Cinder is a cyborg mechanic who lives in New Beijing with her awful stepmother and two stepsisters (one also awful, one nice). Cinder does not remember life from before she was 11, when she was told she had reconstructive surgery after an accident, and with no real rights of her own, her future looks grim.
Cinder was one of those books that hooked me right from the beginning, and I am not even sure why. I don’t know anything about this world that Cinder lives in, I don’t know what it’s like to be a cyborg or a mechanic, and I don’t know what it’s like to have an android as a best friend and for your guardian to hate you, but I found Cinder so relatable and likable from the start. I believe that the way Meyer crafted the story was just so good that it made me understand Cinder right away and root for her.
It’s fun to see the parallels of this story and the Cinderella story we all know, but it’s even more fun to explore this completely different world that Cinder lives in. I love her interactions with her android Iko, her sister Peony, and of course with Prince Kai, who is instantly charming but not in a completely unrealistic way. We even occasionally get his POV, which I like, but it’s never too much, just enough to sympathize with him and what he is going through. I love watching how their friendship blossoms, how it starts off innocent and somewhat flirty instead of it being rushed into something serious or being “insta-love.”
The plot is good too, but a story can thrive or die because of its characters, and Cinder has strong characters. Even the characters you hate serve their purpose and serve it well, and you hate them because you’re supposed to, not because the author made them unintentionally stupid or annoying. The pacing of the story is also great; things move quickly enough for the action to flow, but not too fast.
My rating for this book would be 4.5 stars, and it loses half a star for two reasons:
1.) The “big reveals” are extremely predictable.
2.) There is no real resolution at the end, but that’s because it’s the first of a series. I don’t really fault it for this, but it’s hard to give a book 5 stars if you don’t know how the story actually ends.
Though I pointed out all the happy, fairy tale-esque moments of the book, but there are some heavy undertones with a threat of war and vicious plague killing thousands, and the end of the book leaves our protagonist in a darker place than where she started. But there is hope, and more books, so I look forward to seeing how the journey unfolds! I found Cinder to be a fast, enjoyable read.
“Imagine there was a cure, but finding it would cost you everything. It would completely ruin your life. What would you do?” – Prince Kai to Cinder
If you’ve read Cinder, what were your thoughts on it?