Author: Marissa Meyer
Publication Date: 2012
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
I was hesitant to read this book when I got it because (1) I’m not a big YA reader, and (2) I find fairytale retellings a very precarious type of story. This being said, I liked Cinder quite a lot. It was a fun tale that didn’t overplay many of the elements that could have made it terrible.
I enjoyed the dynamics between many of the characters. Cinder’s relationships with her step-siblings and Ito, the family’s android, were, if not complex, at least fully-formed and not driven solely on artificial hatred. I think it was a wise move for Meyer to build a positive relationship between Cinder and Peony (the younger step-sibling). Not only did this give the story a catalyst that was believable via Peony’s illness, but it also made the rest of the family seem far more sympathetic, if not likable.
The characters avoided being caricatures. There was quite a bit of flatness still in the side characters. There was a lot of room for growth in both the older step-sister and step-mother. I was kind of disappointed that this wasn’t there (In fairness there was little emotional growth for the characters overall).
The world that Meyer built was interesting. Much of the world is built in the international politics as opposed to the science fiction of it all. I enjoyed that. I’m a political science junkie and find the account interesting.
I wasn’t thrilled with all of it. It seemed unlikely to me that the world would treat cyborgs as property. It seemed more likely that there would be a type of Lunar second class before that happened. People’s loved ones don’t stop being loved ones simply because they had an operation. It’s more likely that there would be xenophobic tendencies first.
The plot was enjoyable, if not always as complex as I would have wanted. There is a point when explaining the Lunar monarchy and the Lunar royal family that Meyer hints that something may have been the case. It was an *easy* plot point to make. I was almost convinced that she wouldn’t go for it. She did and I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t disappointed.
Regardless, I thought that it was a fun read with a lot of fun character interactions, a solid sense of plot-pacing, and a sense of humor.
Book Depository Link: http://www.bookdepository.com/Cinder-Marissa-Meyer/9780312641894