Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Cinder by Marissa Meyer (Goodreads)
Series: Lunar Chronicles #1
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends (an imprint of Macmillan)
Challenge: 2012 Debut Author Challenge
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.
No one is more influential on my reading choices than my fellow book bloggers - and Cinder is a prime example. I finally bought and read this book after reading Tara's review, hearing some awesome feedback from Lena and finding out Magan would be reading it too.
I must say, you guys, that I cannot believe I waited so long to read this book! Cinder is magical and compelling. The mere fact that it's a very creative retelling of Cinderella makes it even more awesome - drawing inspiration from any fairytale is enough to guarantee my interest in a book.
One of the things I loved most about Cinder were the characters. I cannot emphasize enough how much I love it when an author manages to flesh out a character enough for me to really fall in love. Marissa Meyer did such a wonderful job with her cast in this book!
Cinder, the title character, is so interesting to me, as she's a cyborg. I had a field day while reading, because both very sensitive topics (like about her ability to truly feel things) and very trivial topics (like whether or not getting wet would cause her to rust or getting too hot would cause overheating or a meltdown) would pop into mind every now and again. The conflict between the machine and the human parts of Cinder was of interest, as well as her stubborn persistence, incredible access to and utilization of knowledge and her loyalty to the ones she loved.
The other characters in the book were all vivid in my mind, as well, particularly Kai, Iko, Peony, Levana and Adri. I loathed Adri for how she behaved towards Cinder, and the way that she seemed so incredibly materialistic and concerned with appearances. I feared Levana because she seemed so incredibly powerful and intimidating; I was also angry with her because she was abusing her power. Peony was such a sweetheart and I adored her kind, thoughtful nature and her relationship with Cinder. Iko was so funny - I would love to have someone as entertaining as her in my life.
And Kai, well, he deserves his own paragraph, because he definitely made me swoon. There are just too many things for me to love about him - he's intelligent, brave, thoughtful, loyal, generous and kind. As much as Cinder fell for him, I did too - he's an incredible person, and I can't say more than that without spoiling a lot of the plot, so just trust me when I say Kai is totally crush-worthy.
It wasn't just the characters that I loved about Cinder, but the story as well. What Marissa Meyer did was clever and very creative; I was definitely pleasantly surprised at how she wove everything (the setting, the characters, the actual conflict) together in the end. It's hard to write about it without spoiling things, so I will just leave it at it was very well-done. I did guess one of the major twists very early on, but that definitely didn't deter me from loving this book.
There is one more thing that I want to mention - and that's how initially, the book seemed to be moving a little too slowly for my tastes. I'm happy that I persisted though because it got so good in the end. Just a little disclaimer: even if you think it starts out slow, just keep reading because it gets awesome.
I wasn't expecting such a strong personal emotional response to the book - but the fact that Marissa Meyer was able to make me feel everything was definitely in its favor. As I declared on Twitter right after I finished reading, I truly believe Marissa Meyer deserves all the stars because this book is fantastic! There are so many aspects to please all kinds of people - romance, friendships, self-discovery, uncovering mysterious plots - that I think I will be hard-pressed to find anyone who wouldn't enjoy this book. Cinder is one of my favorite reads of 2012, and if you're hesitating, I highly suggest you hesitate no longer and buy this book!
Tara at Fiction Folio
Lena at Addicted 2 Novels
Jess at Gone with the Words