Book Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer
So many people told me that I would devour this book.
I wanted to love this story. A cyborg Cinderella?
Sounds like a science-fiction fairy tale mashup of extreme goodness!
But, I just could not get into this story. The characters are too generic. They lack personality and depth. Completely.
Cinder. She's cyborg, but she insists she's human.
She has a metal foot and hand, but metal prosthetics don't make someone a cyborg. So how much of her brain is operated by an AI or other computer? I don't know. Those details are glossed over. I interpreted that Cinder's brain is human, but could control these prosthetics, which sounds like an amazing TED Talk to me and not an excuse for the rampant prejudice harbored against cyborgs from the society in this book. The entire cyborg angle just doesn't sit right with me.
Then there's Prince Kai. He's good looking. He's quite the gentleman. He's dull. And I do mean dull. Every time he shows up in the story, I groan. If Marissa Meyer was trying to write Kai as a generic Disney prince, then she succeeded. He's 100% forgettable.
Iko is supposed to be the funny sidekick. She's an android. I'm still not clear on what the difference is between an android and cyborg within this world. but then she dropped off at some point. Honestly, I don't even remember what happened to her. She's part of Cinder's escape plan, and then she's not there.
I listened to most of this audiobook as I would work out. So about an hour or so a day. Each time I'd pick it up, I'd wonder if I'd accidentally hit the back key. Didn't I already hear this scene?
So much seemed repetitive. Cinder wanders around this city fixing things, bumping into people, flirting with Prince Kai. Nothing seems to happen. The information dumps give us bits of intrigue, but there's no actual action.
And the final reveal? The big twist? The shocker surprise?
Well, I'm not spoiling it here. But, trust me, Meyer telegraphs the detail multiple times.
And then the book ends with a jarring cliff hanger, which is truly annoying.
Rebecca Soler who narrates this audiobook does a good job. I wouldn't describe her reading as stellar or anything I would rave about, but she gets the job done. She is pretty easy to listen to.
Normally, a predictable and bland story would garner a one-star review, but I'm adding another star for the pieces about the Lunars. They were intriguing! The amount of information about them is deliciously vague. The glamour they possess is not a terribly original concept, but the potential is there to create better tension in future plots.
I have heard that the sequel Scarlet focuses more on the Lunars. Plus that the series becomes more engrossing and better plotted as you go.
I'm a big believer that sometimes we read books at the wrong time and therefore we don't enjoy them as much. I'll probably give Scarlet a try. Just not any time soon.