Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
This is billed as a retelling of Cinderella, but there really isn't a whole lot of Cinderella left, which was just fine with me. It kind of has the framework of Cinderella. Cinder lives with a guardian (who is not nice) and two sisters (who are NOT ugly, and one is actually quite nice). Her father (who adopted her) is dead. Cinder has to do all the work to support the family and is not allowed to go to the ball. She falls in love with the prince, runs away from the ball (and leaves a foot behind, although there's not searching door-to-door for her due to being arrested). So yeah, it was Cinderella-y, but it wasn't just a retelling of the story, for which I was glad.
I enjoyed this and I'd like to see where the series is going to go. There is a lot going on in this story, and at times it was confusing and a little convoluted. We don't really get a whole lot of background on the world Cinder is living in. It's the future, there have been two more world wars, and after the fourth one, the world was divided it as it currently was in the story. We also have the Lunars, who live on the moon and have the power to manipulate people. There's a lot of politics and intrigue and mystery going on. Usually I get really annoyed when I don't understand what's going on in the world, but I didn't with this one. I think it's because I felt like there was a promise of much more information to come. So I went along for the ride.
Early on in the story, after we learn how mean and bad the current Lunar queen, Levana, is, we hear about Princess Selene, who was the direct heir to the throne but was killed in a fire at three years old (and rumors say it was set by Levana so she could be queen). The moment it was mentioned that "...conspiracy theorists thought the princess had survived and was still alive somewhere, waiting for the right time to reclaim her crown and end Levana's rule of tyranny..." I knew at once that Cinder was Selene. I mean, duh. It was fairly obvious. So there was no dramatic build-up or big reveal in that respect. However, Cinder didn't know she was a princess, or even that she was Lunar, and watching her get there was very enjoyable.
Cinder and Kaito have a funny relationship. Cinder is a mechanic, the best there is, and Kaito seeks her out when he needs his android fixed. They bump into each other again when Cinder is brought to the palace to be used to help find a cure for the plague. Kaito, whose father has just died from the plague, is stressed and confused and desperate, and he feels comfortable talking to Cinder, the only one around who doesn't seem to be part of the confusing and difficult political mess he's in. Kaito doesn't know Cinder's a cyborg, and later that she's a Lunar, and Cinder is afraid that if she tells him he'll look down on her like everyone else.
There wasn't a lot of information about why, if cyborgs are so abhorred, are they created? There are definitely a lot of questions left unanswered and I hope things will be answered as the series continues.
Cinder comes out January 3, 2012.