August 28, 2014

Thursday Oldie: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

So as you guys know, I just moved here. And that means my old blog now lies abandoned... alongside all my old reviews. But because I feel like some of them don't deserve such an awful treatment, I'm going to slowly move my favorite reviews here, especially if my opinion differs than Megs. (though some editing may occur, as I'm a little OCD about my reviews, and the older they originally are, the more likely I am to have things I want to rephrase). 
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Series: Lunar Chronicles #1
Source: own paperback
Publisher: Puffing Books
Publication Date: January 5th 2012
Age Genre: Young Adult
Originally published: Sep 11, 2012
Cinder, a gifted mechanic in New Beijing, is also a cyborg. She's reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister's sudden illness. But when her life become entwined with the handsome Prince Kai's she finds herself at the center of a violent struggle between the desires of an evil queen - and a dangerous temptation.
Cinder is caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal. Now she must uncover secrets about her mysterious past in order to protect Earth's future.

In contrast to last time's oldie, this time I'm going to talk to you guys about one of my absolute favorite books: Cinder. 

The most shocking thing about this book is that I almost didn't read it - maybe it was because it has cyborgs in it, and I haven't read many--if any--of those. Maybe it was because it was a first in a new series at the time, and I don't read those (I hate the wait). Maybe it was just because. 
But whatever the reason, thank god for Goodreads Group Reads. Without them, I may have never given this amazing book and world a chance.

You know a book is good when you're this close to crying - and the book has barely stared. You know a book is good when in just a few pages the author has managed to make you so in tune with the characters and their feelings that you cry for them. It's also interesting that we learn very early on with this book that this Cinderella story doesn't always have a Happily Ever After.

Cinder, the main character, was amazing. She's smart, courageous and strong. She's an MC you can love, fully support, and root on. Her love interest and another of the main characters is Prince Kai. He's very likable, sweet and charming. The title "Prince Charming" fits him well.

As for the romance... to be honest - I don't think there was any. Cinder and Kai are attracted to one another. They are in the process of falling in love with one another throughout the book. But they are both at the "liking" stage and feeling the waters. Just talking to one another, sending signals, withdrawing them... Their real romance has't started yet - but you can tell it will be epic once it does. Though it's going to have to overcome all those obstacles first. Judging by this book, "trust" will probably be one of them *sigh*.

All the supporting characters (IKO!!!) added to the story and were well done themselves.

Now, let's address a few points: Cinder presents itself as a retelling of Cinderella.
We have the evil stepmother (Adri). We have (one) evil stepsister (Pearl). We have the prince, and the ball, and we have the shoe... sort of.
But honestly, calling this book a retelling of Cinderella is underrating it. Cinderella is the theme, but it's not the story.

I don’t want to give up too many details, but the story of Cinderella? You know, the one in which a servant girl desperately wants to go to the ball and dance with a prince, and a fairy comes and—well, you’ve seen the Disney movie. Cinder has very little to do with that. She doesn’t even want to go to the ball!

Instead, the story is about slavery, and about how living, breathing people are owned. It's about death. It's about dictatorship. And it's about finding yourself, the small individual, among it all. At least, this is what this story was to me. 

And speaking of the theme, I've seen people saying the book could do without it - but I disagree. It fit the story, in creating some form of guidelines we could look for but also in making the real and serious topics of the story pop out against the sparkly premise of Cinderella. If anything, the theme makes the book appeal to all crowds, and shows us even childhood fairy-tales can be turned into bad-assed, suspenseful tales of great female strength and a great message.

Does it make the story predictable? Only in aspects we would've already predicted. Would Cinder and the prince fall in love? Naturally. Would I not know that if this book wasn't "based" on Cinderella? Err, I kind of would. Does it tell me she'll end up in the ball? Yes. Does it happen the way you assume it will? No. So, in the end, what does it matter?

The only real predictable aspect of the book has nothing to do with the theme, and I don't rally think Meyer intended for it to be a secret. I never felt like the "big revelation" was supposed to be a shocker. No, that was left to the entire scenario in front of us, the entire road that leads to it. The entire world and then entire makeover to the tale of Cinderella. The fact I didn't see that cliffhanger coming kind of proves that, to me.

Meyer takes the fairy-tale, makes something entirely different out of it and inside puts references to the story we all know in ways that makes you quirk a smile.

Speaking of Meyer... I may be, possibly, in love with her writing style. Because, to me, it was very unique and special. She made us sweat for informationThere isn't an "explanation" most of the time. No paragraphs of details and world building. Instead, the answers to the many questions we have present themselves throughout conversations, memories, actions, and the eyes of the characters. Never once does Meyer sits us down and says "listen up, now. A cyborg is..."
Oh no. She leaves it up to us to gather the clues, trusting our intelligence. And it works. What we haven't figured out yet, I trust Meyer to show us in the next books. She sure doesn't seem in a rush to expose her brilliant world to us.


1 comment:

  1. I am just about to start this book.I have had the book with me for so long but never got around to read it because I was uncomfortable with the whole cyborgs and robots concept.But if it didn't bother you, I hope I won't be either.
    So excited to read it after reading your review!