Hey, all! Long time, no review! Not for lack of reading, mainly for the fact that I'd kinda forgotten about doing reviews... *shamed face* Anyway, I'm thinking of getting back into reviewing, so here's one to tide us over for a few weeks anyway. :D
First, for some calculations. Assuming five books a week (an extremely conservative estimate) every week since I turned twelve, subtracting a bit for the four years I was in college, and adding in what I’ve read since I graduated (and not even trying to count what I might have read prior to sixth grade) a fairly low guess as to how many books I’ve read in my lifetime easily puts me into the mid-2,000s or low-3,000s. Just hazarding a guess of my own, total feels-estimation, I’d put the number closer to 5-6k, still not counting textbooks or children’s picture books.
It comes with the territory, then, that I’m fairly…familiar with how books work. It takes a lot to surprise me, narration-wise. My sister hates this – I’ll be reading a book, and be about 12-20 pages in and say, “Oh, I see how this is going to work.” And usually I then have to duck something being thrown at my head.
But honestly – there’s only so many ways to tell a story. And when you read a lot, you tend to pick up on patterns.
So with that disclaimer in mind, know that when I say that Cinder, by Marissa Meyer, is a predictable book… that doesn’t necessarily mean much.
And it certainly doesn’t mean that I disliked it. Cinder is the first book in a trilogy of futuristic-ish (more like alternate history meets steampunk meets cyber punk meets sci-fi meets fantasy) books that are retellings of classic fairy tales. If you can guess which one Cinder is with only one guess… Congratulations. You speak English. :)
It’s a pretty interesting retelling too – Cinder, the titular character, is a cyborg. Badly injured as a child, her prosthetics make her an outcast from society in a world where cyborgs aren’t considered to be fully human – in fact, many consider them to not be human at all. Cinder is a mechanic, earning money for her adopted-stepmother and two stepsisters. To add to all of this, a horrible disease is crippling the globe – catching it is basically a death sentence. Cyborgs are expected to do the right thing for humanity and turn themselves over to scientists for testing, so that the “real humans” can be saved, but so far no cure is in sight. And, since this is a fairy tale retelling, after all, we’ve got to throw in a handsome and noble prince. Since it’s futuristic/cyber/steampunk, there’s also a quirky scientist, an evil Lunar queen, and androids galore… all in all, quite a satisfying book.
As I said, I did find it a little predictable at times. Two major twists, especially, were as plain to spot as bananas in a bowl of tomatoes. I don’t know if the author wanted the reader to guess these things, but I’m inclined to doubt it: I think they were supposed to be “oh wow never saw that coming” moments but the foreshadowing was extremely transparent.
That aside, though, Cinder was an excellent addition to the ranks of the FTRs, and the characters were strong enough and the worldbuilding was intriguing enough that I’m eager for more. I’ll give Cinder a satisfied four-quills.