Cinder Review: A Dissatisfying Tale Of A Futuristic Cinderella

Lunar Chronicles is a book series based on four different fairytale re-telling. I bought this series because it was hounding me on Bookstagram. Whichever bookshelf I saw it had to have this series, Whenever, I opened Instagram, I had to see at least one of the four books of this series. Booktubers have been praising this series immensely. So I took that as a sign by the universe and for the first time I purchased an entire series without reading the first book. Normally, I read the first book and then decide if I wish to read the whole series or not. But for Lunar Chronicles I made an exception only because I just couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. All thanks to its heavy publicity and good word among book lovers.

Cinder is the first book in the Lunar Chronicles and it took me almost 4 weeks to finish the book that consists hardly 387 pages. I suffered from a reading slump because I did not want to go back to the book. Readers who are fans of this series cannot stop praising this book and here I am wondering what exactly happened in the story?

 

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

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Synopsis: The story is set in the future where all the countries on planet Earth have been reorganised. Linh Cinder is a mechanic living with her step-mother and two step-sisters. Cinder is half-human and half-robot. Her step-mother dislikes her for two reasons: one that she is adopted and two that she is a cyborg. Cinder works as a mechanic in New Beijing. One day the Crown Prince of New Beijing, Prince Kai comes to visit her to get his android fixed to retrieve some confidential data. She helps him out and he becomes friendly with her. He asks Cinder out on several occasions but she turns him down each time because she doesn’t want him to find out that she is a cyborg and look down upon her. However, despite her efforts at staying away from Prince Kai, Cinder somehow is dragged into his world of intergalactic politics and finds herself at the epicentre of a war that could threaten every living being on Earth. To evade a terrifying clash between Moon dwellers and Earthlings, Cinder needs to unearth the mystery behind her birth and find a way to stop the war that looms large on the horizon.

 

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Points I Liked About Cinder

Similar Premise Yet A Different Story

The book may have been inspired by Cinderella but there are hardly any similarities between the two stories except that the girl lives with a step-mother and step-sisters who treat her badly. That’s it. That is where the similarity ends. The whole setup, the plot, the characters and the conflicts are entirely new. Meyers has created a whole new future-world post World War 4 where the world has reached new heights of technological advancements and that humans can now easily communicate with livings beings belonging to other planets and stars. It is sad that she doesn’t dwell deeper into this new world and sticks strictly to the protagonist’s personal problems. However, I am hoping to learn more about this world in the following books. 

 

Points I Did Not Like About Cinder

Asian Setup. Are You Sure? 

When I read about the book, it was mentioned that the story is set in China. Since I am an Asian drama and book addict I thought it would be good to know something about the Chinese. (Don’t get me wrong. I am not interested in Chinese literature. Never read a Chinese author’s book and never will. I just wanted to know about Chinese culture and places from an American Author.) I thought I will learn something about the Chinese just like how you learn about fairies from fairytales. But here the only thing Chinese was the name Kai or Kaito and a few other names. Other than that nothing seemed Chinese. Moreover, what exactly was the purpose behind setting it up in China? Is it because of their advanced android technology? Had the story been set up in Japan it would have still been the same. The setup had no significance and did not contribute to the story at all. This is a little unfair for readers who read the book hoping to read something cool in a foreign setup.     

 

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Romance. What’s that?

Love between a human and a cyborg? Nah! This was one reason why I resisted buying this book for so long. I can imagine love between man and fairy, man and mermaid, man and vampire but I can’t imagine a man loving an emotionless robot. In Cinder, a young handsome prince is besotted by a talented mechanic who is half-human half-robot. Though it is a third person narrative novel, it only captures Cinder and her mind and no one else’s. But nowhere has the writer mentioned any special qualities that could attract Prince Kai to Cinder. Cinder may have hidden abilities and must have used them unknowingly on the prince but the actual reason has not been mentioned in the book. And till the end of the book, I do not understand what exactly happened between them. Was there any chemistry or not? The connection they share (if any) was not justified in any way. Even the one kiss between the two seemed forced as if it was added just for the heck of adding one. The kiss didn’t even serve its purpose. What a waste!  Yes, I understand that this book is a part of a series and that the writer may not reveal everything in one book but give me at least some good points to cherish the book.

 

Predictable. Now I Know What That Is!

Cinder is so PREDICTABLE. In the book, a few important characters are looking out for one particular person. I guessed who that would be the moment the person was mentioned in the book. Similarly, there are certain supposed ‘plot twists’ that I predicted correctly. And, I do not like it when my prediction turns out true. I liked to be amazed, I like to be surprised. Except for one major revelation, nothing else was out of the box.   

  

The Ending. Did It Actually End?

Now, what sort of a cliffhanger is this? Without giving out spoilers I must say the Cinder’s climax is just disappointing. If the writer wanted to end the book with a link to the next book then at least resolve one issue mentioned in the current book. Issues the main characters faced throughout the book aren’t resolved completely when Cinder takes up the challenge to solve another new issue. Seriously? Why? This is worse than books with an open ending. You started the story, you finish it, why should I do that for you? This is what I want to tell writers who leave the ending of their stories to the reader’s imagination. This book did not have an open-ending. It had a very clumsy ending.

 

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Final View: I personally did not enjoy this book and it is mostly because I was expecting too much from it. I found Cinder over-hyped. But I am still willing to read the entire series of Lunar Chronicles, not only because I have purchased it already, but because I am hoping the other books to be better.

 

 

You can check Amazon.in for a discount on this book.

 

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