I totally understand why so many people loved Cinder, by Marissa Meyer. I didn’t love it, but I did find my self engaged and interested in the story. It kept me reading because I wanted to find out what would happen next. I wanted to know how Meyer would wrap up the book. Surprise. Surprise. It didn’t wrap up. As with most YA books that come out, it is the first in a series. While I thought the concept was innovative – a cyborg Cinderella with a robotic foot – Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine will always be my Cinderella retelling of choice.
I thought that the world building when it came to the Lunar society and technological aspects of the story was successful. It was fun to see a Cinderella who didn’t have to mop the floors and do other housework, but still was obviously in the serving position. The relationships between humans and androids were a fun addition. While the lunar plot had nothing to do with the Cinderella story, that is what interested me the most. I think it will also be the common factor in all the fairytale retellings in the series.
The world building when it came to the cultural setting was underdeveloped. I understand why Meyer wanted to set Cinder in a futuristic China (many think the origins of the story began with the Chinese fairytale Ye Xian) but other than calling Kai an emperor and mentioning sticky buns there weren’t many details to support this decision. I wish she had done more with this. I also felt like the pacing was off in the Kai/Cinder romantic relationship.
As of yet, I’m not sure if I will continue with the series or not. If you are a fan of fairytale retellings I would check this one out so you can develop your own opinion.
4 thoughts on “Cinder: A Cyborg Cinderella Story”
I might be totally biased because Meyer is from my hometown but I thought this book ruled pretty hard. When it comes to lack of development of the whole futuristic China thing I guess I just assumed that while it was still China in a regional sense there had been a pretty drastic shift in the culture which had left the country with only traces of its imperial character. It’s kind of like someone living in the age of when Japanese emperors still ruled the country writing about a futuristic Japan where the emperor was only a figurehead and the culture had been heavily influenced by the west. That sort of future might seem totally nuts to a reader from the period but for us it is the reality. Does that make sense?
Overall, I’m glad you liked the book. If you take the sequel for a spin be sure to let us know what you thought!
I’m sure you aren’t biased. I could also have been in a funny mood reading it. I really did like the book, I’m just surprised that I didn’t like it more. I totally get what you are saying about the shift in culture. I would have liked to see her do more with the China thing, but your point makes a lot of sense within the context of political situation. Because if I’m remembering it correctly their has been like these huge unifications of small countries into big countries, right? So New China might encompass more cultural traditions. I might be making that up though.
I will definitely let you know what I think of the sequel when I get around to it.