Cinder sucked me in with its awesome cyborg-Cinderella protagonist and evil moon people and fast-paced storyline, and I stayed up late just to finish it BUT THAT ENDINGGGG AHHHHH! I seriously kept turning the last page back and forth, thinking that the pages in the last half of the book MUST have been torn out by some really mean people. Not a fan of cliffhangers and loose ends, since it makes me feel like I lost sleep for nothing. So when will I start reading Scarlet? Soon, my friends, very soon…
Linh Cinder is the best mechanic in New Beijing, and she also happens to be a cyborg with an evil stepmother. When the handsome Prince Kai comes to visit her shop and requests that Cinder fix his android, Cinder is inevitably thrown into the political turmoil between the Eastern Commonwealth (along with the rest of Earth) and the moon, where the powerful and mind-manipulating Lunars live. Meanwhile, Cinder’s stepsister has been infected by the fatal plague that has spread across Earth, and Cinder’s grief-stricken stepmother volunteers Cinder to be a test subject in hopes of finding a cure before it’s too late. Throughout the tests and the politics, Cinder learns more about herself and her past than ever before, and I don’t know how this story ends because THERE’S A CLIFFHANGER. (Not that that makes me angry or anything. Hmph.)
Cinder is a heroine whose life seems to be worse than that of Cinderella. Cinderella at least shows up at the ball all pretty and made up; Cinder is stuck with grease-stained clothing and a metal foot. Cinder is vulnerable despite her metal-ness, and she still stammers shyly when she talks to the prince and gets embarrassed and stuff, so she’s not that badass (except for that time she crashed her car while heading to the ball). I feel bad for Cinder most of the time because she’s helpless in the sense that she doesn’t get to decide who she is or what she does – her life is basically the way it is because of her past.
Oh, and I’m not a big fan of Prince Kai. He has his own troubles, and sometimes he’s sweet… but somehow, in my mind, he remains a shallow Prince Charming who likes The Girl but doesn’t really understand The Girl. So I think that Cinder should give up on him and grow some balls and save the world herself. (Which might happen, we’ll see? Like I said, THERE’S A CLIFFHANGER. Hmph.)
I can sympathize with Cinder, but my favorite character has to be Iko, Cinder’s little android friend who acts more human than robot. She has some of the best airheaded-teenage-girl-esque lines ever, and reminds me of a girl version of R2-D2.
Iko rolled to her side, clasping her metal grippers over her chest. “Prince Kai! Check my fan, I think I’m overheating.”
The plot is pretty awesome too – I loved the integration of intergalactic beings in the story, and things were starting to fall in place and I was so ready for more action BUT THEN THE BOOK ENDED. I was so disappointed! One of my pet peeves is cliffhanger endings where the story just screeches to a halt. Still going to read the next book, but hmph. (See? I can’t even review Cinder properly because I’m still dying from that ending. Ugh.)
It was nice to see elements of the original fairy tale in Cinder, and Meyer was able to incorporate a unique dystopian setting and a dramatic plotline to make this a captivating read. But that ending… sigh. Anyway, if you like fairy tale fantasy and sci-fi elements in your stories, Cinder is worth a try. If you’re bothered by cliffhangers like I am, prepare yourself.