Title: Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1)
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publication Date: 3 January 2012
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Summary (courtesy of goodreads.com):
A forbidden romance. A deadly plague. Earth’s fate hinges on one girl...
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 becomes entwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she finds herself at the centre of a violent struggle between the desires of an evil queen—and a dangerous temptation.
From the very first page, Cinder and I had a big problem. You see, someone, somewhere decided that Cinder needed its own special typeface. A typeface that, from page one, I did not like. You want to use a fancy font for your chapter numbers and titles? That's cool. But for the whole book? Yeah, not so much. There's a reason most things with lots of words are written in the same style of font. We're used to it, so it's easy. So for me personally, Cinder had a lot to make up for. If it was going to use its special typeface, there had better be a good reason, or it had better be a damn good story. Unfortunately, I don't think it ever got good enough to overcome my prejudice against it. And now I have invented a new category of low: judging a book by its font.
Cinder reminds me of a lot of things. Cinderella, obviously. Antastasia. Battlestar Galactica. A little bit of Doctor Who. Maybe even some Graceling. As I read, I kept being reminded of all these other stories, and I never felt that Cinder stood on its own and set itself apart. In my opinion there was nothing that made it special or distinct, which is an odd thing to say because I think a lot of people love this book because they feel that it is so different. But for me, nothing was unexpected, nothing was surprising, and nothing made Cinder stand out.
My further problem with the book was that I genuinely did not like Cinder as a character. She is a cyborg, yes. She brings it up constantly. But she is also trying to convince us that she is still a human, still capable of feeling the same emotions as anyone else, even if she can't express them physically. So she sat there telling everyone that of course she knew how they felt, but I never really got the sense that she did. I found Cinder to be very cold and unfeeling, even when she was trying to convince everyone otherwise, and there was nothing in her personality that made me feel any sort of...well, anything for her.
Something I did enjoy while reading Cinder was the character of Prince Kai. It was almost as if Marissa Meyer had taken all the emotion and appeal that she'd intended for Cinder and gave it to Kai instead. He was sweet, he was funny, he was handsome, and he was willing to do what he had to do for his people. I loved reading about him. Another bright spot was Doctor Erland, whose character I also enjoyed throughly.
I think Marissa Meyer had a great idea, but it just didn't come to fruition well enough. There are parts of the story, parts of the history to this society, that I am still wondering about. Some characters were well thought out, while others were unable to convince me of who they were supposed to be. At this point I am unsure if will continue to read the Lunar Chronicles series as the later books are released, because as much as I thought the story had potential, I don't think it panned out successfully and am unsure that future stories will be any different.