Here is to another book series that I am reading far behind everybody else. But in my defence, I started reading young adult novels less than 2 years ago. I have a lot of catching up to do.
“Cinder” is a debut novel by Marissa Meyer, and having read (or rather listened to) “Heartless”, which was the author’s fifth full novel and being slightly disappointed, I was not too hot on reading “Cinder”. However, I decided to go the same route as I did with “Heartless” and picked an audiobook version, in spite of owning the whole series in physical copies. I had my problems with some of the voices that Rebecca Soler did in “Heartless”, but her rendition of “Cinder” turned out to be quite good.
The Lunar Chronicles is a series of fairytale retellings set in a sci-fi world, a sort of dystopian version of Earth, split into various alliances and empires. “Cinder” retells the story of Cinderella, who in this story, is named Linh Cinder, and is a cyborg and a mechanic. The is also an adorable android sidekick Iko, a handsome and slightly naive Prince Kai, his overbearing counsellor, a bit too vicious Queen Levana, and a vindictive stepmother and two very different stepsisters.
I had the same problem with “Cinder” that I had with “Heartless” - I liked the world well enough, but the relationships seemed shallow at times, the emotions too exaggerated (and why is everyone so hung up on Prince Kai?), and nothing really happened for some portion of the book, which undoubtedly would have made me DNF if I had been reading it in physical form.
As an audiobook, though, “Cinder” is pleasant enough to serve as a background for doodling, cleaning or cooking. It has an interesting enough world to keep me listening, but I admit that since Cinderella is my least favourite fairytale, I couldn’t wait to be done with this part.
I liked it enough to continue with the series, thanks to the coolness factor of fairytales in sci-fi setting, but “Cinder” failed to ‘wow’ me. In some way, I might have done a disservice to myself as I read a rather overhyped “Heartless” before “Cinder”, but nothing can be done about it now. I sincerely hope that the series will get only better with each book.
Plot: 3 stars
Performance: 3.5 stars
Overall: 3 stars