I’m tempted to give this book more stars because it was good enough for me to read in one sitting. But despite the speed with which I finished it, it wasn’t particularly satisfying. Obviously everyone in the western world, and likely elsewhere, is familiar with the tale of Cinderella. So it’s not as if those details of the story could surprise the reader. However, while I could appreciate the world building and the nuances of cyborgs and Lunars, I can’t say that I ever laughed at loud, or felt any particular emotion while reading the book. I was intrigued enough to continue, but the story made absolutely no impact on me at all.
I’m not sure what to make of that.
Generally speaking when I read a book I either love it to bits, or I detest it and can sum up a laundry list of reasons why it failed me. Cinder is not a bad book. The writing served its purpose of telling the story, though it didn’t haunt or capture me like some other books I’ve read recently. The cast was nice enough, though Iko was the only one with a discernible voice and it was purely related to somewhat inappropriate humor.
Perhaps the biggest failing of this book for me was that every one of the “twists” was visible about 100 pages into the book. I’m not sure if this was because the plot was simply too transparent, or because there were many many hints along the way, but without lovable characters and without a more interesting plot, this book fell flat.
If you enjoy fairy tale retellings then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t at least give this a shot. It may not be amazing, but it’s by no means a bad book and there are plenty of those on the market. I just wish that this lived up to the hype.
On a side note, Queen Levena and her entourage constantly reminded me of Signora Calvierri from the Doctor who episode “The Vampires in Venice” What with their general distaste for humanity, and their perception filters. The episode was broadcast about two years before this book came out so take from that what you will.