Cinder by Marissa Meyer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was fun. And I give it four stars for being such an awesome idea (Cinderella as a future cyborg!), having interesting characters, and a decent enough story pretty decently told. But what could have been a five star book, gets at least one star knocked off because it left me wanting more. Not in the sense of more story. That's obviously coming in future volumes and this one has an ending that is not gratuitously incomplete.
No, I wanted more about Cinder as a cyborg. Why does society and her stepmother brand her as such an outcast? Where are the other cyborgs? Are they also outcasts? If this going to be a major issue for the main character, than it needs to be explored so I can understand it. Otherwise, it just seems thrown in as something the story needed.
I also wanted more about this future where there are emperors, queens, princes and lost princesses. What social upheavals resulted in governments reverting to a form of monarcy? This seems counter to the evolution of society toward democracy, unless hindered by a tyrant. This element would have felt more natural if it involved some form of aristocracy that didn't involve actual monarchs.
I also wanted to know more about the plague, and the lunars, and the bazaar, and New Beijing, and... Too much here just seems tossed in to give the story the impression of inhabiting a rich and varied world. But the world building left me unsatisfied.
On the other hand. Good prose. Good characters. Fun story. I look forward to the next book.
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