Note: I started writing this review as soon as I finished reading the book on February 20, 2013. Although many years have passed, I'm leaving the review as I started it. I did complete the Lunar Chronicles Series, so that in itself is an indication of my relationship with this book.
Cinder is a science fiction rendering of Cinderella. Set in New Beijing after the fourth World War where gasoline cars are antiquated relics, hovercrafts are a means of transportation, money is exchanged through an ID chip embedded in one's wrist, and cyborgs are commonplace. The protagonist, Cinder, is a cyborg; a mix of human with a splash of machine. Ashamed of her mechanical parts, Cinder encases her arms in gloves at all times. Under the guise of gratitude for renewed life, cyborgs are being drafted as test subjects to discover a cure for Letumosis, the Blue Fever, which is ravaging New Beijing and other earthen colonies. Living under the constant threat of being condemned to plague research, Cinder works as a mechanic at the New Beijing weekly market suffering the enslavement and derision of her stepmother.
Captivated by the first chapter excerpt, I had such high hopes for Cinder. The preview teased me—laughingly flaunting its unavailability in my face. Then I stumbled across the prequel, Glitches. I had to get my hands on this book! Now that I have, I feel so let down. Disappointed. Deflated. Cinder just didn't do it for me.
Cinder was too wishy-washy. One minute she's determined, sarcastic, smart-lipped, and then indecisive. Due to my inability to get a feel of Cinder, I could not connect with her. Other than Iko, I didn't care about any of the characters, although I do find Queen Levana intriguing. As opposed to the first chapter, the following chapters were slow. It didn't start picking up again until chapter 18 when Prince Kai is flirting with Cinder in the research lab. Even though I don't consider Prince Kai as swoonworthy, I am a sucker for romance. Once the conspiracy theory surrounding Princess Selene surfaced, I automatically knew her identity. Since I must know what happens next, I will continue with the series.
"So sorry to barge in. I can see you were very busy running your household. If you'll excuse me, I'd better go try to earn my keep so you might actually blink an eye the next time you find a convenient way to get rid of me." (132)
"A made up history. A made-up girl." (179)
"Now is that the one where the dominatrix queen throws a tantrum and threatens war every time she doesn't get her way? That relationship?" (248)