I’ve had my eye on this for a long time now, it being a huge hit fairy-tale retelling, and finally decided to sit down and read it. My main drawback was that I’m not a huge fan of steampunk – it just bores me – but I liked The Third Daughter so I figured I’d give it a try.
What’s crazy is that the cyborg infusion ended up being the best thing in the book for me.
I really loved all the tinkering and the way a cyborg thinks and acts and just is in the book. The conversational writing style is a huge plus, making me fly through pages. Of course there’s the magical and sinister plots and love at first sight and everything that makes fairy tales what they are and I should have really enjoyed this book…
There were just too many things that bothered me in order to read any more of the series.
- I could not, for the life of me, figure out who was Asian and who was not. Was Cinder Asian? But Cinder is said to be from Europe, so she’s not Asian? And if she’s not, then why is everyone so surprised when she says she’s from Europe? Why is that not a BFD? And if she is, then do the Lunars look Asian too? But they’re blonde! And from the moon! But but but…*brain explodes* And the book trailer shows Cinder as non-Asian but most of the reviews say she is sooooo…yeah. Even the writer herself doesn’t know (according to her website) so how can she possibly show us?
- The ‘place’ is Beijing but there’s nothing to tie the people to actual Asian roots or traditions or food or culture. The way they spoke and things they did were just so…whitewashed. The only times I was reminded that this was, indeed, an Asian country was the addition of Linh to the names.
- This book suffered horribly from the MC not making obvious connections. We are literally told, by her, about the lost Lunar princess fleeing a fire in chapter one. She often thinks about it, and even goes as far as helping find her. And yet, not once does she wonder if she’s the princess, even though she’s adopted, dreams of being on fire, and is the right age. Not once, you guys. Even after finding out she’s Lunar. It’s worse than Princess of Tyrone, because there at least she made the connections but dismissed them. Apparently, Cinder’s cyborg brain couldn’t put 2 and 2 together. This really killed it for me.
- I just could not believe that a person is classified as a cyborg if any tech is in his/her body, and is then suddenly not considered human anymore. You have to suspend disbelief in sci-fi, I get it, but that’s just silly. A guy had a chip in his leg so we can kill him like a dog now! Nope, sorry, I don’t think so.
- No ending except Cinder finally catching up to the reader. What a letdown.
I wish I had more good things to say. I did enjoy reading the overall story and there were times I was surprised and others where I smiled. I really liked the plague angle too. I just…wish it was better. There’s a ton of people that liked it, though, so maybe it’s just me.
An interesting twist on an old classic, but I just could not connect with it.