My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Bookshelves: twisted-fairy-tale, futuristic, sci-fi, dystopia, ya, cover-love
This book was #6 and #27 on my 2020 Reading Challenge, a book with a robot/AI/cyborg character and a book set in a city that has hosted the Olympics, respectively. Cinder is a retelling of Cinderella featuring Cinder the cyborg, set in Beijing at an unspecified time in the future.
I chose this back in December 2019 but didn’t read it until the Covid-19 pandemic had the U.S. tight in its grasp. Dystopia; sign me up. Futuristic/sci-fi/cyborgs; cool. Reimagined fairy tale; I love those. This cover; swoon. A plague; I can definitely relate. But a plague we are actively researching, tracing, and are working hard to protect people from?!? Sorry, I don’t know how to suspend that much disbelief. Not the book’s fault, and maybe a bit prescient.
Now I’m going to sound like a crabby old lady, and so be it. Here comes the “in MY day…” In MY day, books were better edited. If I found a typo or grammatical error (that wasn’t a colloquialism and therefore intentional), it was diary-worthy. The ones I found in this book included, and I paraphrase, “Her eyes surpassed Kai as she looked across the room” and using “treatise” instead of “treaty,” more than once. I do not think those words mean what you think they mean, with a nod to Inigo Montoya.
Those things aside, this wasn’t bad. The world is well-imagined and the original fairy tale is well-twisted. I found the contrivances and characters’ actions to be a bit juvenile at times (stamping one’s foot in anger is kinda three-year-old) but it is a YA book, so, okay. It gets lots of extra points for being something my brain could escape into during these anxious and uncertain times, which is something that several other, more “literary,” books have been unable to do. It was what I needed when I needed it.
The biggest disappointment for me is that it doesn’t stand alone with its cliffhanger ending. I may or may not continue with the series.