I was really hoping for a bit of mindless, YA fluff here, so I wasn't judging it too harshly, and yet, for all that, I find myself disappointed halfwaI was really hoping for a bit of mindless, YA fluff here, so I wasn't judging it too harshly, and yet, for all that, I find myself disappointed halfway through.
There were some "new writer" flaws-- a LOT of grating modernisms thrown in to this supposedly futuristic setting, but, worst of all... this is NOT a cyberpunk retelling of Cinderella. Apart from the main character's name being "Cinder" there is really no relationship to the Cinderella story at all. Sadly, this is just a case of a writer being too insecure to write an original story, and so packaging it as something it is not. And the publisher seeing a chance to make a quick buck off misrepresentation.
To be fair to Meyer, the book probably wouldn't have been published without its attempt to jam "Cinderella" into a pre-existing plot line. A plot line that seems to consist of a series of insurmountable obstacles that... provide absolutely no tension or actual difficulties for the AMAZING MARY CINDER SUE.
I mean, REALLY? She needs to be not only the BEST Golram mechanic in New Beijing, but also (view spoiler)[ a long-lost lunar princess, the only one ever immune from the global epidemic, who can walk in and out of quarantined areas, in and out of palaces, in and out of Mengele's labratory? (hide spoiler)] She needs to be ALL THIS In Addition to being FREAKING CINDERELLA?
Also, the whole "anti-cyborg prejudice" thing REALLY falls flat. When you see a kid in a wheelchair, do you point and scream and run away? When you see a kid with a hearing aid that *gasp* plugs into his HEAD do you refuse to let your kids play with him? How about a kid with crutches? EEEWW! Freak! (???) It just makes no sense. It could EASILY have been done better with some minor tweaks-- say a PARTICULAR KIND of cyborg was known to become mentally ill, or a thief, or... brings bad luck with too much metal in its chi. As it is, it's just a ham-fisted plot device with zero credibility.
Meyer seems to know shockingly little about:
1-the scientific process (Example: if your experiment is to infect someone and then give an antidote, if you give a placebo instead, you have just GUARANTEED their death, NOT sent them merrily on their way home. HOW did THAT get missed?) 2- diseases (If you find someone who is immune from disease, they might not be "simply" immune. They might also be FRACKING CARRIERS. A medical scientist would know this.) 3- human nature (I KNOW YA fluff isn't reknowned for getting this right, but NO ONE chooses to stay with an infected person during an outbreak?) 4- the original Cinderella story. (Which is actually a story about an underdog showing up her snotty sisters, rather than a love story.)
ETA: Ah well. It had SUCH potential, but it got ahead of itself, trying to weave in way too many ideas, and so doing them poorly.
Kai, while a relief from the standard YA male-lead douchebag, is weak and talks like he's never been in contact with anyone female. I picture him as having no chin and a lower lip that trembles with hardly any provocation. It doesn't help that his struggles (trying to avoid a marriage alliance, inheriting a throne that no one has prepared him for in the slightest) would make far more sense if he were female.
I still sort of want to give this three stars, because the imagination is there. There are some very fun ideas jumbled in with some very poor execution.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more