Lady Mechanika is a badass who happens to have mechanical arms and legs, demo...moreReview of issues #0-2, read the entire review at Working for the Mandroid
Lady Mechanika is a badass who happens to have mechanical arms and legs, demon-ish red eyes and more gadgets and weapons than any one person should need. She doesn’t remember who created her or where she came from, just that she woke up in a basement surrounded by dead bodies and random limbs some undisclosed amount of time in the past. She now spends her time searching for other mechanical things that might be able to lead her to answers about her past and also rescue mechs in danger of being hunted by the crazy redneck British guys who don’t like mechanicals.
In these three issues we get mostly set up. Lady Mechanika is independent and self-reliant, but has a working relationship with Mr. Lewis, an inventor who supplies her with handy gadgets and might have a tad bit of a crush on her. He’s also a drunk, but whatevs. By the end of #2, our heroine is facing three different bad guys – Lord Blackpool, a scientist who would like to take Mechanika apart, Commander Winter, the leader of Blackpool’s soldiers, and the yet to be really seen Mr. Cain, who might be using black magic to do very evil things. A vast and important history is hinted at between Commander Winter and Lady Mechanika and a previous short encounter with Lord Blackpool make up the events of #0.
In this small amount of pages, it’s hard to really create characters, but Benitez at least gives you an idea who all the players are and glimpses of who they might eventually become. There are hints to a much bigger world with much odder creations. This is only scratching the surface of what a wondrous world Benitez has the potential to create. I hope he’s able to realize even a portion of that potential.
Storytelling-wise, it’s nothing really new. There are some basic conflicts, people trying to kill other people, Lady Mechanika trying to swoop in and save the day. Then again, you have to consider that in the first three issues, there are only about 50-60 pages of story. That’s not a lot of room for much plot. Lady Mechanika is a private investigator that, so far, only takes cases that might tie back into her own lost history. It’s hard to get very original in such a short time period with that setup.
The dialogue in #0 hit me as very cliché and full of as many British phrases Benitez (who is American) could think up. He dials it down a little by the time to official story begins, but the overall lessons – of being different, accepting yourself, repressed memories – are nothing new and he’s not addressing them in any new way. But then again, that’s not really the point with this book, is it?(less)
I gave it nearly a week. I thought by now my fannish glee and adoration towards Marissa Meyer’s Cinder would have died down a little. It hasn’t. I’m just as likely to start flailing like the crazy fangirl I am whenever I think about this book as though I finished it mere moments before. So you’ve been warned: the following review is full of hyperbole, over-exaggerations and nonsense because there aren’t quite words to describe how frackking awesome this book is.
Cinder is about a teenage cyborg girl mechanic, who encounters the prince of her commonwealth at the same time he’s faced with marrying the evil queen of the moon people to save his people from a devastating plague.
Yeah, you read that right. Teenage cyborg girl mechanic and moon people. If you have anything bad to say about Cinder, your argument will be invalid because there are CYBORGS and MOON PEOPLE.
You do remember my warning about the hyperbole and the nonsense, right?
So a more reasonable explanation of the plot: Cinder is a 16-year-old mechanic, who works on computers, androids and various electronics to earn money for her step-mother, who really wishes Cinder didn’t exist in the first place. Cinder happs to also be a cyborg with a robotic leg, hand, and some pretty nifty hardware in her head. She lives in the Eastern Commonwealth, a country formed in east Asia after the fourth World War, where a plague is currently spreading across the population. Meanwhile, Prince Kai – the future Emperor of the Commonwealth – is watching his father die of the plague and trying to avoid out right war with the Lunars. The Lunars are, of course, the people on the moon, most of whom have developed the ability to manipulate bioelectricity to project images and feelings on everyone else. This, of course, makes it difficult to deal with them.
Cinder is everything I could want in a book (even if it hadn't had the cyborgs or the moon people). It’s a complex world built quickly, efficiently and vividly that Meyer fills in with three-dimensional characters that seem like real people (even the cyborg ones). Then she throws in a complex plot with a lot of balls in the air that fits together seamlessly without ever becoming convoluted. There are hints of the state of a larger world. Characters interact naturally and motivations are clear without ever being contrived. It’s like you can clearly see the characters thinking when you’re not even seeing the characters!(less)
If it was up to me, I'd give this book six or seven stars. It made me both love and hate robots all at the same time and now I'm a little afraid that...moreIf it was up to me, I'd give this book six or seven stars. It made me both love and hate robots all at the same time and now I'm a little afraid that my car might one day try to kill me...
This book had so many great elements, though it did take a bit to get going and there was some lag here and there. The added appendix with the real li...moreThis book had so many great elements, though it did take a bit to get going and there was some lag here and there. The added appendix with the real life character equivalent explanations tied it all together very nicely though.
I think I might have loved this book even more the second time around, which I didn't think was possible. It still has the same charm and fun with the...moreI think I might have loved this book even more the second time around, which I didn't think was possible. It still has the same charm and fun with the added benefit of seeing all the small details I might have overlooked the first time.(less)