So much potential with such an intriguing idea. The last 100 pages were so disappointing and changed the story to the point that I can not give this sSo much potential with such an intriguing idea. The last 100 pages were so disappointing and changed the story to the point that I can not give this story more than two stars. It started out looking to be 4 possibly 5, but fell so far short....more
Hmm, where to begin...Well the cover caught my attention first so I pulled it off the shelf and read the jacket. Cyborg? Sure I'm interested in Sci FiHmm, where to begin...Well the cover caught my attention first so I pulled it off the shelf and read the jacket. Cyborg? Sure I'm interested in Sci Fi stuff and its in the young adult so its like a two for one, oh and for good measure throw in some dystopic themes which works for me. Not just any run of the mill story about a cyborg though, let's throw the Cinderella theme in there as well. Wait a minute, a cyborg Cinderella? Ok now I'm intrigued. You got me. I'm taking the book home and seeing what is going on here.
The novel takes us into the future where we have encountered two more world wars and have managed to maintain peace for 126 years, yet there seems to be a looming threat of a new war with the Lunar people if an agreement is not met soon. The Earth has been divided up into these 6 countries, and the story takes place in the Eastern Commonwealth. While there are some subtle hints of this there are no real cultural references to set the story firmly in the East. Which makes me wonder if this was done to make it seem as though the story could take place anywhere or if the world had been so ravaged by two additional world wars that maybe things have become so mixed and more an amalgamation of what was once more definite.
As I mentioned there is a cyborg, and while the Eastern Commonwealth and the Earth for that matter are peopled with some cyborgs only one is introduced, the main character Cinder. There are also androids rolling around being useful, but here again we only see two. And we have the Cinderella theme with a slight twist going on over everything that is happening. The mean step mother who treats Cinderella like a work slave, which in this case Cinder really is property of the step mother with government papers to prove it, rather than just being a step daughter. There are two step sisters, though neither is ugly and in fact one is very sweet and actually cares for Cinder.
There is the threat of war and the plague Letumosis. We the disease actually comes from Lunar. The presence of Lunar people on Earth is causing havoc and killing the people of Earth even while there is the threat of war from the Lunar people should an agreement and union not take place. There is only a tentative peace at the moment. And likely this will come up with the next novel and drive it. I wonder though could there really be anything more to the Cinderella thing, because the Prince is there and all the other aspects, but we've played the story out. Whats left? Where will this go? A new fairy tale or just continue off on its own. This is what I'd like to see but I can't get anything from the title thus far and have to wait til 2013 for the next novel. That's what I get for reading current novels. Should always wait to start a series til it looks like it is complete and all published. The waiting for the next book always stinks!
While there are details lacking as to who the Lunars are, how they got to the moon and how they travel exactly to the Earth. What the heck Letumosis is and what are the symptoms. What were the causes of the last two world wars and who was involved. No real development of the world outside of how it directly affects the characters, and really this could have been even more Sci Fi had all this been explained, but it was fine for me as it was. For a hard core Sci Fi reader this will fall very short of what they would want to read I think. But the audience seems more to be aimed at teen girls as there is the Princess theme and the romance of Cinder and Kai. The romance I have to say is something that kept me interested because it was not gushy and sappy. I'll be interested to see where the rest of the story goes as we are not left with a very satisfactory close to this novel. Got to love cliffhangers!...more
This turned out to be a new favorite of mine. I was sucked into reading it because it does have a gorgeous cover design and as per usual I am a suckerThis turned out to be a new favorite of mine. I was sucked into reading it because it does have a gorgeous cover design and as per usual I am a sucker for checking out a book BECAUSE of its cover. I nearly put it down about 80 pages in when little to nothing was happening. Apparently this novel is a retelling of Grimm's fairy tale of the 12 Dancing Princesses. I knew nothing of the fairy tale aside from what I googled when I first started reading the novel. That said I think I didn't have as high of expectations as other people had who knew the Grimm tale and was really glad I continued to read it rather than put it down.
I enjoyed the setting and the code of conduct that was required for the time. The corsets, the hooped skirts, the curtsying and the dancing. The proper etiquette for addressing gentleman and the whole courting aspect. I always love novels that give a glimpse of a time past. The mannerisms and the phrases like "dash it all" was great and even introduced a few words I had never even heard of. I looked them up and they all were of the same time period so kudos to the author for having done that bit of research.
The pacing is slow and it gradually builds overtime. For some people that may not work, and usually I would say I am one of those people, however the pacing worked after getting into the novel. The continual night after night of dancing was repetitive and redundant yet I'm not sure how that could be avoided given that was a majority of the events that take place in the tale. How can you really expand on that?? Anyways the novel really focuses on the relationship between the girls and their father the King. The pacing helped to show the divide between them and is gradually overcome.
While there are twelve sisters there is only real development seen with the oldest three. We get to see them fall in love which was nice. The names were a bit silly in my opinion, but even now I can still tell you all twelve as they were alphabetical stair steps in the flower family: Azalea, Bramble, Clover, Delphinium, Evening Primrose, Flora, Goldenrod, Hollhock, Ivy, Jessamine, Kale, and Lily. Bramble was by far one of the funniest because she as so spunky. The gentlemen, although I'm blanking on Azalea's beau I really liked him the best!! He reminded me of a character from an Austen novel. The gentlemen, and there really only three who have a key point in relation to the girls, don't play a huge role to the story but they are likable.
The little bit of magic that is seen in the novel could have been more exciting if it was a bit more developed. I'm still not sure how it all worked and we never see anything actually performed. Things just happen and while I was able to suspend my disbelief and say ok fine that happened I can't explain it. It was just "magical". Thanks to the magic I was happy to see a happy ending when I honestly thought there might not be a happy ending after all.
All in all I'd say the novel turned out to be a new favorite. One I would consider purchasing so that I had it and would be able to read it again one day. It may be awhile before I would read it again, but I would still like to know that I could should I decide to....more