by Marissa Meyer
I think I'm on a trend of reading a galley, then writing a review months later, when the galley is a published book. Let's break this trend. But not today.
I admit, I was initially attracted to Cinder by that classy cover. I mean, who really doesn't judge a book by its cover at all?
Cinder, living in the far, far future, is a gifted mechanic and a cyborg, living in New Beijing. Naturally, her father is dead and her stepmother abuses her, as well as being a second-class citizen. A fatal, mysterious illness is spreading everywhere, and her sister has caught it. There's political tension between Earth's inhabitants, led by Prince Kai, and the people living on the moon, who hold the cure to the sickness. Naturally, Cinder holds many secrets, most of which she doesn't know herself, that lead her to be the key to Earth's fate.
My absolute favorite part about this book is Cinder herself. It's been a while since I read a proper, good book about a strong female heroine who, against all odds, (might) save the day. Note: I said might. I will return to that later. Not only is Cinder a strong heroine, she doesn't get too deep into romantic shenanigans, she's a stellar mechanic (which attracts the prince - who says looks is more important than brain?), and she's a cyborg (facing all the odds - cyborgs are second-class citizens in this setting. I should clarify that cyborg, in this book, is not equivalent with robot. Cyborg's meaning is more along the lines of "altered human". Cinder was once human, but she had injuries that forced her to take robotic parts).
The setting was awesome. The villains, the people from the moon, were EXTREMELY awesome. They were evil in the best way - with motivation and cunning and power.
I only had two problems with the book. It's not really clear why cyborgs were so strongly discriminated against. I mean, I understand why, I just have a hard time picturing it. I can see, in our world, discrimination against the handicapped - we don't exactly think about them the same way as non-handicapped people - but not in such a bad way, and we don't fear them or anything. If Meyer had spent more time explaining this, I think I would have been happier.
Then, there was the inconclusive ending. The book pretty much ends with "Oh hey, I just found out what my quest is. Let's go do it --NOW WAIT FOR THE SEQUEL--". It was such an abrupt ending, such an obvious cliffhanger, I feel like the entire book is just a promotion for the next book. Ugh, I hate it when books do that! That said, I'm definitely going to read the next book.
I dub this book a 3.9, and in terms of food, it's some exotic, futuristic food that I can't think of. Something steampunk-ish, or sleek and gray, like our tall glass skyscrapers in Boston. It's a food that doesn't exist yet!
Marissa Meyer's website: http://www.marissameyer.com/
Oh, wow, this is her first novel. Now my respect for Meyer has gone up one level on the echeladder!