My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Cinderella is my favorite Disney princess, but this wasn’t what made me interested about Cinder. Instead, it was curiosity: How would Cinderella be as a cyborg? Would she still be kind-hearted and selfless? Would she be able decide for herself or will her stepmother “program” her actions? Would she still need a godmother? And would the godmother be a cyborg too? The premise was so unique and could have made the book so unforgettable IF the characters had were more complex.
First, there was Cinder, a cyborg who isn’t happy being one. Although I understood that the stigma against cyborgs in her society made her insecure about herself, this fear limited her so that she was no different from a “regular” human except that she had mechanical parts and a computer inside her brain. Her “cyborg-ness” didn’t really add anything to the story and felt like a deus ex machina in the end.
Then there was Kaito. The prince who could have been believable if he had a flaw. He was charming, kind, handsome, and he reacted to things as if he memorized a textbook on “How to Act Like a Prince in a Fairytale”. And, no, suddenly turning into a jerk – when he found out about Cinder was a cyborg – doesn’t count. Especially when he was nothing but good and unprejudiced before that.
Although I appreciated the romance between Cinder and Kai because it didn’t feel rushed or forced, I would have loved this book more if they were better characters individually and if the story was a little less predictable. Still, it’s one of the good YA books I’ve read so I’m looking forward to reading the next book and I’m hoping that Marissa Meyer’s version of Little Red Riding Hood will add more magic to this series.