Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.
I was a little dubious going into this book because if you have read my review on Poison you will know that I absolutely hated that retelling, and I was afraid that this was going to be repeat of that experience. Thankfully it wasn’t and I found myself really enjoying it.
I thought that the characters had an interesting spin on them, I thought that there was more of a dynamic in the relationship between them, especially the family. I thought that there was so much done with the sister’s relationships and I thought that it was a refreshing change.
The plot was wonderfully done. The parts that were part of the original story were well entwined and added to the story. It was well done, without being overbearing. There was a lot more original thought that had gone into the story and the plot line.
Onto my detailed thoughts… SPOILERS AHEAD!
The first thing that I really loved was the mention of ‘Ring-a-ring a roses’ and that due to the state of the world’s health it had come back and small children were singing it in the streets. It was a really nice reference and it was a nice mix between the new and old.
I thought that the first interaction with the prince and the way that she was trying to hide her one leg, whilst also keeping up appearances was an amusing experience, that kind of set the tone for their relationship for the rest of the book.
When we finally meet the ‘ugly stepsisters’ there is a different dynamic between the reader and characters. There is an element of sympathy to be had for the sisters, especially during the fitting of the dresses, and her mother’s attitude for them. Although they had their flaws the whole scene made me feel uncomfortable, and I actually felt more than disgust for the stepsisters including sadness.
The scene where Peony finds out she has the plague was so full of emotion, it was a real challenge to the generic image of the ‘evil’ step-sister. It was a lovely written scene and I genuinely felt for all of the characters, and felt an overwhelming feeling of helplessness. The debate that Cinder has in her mind about the right thing to do, and watching her sister being taken away due to her choice was one that literally broke my heart.
One thing that I really enjoyed throughout this book was the consistently inhuman messages from the robots. I think that no matter how well the scenery was described, this part of the procedure said more about the world they were living in. It showed that how bad things really were, and what they really were up against.
Meeting the doctor and getting an insight into his system and the way that he rejected those with children in a hope to get them back to where they were genuinely needed. I did find myself hating him when the point of him only choosing the young women came up, it was made to sound dirty and I was utterly impressed with the shoot down from the female staff member.
When the Cinder and the doctor meet, the amount of distress and the language used was wonderfully done. I was impressed with the way it was handled, as it wasn’t overdone, and it didn’t bring too much pity into the story, but I felt enough to sympathise with her and the situation.
We are then introduced to the inner struggles of the prince and the troubles of the upcoming negotiations with Luna. I really enjoyed his attitude towards the whole affair and the way that he was informed however unchanging and slightly sarcastic. It was a nice change to have a main male character in a powerful position, not be someone to be pitied and wanting to change his position.
One thing that I really hated was how sudden the ‘love’ between Cinder and the prince was. It really dragged the whole plot down for me. It was in my opinion too soon and it didn’t help the story move forward. I just thought it was a useless plot move and thought that it belonged later on.
The death of Peony, was a bittersweet moment. I loved the emotion that was managed to be packed into that small amount of dialogue, and the realisation that she was too late was heartbreaking for me to read about.
I loved the introduction of Levana and the way that she won’t allow people to see her unless she can make sure they know she’s beautiful. It was a weird conversation, but it also introduced the plight that the Lunars go through in order to have their utopian society.
The way that Kai announces his almost hatred of the Lunars was an amusing situation for me. I thought that it was ironic that she had caused this massive breakdown in communications, and he didn’t even know it. It was a nice plot movement. The whole situation with Queen Levana was interesting, and what makes it more so is Kai’s attitude towards her, and the whole idea that he just isn’t going to take any of her crap. I LOVE IT.
I will say that the ‘shock ending’ was awfully done. I had already guessed that Cinder was the lost princess before she had gotten to the ball, the attempts to put me off didn’t work. So I was a little disappointed with the pay off, however I loved the fact that she went to the ball dressed in the grubby dress, and the oil stained gloves. She stayed the same person, there was no massive change, and I thought that was wonderful, and a really great message.
One thing I really didn’t understand was the fact that she suddenly after all the denial began to embrace her lineage. That she used this when she was standing up to Queen Levana, it felt awkward and inconsistent, it was one of the worst lines in the whole book in my opinion.
The moment in which Kai realises everything was a nice rounded moment and I thought that him sacrificing her but being sorry about it was a nice sequence of events. It was definitely consistent with the character and it was a really good ending to their relationship.
So now there’s the big reveal that I had already guessed, and her escaping prison, which was an alright scene. But not a brilliant ending.
There it is! My review!