Completed 8/7/2016 Reviewed 8/22/2016
It took me a long time to get around to writing this review. Not because the book wasn’t any good. I just didn’t have anything really original to say about it. The book is yet another play on the Cinderella theme, this one is science fiction rather than fantasy. Cinder is a cyborg, and because of that, she is lower class. She has a stepmother and stepsisters, there’s a handsome prince, and she even has a pumpkin colored car. A lot of these parts are fun. But there is a whole second plotline that could almost have been told without having to rely on the Cinderella tropes. They felt good enough that I think they could have been expanded without the fairy tale parts and been a successful standalone story.
I have to say that I really enjoyed the first half of the book. It was an easy read, having just finished a much more difficult book. But once I figured out the big plot reveal, I got bored with it and simply wanted it to end. There’s a plague decimating the population. The Queen of the Moon promises to give the prince the cure if he marries her. The problem is that the Queen of the Moon is evil and can exert her will over people to keep them in line. Marrying the prince would bring a huge segment of Earth’s population under her control.
Okay, so now that I write it out, the book sounds pretty juvenile. And it is. The book was recommended for grades six through eight. I often like juvenile fiction. But I felt that the plot reveal is too easy. I also wondered if we needed another fairy tale retold with a twist. In fact, this book is one of a series of fairy tale retellings. And in this book, when you get to the end, it leaves you just hanging. Even if it is a series, I’d much rather have a book be more self-contained, unless we know it’s simply a large book cut into parts by the publisher, like LOTR.
I give the book three stars out of five. It’s light fluff and fun if you let it be fun, not expecting too much out of it.