Sunday, April 3, 2016

Kinda, Sorta Review... Maybe: Cinder

Cinder -- Marissa Meyer

Book 1 of the Lunar Chronicles series
** Based on Cinderella

~ Goodreads ~

Rating:  4.0 Stars

I find that despite the fact that I feel like I really liked this book (I certainly read through the entire thing like I had a physical need to find out what happens next), I can't think of anything to say about it.

I take back what I said about the blocky Asian dialogue -- I had only read the first chapter and was a little concerned with the world building being based on a futuristic Asia (known in the book as the Eastern Commonwealth).  But everything turned out pleasantly awesome... in a way.

I'm going to take some time to think about this book before I finally decide whether or not I want to actually write a review about it.  For the meantime, I really DID enjoy it a lot, though I can't exactly pinpoint what I liked about it and what didn't work for me.  The book just kind of... happened and I was satisfied with it as a whole.

I will say, there were some awesome feels going on during some points of the story.

For certain, I AM going to read the next book and have put the rest of the series on my To Read list.  I'm just going to pace myself since the third book won't be out until February and it seems there are talks of the ending of the second book being a suspenseful hanger.  Not fond of those...

And lately I've been contemplating just waiting for the entire series of certain books to be completed before starting them.  Cliff hangers are just going to be the death of me one of these days.  Especially if I've grown attached to the series and its characters.

This review was originally posted at Ani's Book Abyss / BookLikes in October 2013.

A First Impression  (originally posted on 10/23/2013)

So... due to a bit of a stress-inducing night at work, the next afternoon when I woke up, I indulged myself in... let's just say, a book-buying-binge.  Most women shop for shoes, clothing, purses, etc. to alleviate stress.  I spoiled myself with a few books.  And it also helped that there were several price drops on Amazon.  I probably would have been a lot happier taking my happy ass to the nearest bookstore and immersing myself within shelves and paperbacks, but I was still too cranky to dredge up any motivation to leave the house -- so cyber shopping it was!

Anyway, back to the book, no?

Cinder was one of the books I'd been eyeing over and over again, but never really got the pull to purchase or read.  But it ended up being one of my purchases yesterday.  Then, on a curious whim, I started reading the first chapter during my break at work.

I'm officially interested.  It didn't really take long.  I like the concept.  Because then I went and browsed the summary blurbs of the rest of the books in the series and am now determined to read this entire series.  I'm a big fan of fairy tales and their retellings -- always a good way to hook me immediately.  In this series, we're taking one world set-up and retelling few different fairy tales as we follow Cinder's adventures; apparently there's Red Riding Hood and Rapunzel, then Snow White.

Allow me to gape silently as my mind fangirls for a bit................................................

Cinderella is one of my favorite fairy tales, though I tend to favor more the retellings than the original; it just happens to have sentimental value because it was the first Disney movie I remember watching and loving when I was a kid.  Nowadays I start to see the original Disney version with a bit of a shallow touch to it (instalove at its best, even if happily ever after is intended), and I tend to groan at damsels in distress who need a prince to take them away.  My favorite Cinderella remake by far would have to be the Drew Barrymore version, Ever After.  See, there's a Cinderella who never needed her prince to save her from her dreary, rotten life of servitude to her evil stepmother!

But anyway... segway... again...

I like what I've read so far, though it's hard to judge with just one chapter.  It's an interesting set-up seeing as how Cinderella is a cyborg and a famous, highly skilled mechanic, and the setting is some futuristic society with a very Asian themed world as it's backdrop.  We start off in a place called New Beijing, we meet characters like Prince Kai, Iko, and Chang Sacha, and the telling and dialogue seems to have a distinct blocky Asian feel to it that might bug me.

I don't mean the fact that it's Asian that it will bug me ('cause, hey, I'm Asian and I delight in Asian themes), but the fact that there's always a perceived "too formal" tone to dialogue when trying to be depicted as Asian that comes off a bit awkward in a lot of Asian themed books whether written by someone Asian or not.  It reminds me of someone trying to translate classic Chinese literary works, so they tend to translate everything to the word in the most formal tone possible (a sign of respect, maybe? though I DO admit that historical Chinese probably DID tend to sound too formal and poetic and blocky, of which I never complained about before when watching historical Chinese TV series... meh, I'm a walking contradiction), but for a more modern work, the dialogue should probably try to sound like any other natural colloquial conversation with informalities and slang and the like.

Though I DO see how formalities form in the presence of Prince Kai, so maybe I'm jumping the gun here a little bit.

Still I'm interested to see how this pans out; however, there's also the possibility I could get critical with this considering it's a futuristic China or something like that.  There seems to be an infusion of various Asian cultures -- I'm reserving my judgments for later as the story progresses.

Otherwise, the concept of the book itself is pretty intriguing.  I'm looking forward to seeing where this will take me.

This review was originally posted at Ani's Book Abyss / BookLikes in October 2013.

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