Meyer Month: Cinder!
Hello everyone! Welcome back to blog number two of Meyer Month! I said that we would be reviewing The Lunar Chronicles in order of events, but we’ll be skipping past Stars Above just because it’s a short story collection, and some stories wouldn’t line up with the timeline. Maybe at the end I’ll review each story separately, but that’ll have to wait! Today we’ll be looking at Marissa Meyer’s debut novel, Cinder! So let’s get right into the plot, shall we?
In Cinder by Marissa Meyer, the year is 126 T.E. and the world is in a state of panic. A new disease called letimosis has killed millions, the kingdom of hybrid humans known as Lunars threaten earth, and the emperor of the New Commonwealth is dying. Life in New Beijing couldn’t get much worse- except for Lynn Cinder, a adopted cyborg working as a mechanic in the downtown marketplace. Uncared for by her stepmother and stepsister Peony, Cinder’s only friend is her other stepsister Pearl, but when she falls ill to the deadly illness, Cinder will do anything to get a sample of the cure the Lunars have supposedly found. Roped into a strange relationship with the Commonwealth prince Kai, Cinder discovers that the queen of Luna, Queen Levana, will only give earth the cure if she ca marry kai once he becomes the next emperor. Cinder begins to discover things about herself she’s never had, perhaps being able to find out who she really is. But when the task of saving her planet falls onto her, Cinder will have to unveil a terrible secret about her past, and what the two kingdoms really mean to her.
Cinder is the strongest start to a series that I can think of. It already introduces the world and what is happening to it; see disease, Lunars. You know what’s the main problem, as well as being able to see what might happen to the protagonist. And the protagonist? Cinder? Well, she’s a whole different story.
To be honest, Cinder is a bit of a Mary Sue. For those of you who don’t know what that means, a Mary Sue (or Gary Stu, depending on the character’s gender) is what people call a character that Is way too overpowered. This could apply to protags or even someone’s OC. Mary Sue characters aren’t a good thing and are mostly hated by people, so it’s best that if you have a protagonist you make sure they aren’t too overpowered. Cinder is a good example of a Mary Sue in many ways. In fact, here’s a list:
- An orphan
- Has some sort of defect that makes everyone hate them
- Falls in love with prince
- Has to save the world
- Finds out they are some sort of Princess or royalty
- Defeats big evil with no problem
- Prince loves her yay happily ever after!
I’m sure the entire Lunar Chronicles fanbase would like to argue with me, and I show no offense to the writer when I say this, but I do think Cinder is a bit of a Mary Sue.
Besides Cinder’s overpowerness, the rest of the characters provide a bit more
personality. Kai, though he seems like a perfect prince charming, is shown being upset and a little bit scared about his father’s death, because now he can no longer be a child and provide an example to the whole world. He decides to ally with Luna because he thinks it will be a good idea, and one that will benefit his entire kingdom. He believes it would be something his father would want him to do, but Kai is confused about what he really should do. It’s really refreshing to see a boy prince character not made all high and mighty, only added to the story as a love interest.
Anyway, Cinder is the most you can ask from a first novel. It has everything you need there, a neat plot, a main character, a conflict, all written to above average level. It’s true though that Cinder only shows a miniscule amount of storytelling the rest of the series will go on to show, but for now the first book pulls readers in enough to make them stay.
I’ll see you all in the next book, Scarlet!