A - E, Allgemein, C, Reviews

Review: Cinder (Marissa Meyer)

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Rating:4 Pfoten

Book 2 on My Book List 2019

“Vanity is a factor, but it is more a question of control. It is easier to trick others into perceiving you as beautiful if you can convince yourself you are beautiful. But mirrors have an uncanny way of telling the truth.”

After finishing “Cinder” I was kind of curious what other reviewers wrote about it and I was pretty surprised when I found out that a lot of my friends gave it only two or three stars. As it seems the main reason for those low ratings were 1.) It’s just not my jam or 2.) I read too many retellings. Sometimes even a combination of both. XD

Well, I guess it’s kind of good then that I wasn’t all too big on retellings over the last few years because I definitely enjoyed this! I don’t know if I would have liked it less if I would have read more retellings, but as some sort of “newbie” to the scene I actually ended up loving it to bits and pieces!

This was just amazing! ❤ I mean a cyborg Cinderella who’s a mechanic and lives in a futuristic world?! Sign me f*** up! I loved the entire New Beijing vibe and I was so down for all those “Star Wars” moments! XD (And just in case you wondered, I’ve been a Warsie AND a Trekkie since my early childhood days! *lol* Being a fan of both is impossible? Hah! I’m your living and breathing proof it’s not! ;-P) Anyway! I relished the breath of fresh air this retelling gave me and after reading all those “normal” fairy tales with my kid this was balm for my soul. *lol*

Finally something different! Finally a break from “Cinderella” who lost her glass slipper on the stairs. This so wasn’t your ordinary fairy tale and Cinder certainly wasn’t your ordinary heroine either. Before I go into more detail, I’ll head into my characters section though. Wouldn’t want you to get spoiled, right?! (Is it even spoiling if we all know about Cinderella’s story? *lol*)

2

Fair Warning: This is a spoiler well. If you lean forward you might tumble into the rabbit hole. I urge you to exercise caution. Proceed at your own risk. ;-P

Cinder:

“I’m sure I’ll feel much more grateful when I find a guy who thinks complex wiring in a girl is a turn-on.”

Haha! I loved Cinder! She was such a cool character and totally down-to-earth! Funnily enough she didn’t seem to enjoy beautiful dresses (the real Cinderella would have been shocked!) and rather preferred to stay in her room working on androids instead of going out. Which in all honesty made her a very relatable character. XD I liked that she was so strong-willed and had her own opinion about everything, but I also felt very sorry for her. Aside from Prince Kai and Dr. Erland, Peony was probably the only person who ever showed her some kindness and to lose her must have been a more than just hard blow. >_< Especially because Peony was just lovely and kind! I don’t know how it came to be that Peony was the only one who accepted Cinder the way she was but I was really glad that she had at least one sister that cared. XD Still, no matter how sad her death made me I think Cinder would have never dared to be so bold if she would have been around to see it, so I guess there’s at least one positive thing that came out of it. Poor Cinder though! T_T

A flash of hurt crossed his face. “What? I can’t buy you a gift?” he asked, in a tone that nearly stopped the electric pulses of her wiring.
“No. Not after I’ve ignored six of your comms in the last week. Are you dense?”
“So you did get them!”

Prince Kai:

Kai stepped closer to Torin, ignoring a group of lab technicians that were forced to swarm around them. „I have a plan. My plan is to not marry her. Diplomacy be damned. There. End of discussion.”

WHAT. A. HOTTIE! *swoons* I adored him right from the moment he appeared in the book! GAH! Prince Kai was just awesome! I loved that he didn’t back down and fought Queen Levana with every breath he took. There was so much at stake for him but he stayed true to himself and this even though Levana and the other countries certainly didn’t make it easy for him. So much pressure! Poor boy! =(( Plus can we acknowledge how caring he was even though his own life turned upside down. I mean he lost his father to the plague and yet he still managed to keep Levana at bay, served his country, tried to persuade Cinder and wanted to find a cure. XD Not to mention his adorable humour and enticing defiance. *lol* The perfect prince for sure! 😉

”I will –“ He paused again, straightened, and focused his eyes on some distant, invisible point. “I will do whatever needs to be done to ensure the well-being of my country. I will do whatever needs to be done to keep you all safe. That is my promise.”

Iko:

Iko rolled to her side, clasping her metal grippers over her chest. “Prince Kai! Check my fan, I think I’m overheating.”

IKO!!! <333 She was one of the best sidekicks ever and she definitely asked the right questions. *LOL* The idea of an android with feelings might have been nothing new but the way it was executed in here was perfect! XD When you read about Iko you involuntarily see her as a normal person, well until some body parts of her are mentioned and you’re reminded that she’s actually a machine with a soul. 😉 I can’t believe Adri destroyed her and my poor heart bled when Cinder found her in her room. I really hope Cinder will find a new body for her and that this time around it will be a human looking one. Iko deserves it and she’d be so happy if she’d have curves to wear all those pretty dresses. *lol*

Cinder flinched. “Can we please not talk about the prince?”
“I don’t think that will be possible. You’re working on his android, after all. Just think about the things she knows, the things she’s seen and –“ Iko’s voice sputtered. “Do you think she’s seen him in the nude?”

Queen Levana:

”I want her found and brought to me.”
“Right,” said Kai, “that’ll be no problem in a city of two and a half million people. Let me just go dig out my special Lunar detector, and I’ll get right on that.”
Levana tilted her head back so she could peer down her nose at Kai, even though he was taller than she was. “You do not wish to try my patience with your sarcasm, young prince.”

Queen Levana is no fun! Seriously, that woman has a stick up her ass. >_< The way she treated Kai and all her machinations… I really despised her for it! How can anyone be so cruel and heartless? I mean that moment with the mirror on her plate? ARGH! If I’d have been Prince Kai I’d have flipped her the bird multiple times. *lol* I guess in his own way he actually kind of did it. Haha! Considering how Cinder reacted to her once she saw through her glamour she must be as ugly on the outside as she’s on the inside and I really hope she won’t get Kai.

Adri:

”I think it a fair solution. After all, you bought it with my money, therefore it is mine to do with as I please. In some cultures they would cut off your hand, Cinder. Consider yourself fortunate.
“But it’s my foot!”
“And you will have to do without it until you can find a cheaper replacement.” She glowered at Cinder’s feet. Her lip curled with disgust. “You are not human, Cinder. It’s about time you realized that.”

There were moments when I wasn’t sure which one of them is worse. Adri or Queen Levana? And honestly sometimes I was even inclined to give Adri first place. For some of the things she did, she would have deserved to stand on the pedestal. *shakes head* I really don’t know what’s eating her but after reading “Glitches” I’m fairly certain that it had nothing to do with Cinder. As it seems she was always that hostile and I have no idea why Garan married her. That woman is just horrible and I hope she never meets Queen Levana! I don’t even want to think about what would happen if those two would join forces. *shudders*

3

Cinder & Prince Kai:

”I shouldn’t be telling you all this anyway. It isn’t your problem to worry about. It’s just … you’re easy to talk to.”
She shuffled her feet. “It is kind of my problem. I mean, we all have to live here.
“You could move to Europe.”
“You know, I’ve actually been considering that lately.”
Kai laughed again, the warmth returning to the sound. “If that’s not a vote of confidence, I don’t know what is.”

I’m totally on board of this ship! Those two were soo cute together and I loved their easy banter. ❤ Poor Prince Kai though! I have no idea how Cinder managed not to give into his advances. I mean there’s this amazing Prince who is determined to take her to the ball with him and she crushes his hopes again and again! WTH?? You might be a cyborg Cinder but I don’t think Prince Kai would have loved you any less if you would have told him the truth about yourself. I think if anything he might have loved you even more. If she would have just told him on her own terms. The way it was revealed was just too much for Kai and I can understand him, really. His words at the end of the book killed me but I get why he was so disappointed. There were plenty of opportunities to come clean with him, but Cinder never told him. =( Also I think that his last words were meant in the sense of it hurts him more to look at her than at Levana because he felt betrayed by her and at least Levana put her cards on the table. I’m really worried about him now because who knows what he might agree to now that Cinder is out of the picture. >_< He’s strong willed but the longer he stays in Queen Levana’s presence the harder it will get to resist her and I just don’t want him to give up on himself!! ARGH!!! I’m so afraid of what will happen to him in those next few books!

”It’s gone now,” she said. “I’m fine.”
“You’re not fine,” said Kai. “What causes it? What can we do to make it stop?”

Kai peeled his eyes away, finding some place of resignation off in the glistening garden. “You’re even more painful to look at than she is.”
Cinder’s heart shrivelled inside her until she was sure it would stop beating altogether.

Queen Levana & Prince Kai:

She was still battling Kai across the table, her eyes cold and calculating, and he unable to look away. “I have learned something valuable about you tonight, young prince. I hope you have learned something about me, as well.”
“That you prefer to rule through fear rather than justice? So sorry, Your Majesty, I’m afraid I already knew that about you.”
“No, indeed. I hope you noticed that I am capable of choosing my battles.” Her lips curved, her beauty returning full force. “If that’s what it takes to win the war.”

Those two were like cat and mouse! Unfortunately Kai was the mouse in this scenario and even though he held his own I’m afraid that Queen Levana might be able to persuade him to marry her. It’s not just her glamour but also the cure she offers. He always said that he only wants what’s best for his people and if it saves them he might even consider making a deal with the devil. =( Plus now that Dr. Erland vanished with Cinder he has no one that would continue his research for an antidote. To him it might look like there’s only one option left and I DON’T WANT HIM TO CHOOSE THAT FREAKIN OPTION! GOSH DARN IT!!! *dies*

4

I LOVED this!!! “Cinder” read like a unique mixture of “Cinderella” featuring “Star Wars” and even though I didn’t know it when I started to read the book this was exactly what I needed! XD Give me more of this and I might overcome my growing aversion to ordinary fairy tales. *lol* Maybe one day my kid will read those books too! 😉 This said: I can’t wait to continue with “Scarlet”!!!
Happy reading and enjoy!

Allgemein, F - J, H, Reviews

Review: Heartless (Marissa Meyer)

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Rating: 3 Pfoten

”It had been a hazy, beautiful dream, and in it there had been a hazy, beautiful boy. He was dressed all in black and standing in an orchard of lemon trees, and she had the distinct sensation that he had something that belonged to her. She didn’t know what it was, only that she wanted it back, but every time she took a step towards him he receded further and further away.”

And so it begins! The transformation of Lady Catherine Pinkerton of Turtle Rock Cove into the Queen of Hearts! When I started to read the book I was really surprised how nice and relatable she was and even halfway through “Heartless” I still kept wondering how she’d ever be able to turn into the Queen of Hearts.

Well, she obviously was able to, but I wasn’t really happy with the transformation. Which is the reason I’m very conflicted about this book. *lol* On the one hand it had two of the best character introduction scenes I’ve ever read and I’m still in awe of the atmosphere Marissa Meyer created, but on the other hand the ending and everything that happened over those last 50 pages felt more than just a little rushed.

„But the rose felt like a whispered message, a hushed glance across a crowded room. Something precious and not to be shared.“

I mean the love story is building up and even though it’s still kinda insta-lovey I decided that this time around it’s okay for me. After all, the entire book is a standalone and there’s only so much you can pack into a single book. And seriously if you ever meet Jest, you’ll fall head over heels for him too. ;-P I mean how could you not? He’s cute and charming, intriguing and bold, but also shy and very handsome. I swear his golden eyes and black curls immediately caused me to think of another awesome character I hold close to my heart and yes I was a goner the instant he entered the scene!

”A laugh like that is richer than gold to a man in my position. I’ll make it my life’s work to hear the sound again. Every day, if it pleases you. No – twice a day, and at least once before breakfast. A royal joker must set the highest of expectations.”

As for the other characters: I really liked Raven (Haha no surprise there!!!) and I thought Catherine and Mary Ann were really sweet! Their wish to open a bakery resonated with me (Yes, I love to bake too. Especially cupcakes and huge cakes) and I swear I got hungry whenever I picked up the book. Their thoughts about the perfect macarons and pies and whatever else they wanted to bake had me drooling all over the place and if you’ve a sweet tooth like me you can actually consider this to be a trigger warning. *LOL* I bet I gained a few pounds just reading this book. XD

Anyway, enough of sweets or I’ll have to pillage my “chocolate drawer” again! ;-P Let’s continue to talk about the other characters of this book. Like for instance the King of Hearts! Boy was he a little, giggly and incompetent man! I mean nothing wrong with being funny, but the way he acted he seemed to be the only true Fool in the game. >_<

”I can’t compete with a king, and I won’t compete with the man who’s given me employment, who’s offered me a place in his court when he had no need to. I don’t mean to make your choice more difficult than it already is. He’s a good man. I believe he would do his best to be a good husband.”

I understand why Jest didn’t want to go behind his back but I’m also convinced that Cath should have been honest with the King. If she would have been honest and forthright right from the beginning, nothing bad would have happened. Yes, it’s hard to refuse a king but it’s even harder to live with a lie. I know her parents made it exceptionally difficult to stay true to herself and I felt this on a spiritual level, but when it comes to matters of the heart there always comes a moment when you have to draw the line. If you ask me, Cath missed that point and that’s why things had to end the way they did. *sighs*

”I have a personal rule about not entering into business with spineless creatures. No snakes. No slippery eels. And worst of all, no fickle women. Play coy all you like, Lady Pinkerton. Cling to your belief in your own innocence. You know as well as I that you’re going to break at least one heart before this is over, and I want nothing more to do with you.”

Those were harsh words, but I think Lady Catherine had to hear them. Oh Hatta! I loved him so much! I know some of you will say: ”WHAT?!” now and I don’t blame you for it. He was more than just unfriendly to Cath throughout the entire book and there were moments even I wondered why he was so mean, but then at the end it all made sense.

All this hostility towards Lady Pinkerton, the loyalty he felt for Jest! It was so sad to watch the story unfold and to know that Hatta eventually would become mad. The way it finally happened broke my heart though. I definitely didn’t expect it to work out like that!! >_<

”She is a rose, Jest. Lovely on the eyes, yes, but such thorns are not to be ignored. She belongs in a King’s garden, not yours.”

 
Also those three sisters of the well were so damn creepy! *lol* Am I the only one that instantly thought of Samara from “The Ring”?! Haha!
I swear Lacie, Tillie and Elsie were so damn scary!!! (Despite their rather harmless sounding names. XD)

So yeah, all told I really enjoyed the book, but the ending… Well, let’s just say I’m not happy with it. All this build up and then things were resolved so fast and I was blinking at the page thinking: WTH?! Are you kidding me? This is how it all goes down?! This is it?!

I really wish I could give “Heartless” four stars. Jest and Hatta would deserve it, but those last 50 pages ruined it so much that I can’t give it more than 3 stars. It just wouldn’t feel right to give it four. *sighs* Still, I enjoyed the book and I can recommend it, just don’t expect all too much when it comes to the final reason and revelation! I guess then you should be safe! 😉