Meyer does an admirable job of pulling this richly woven tale together. Dystopian take-the-castle efforts compose much of the runtime, with more twists and redirects than forward momentum, and a surprising amount of romance tucked in around the edges. The astonishingly creative and deep description continues, exploring the experiences of mentally ill, disabled and oppressed people, the nature of android and machine interactions with humanity, and political alliances. All the character journeys, relationships, motivations and storylines stream together for a big, if not entirely surprising finish that manages to weave in just one more fairytale retelling for a series already chock full.
Another solid middle entry to the series. The multiple viewpoints feel natural, and the plot twists are thick on the ground. Still top marks for world building and telling details in a uniquely creative setting, touching on subjects such as childhood abuse and isolation as well as the nature of humanity. Romance-y stuff and revolution-y stuff all ramping up for the finale. Engaging read.
Solid second entry. I was thrown by the first chapter introducing a new character/POV to the series, but it was clever the way the author wove the threads of Little Red Riding Hood into the narrative. Still excellent, deep worldbuilding introducing additional locations, but as a middle book in a series, it didn't feel as fresh as the first, or as gripping as later entries are likely to. Enjoyable read.
Finally picked up my first Marissa Meyer book after rave reviews from friends and fellow #bookstagrammers and it did not disappoint! Seriously impressive world-building, with deep commitment to the dystopian future China cyberpunk setting. Novel, easily recognizable, and thoroughly interwoven.
Loved the disaffected teen characterization of Cinder too; her determination and frustration felt authentic and appealingly off-kilter. Her punk/grunge aesthetic was both sympathetic and, at times, hilarious. Love the silk-and-grease-stained awkwardness. Sort of pitied and rooted for her at the same time.
Strong emotional beats; stakes were clear, and loss was handled with sensitivity. The world and abuses felt traumatic, but not traumatizing. Gritty, but not unrelentingly dark. The light romance was well played. Overall one of the best fairytale adaptations I've read; fresh, and with clear but not slavish awareness of the plot and tropes of the original. I picked up the sequel immediately on reaching the last page.