Published: January 8 2013
Number of pages: 448
Publisher: Square Fish
Genre: scifi, fantasy, mystery, fairy tale retelling, romance
Rating: 5/5 owl hoots
Humans and android live in the streets of New Beijing when a deadly plague ravages the population. Sixteen-year-old Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past and is reviled by her stepmother. But when she meets with Prince Kai, she immediately finds herself in the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attention. Cinder must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future. Because there is something unusual about Cinder, something that others might kill for.
After hearing about how amazing this series is and how everyone on social media was recommending it to anyone, I have finally sat down and read Cinder. I’m in the minority who hasn’t read any of Marissa Meyer’s books and since her last book in the series came out, and she has another new release coming out in the fall, I thought it was time I finally read her books. I was afraid that this was going to be one of those overhyped books, which doesn’t end up living to the hype at all, but I was wrong. This is one of the best scifi and fairy-tale retelling I’ve ever read, and I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to discover this author!
As you know I love reading fairy tale retellings and Cinder is a scifi version of Cinderella, a cyborg who works as a mechanic in New Beijing. I really like this version of Cinderella: she’s highly intelligent, prefers wearing cargo pants over frilly dresses, chooses to be practical, and always looks out for the people she cares for. I also love how she doesn’t fall head over heels for Prince Kai when they first met. Instead it starts off like puppy love and with every encounter they had, there were small sparks and their chemistry between them eventually grows until Cinder realizes that she has more than just a crush on Kai.
I don’t read a lot of scifi so it’s hard for me to compare this with other books in the genre. I mean who would ever reimagine the story of Cinderella in an intergalactic universe, and as a cyborg living as a mechanic under the watchful eye of her cruel stepmother who treats her like a tool than a person. Even the ball scene with Prince Charming was unlike what I imagined it to be. Who needs a fairy godmother and glass slippers when she can wear a mechanical foot that is at least two sizes too small, and drives herself to the ball which by the way, I think is an awesome way to make an entrance! Cinder comes to the ball as herself with bits of oil stains and dirt on her clothes, but that’s who she is: a mechanic. I love how Cinder is so independent and down to earth, and knows how to look after herself without having to rely on others. The characters and the world were great, everyone thinks about the other’s motivation before taking action. Nobody is left out in the story but the characters feel responsible for their own actions, so there is an opportunity for everyone to make an appearance as the story progresses.
But what I found absolutely thrilling about this story was the villainous Lunar, Queen Levana. The mystery behind her glamour and her sinister personality sets her apart as one of the most alluring characters in the story. She literally has this spellbinding beauty around her that makes everyone adore and worship her which is really freaky. She reminds me of the evil queen from Snow White, someone who is obsessed with her appearance and despises imperfections. Queen Levana carries the qualities of a villain: manipulative, evil, self-absorbed, and possessive. But I can’t wait to see how Cinder and Kai plan on overthrowing her in this series that I am now obsessed with and that ending, what will Cinder do??? I was a fool to think this was going to end happily for Cinder and instead, it brought a new beginning for her, a second chance to live her life. I have to buy the rest of the series I just have to! Why haven’t I read this book sooner?!