Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Publication date: January 3rd 2012
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.
Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.
Cinder by Marissa Meyer was one of my most anticipated debuts for last year, because it sounded SO amazing! I mean: Cinderella is a cyborg in a futuristic Beijing, while there are even other people living on the MOON?! How awesome does that sound? Thankfully, even though my very high expectations, I ended up totally loving it.
Despite the many futuristic elements, references to the Cinderella fairytale are clearly visible. However, the story doesn’t focus too much on this, so people who don’t like retellings can certainly enjoy this too. The obvious things are there, like the evil stepmother and the handsome prince. The evil stepmother was written really well: she’s not evil just because, but she has her motivations for it. You will understand her especially if you’ve read the free prequel, ‘Glitches’. The book also follows the Prince in some chapters. Prince Kai and Cinder are both great characters, but they do not have many scenes together. When they do meet, they have some great chemistry, but they didn’t see each other often enough for my liking!
In this book, Cinder does have one evil stepsister, but her other stepsister is very sweet. I liked that Meyer changed this from the original fairytale, because now it didn’t seem like everyone was against her. I liked that she had a great friend in her sister Peony. Although Cinder is a great character, there was someone else who stole the show for me and that is Iko! Iko is an android, but not like androids are supposed to be in Meyer’s world. She has a glitch, so she acts more like a human than an android and that’s very hilarious.
Besides for the characters, I also love Cinder because of the amazing world Meyer created. It blew me away! It’s a very interesting world, with people living on the moon and a plague that’s threatening Earth’s population. Besides that I also enjoyed to read about Cinder’s everyday things, like fixing broken androids and her booth at the marketplace.
Even though I absolutely love this book, I did have a few annoyances. Cinder lives in the futuristic Beijing, New Beijing, but character names aside it doesn’t feel Asian at all. It could have easily been any futuristic American city. Cinder is also fairly predictable. This normally bothers me, but it works in this book.
To conclude, Cinder simply blew me away. It has an immensely creative futuristic world inhabited by cyborgs and androids. Cinder is a great main character that you can’t help but root for. Recommended for fans of science fiction and retellings alike!
My favorite review for Cinder:
Hafsah from IceyBooks: “I’m always on the lookout for the next unforgettable read. For the book that will leave me breathless, that will linger in my mind, and will leave me begging for more.”