Cinder by Marissa Meyer is one of those books that everyone raves about but I’ve never read…until now. I was pleasantly surprised.
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.
I love fairy tales but I’ve never been a fan of retellings. I think it’s because I know what’s going to happen and I’m concerned about the plot holding my attention. However, in the past year, I’ve fell in love with a few novels, such as A Court of Thorns and Roses and The Wrath and The Dawn, which were both retellings, but they were still their own unique story, where the retelling part was more of an inspiration than a plot road map.
I’m happy to report that Cinder is now one of those retellings I enjoyed because it retains the core material from the Cinderella fairy tale but reshapes it into a new story, where the young girl saves the prince and actually has a sense of self-worth.
Cinder was a kick-ass female protagonist. Her mechanic skills, relentless compassion and determination made for a heroine worth rooting for. I loved the fact that she could take care of herself and others, while doing the hard work necessary to get herself out of her own desperate situation. I loved that she worked to save her stepsister and risked everything to save the prince.
One can’t read Cinder without becoming completely immersed in the unique setting. It has this dystopia/Sci-fi feel that was wonderfully built and I fell through the lunar rabbit hole head first, joyfully tumbling through the world Meyer created. From the Lunar Queen to the plague infrastructure to the secret princess everyone was looking for, I was completely invested in Cinder’s story.
The interactions between Cinder and the Prince were surprisingly refreshing. It was the romantic connection that I expected but it was also incredibly playful and sarcastic. I loved it. I was also in love with Iko, the opinionated robot with spunk. She was hilarious.
I can finally see why everyone is so obsessed with this series and I’ll continue this journey through Meyer’s wonderland as I devour the rest of the series.
STARS: 5 out of 5