Author: Marissa Meyer
Release date: January 3, 2012
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Reading level: YA
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 is one of those books that has been getting a lot of hype since ARCs were first sent out. I’m always a little apprehensive going into a book that so many people have loved but I’m happy to say that Cinder now has one more fan. This is one Cinderella retelling that has not been done before and you won’t want to miss out on it.
Cinder is a very clever retelling of the original Cinderella story. Cinder is part human, part cyborg, yet still just as much of an outcast as in the original. She has a very nasty stepmother but instead of two evil stepsisters, she has one evil one and one nice one. There is of course a handsome prince but that is only a part of the story. The real story here is the story of the Lunars, a race of people who live on the moon, and whose queen, Levana, wants to take over the earth. It’s up to Cinder to save her people and maybe find love along the way. Oh and there’s a plague threatening the lives of everyone too. Because, you know, an evil moon queen with mind controlling powers wasn’t bad enough.
Cinder is a character readers will immediately sympathize with. She feels unwanted, unloved, and kind of worthless. She never knew her parents and her stepfamily has never wanted her. It seems like the only thing she is good at is being a mechanic. Well, that and getting into trouble. She’s very good at that as well. Both her skills as a mechanic and her knack for getting in trouble bring notice to her from the prince, Prince Kai. Kai is a very good guy in a very bad place. He’s barely an adult and he will very soon be crowned emperor. With this coronation comes the advances of the lunar queen as well as way too much responsibility. He’s another character that readers won’t be able to help feeling for. The characters are definitely what make Cinder such a good book. Cinder, Kai, Iko, Peony, they were all so wonderful (but especially Iko, the house robot with quite a sense of humor.)
The plot is rather predictable but surprisingly that didn’t really bother me. There were enough twists to the original Cinderella story that I still found Cinder greatly enjoyable. The fresh setting, the futuristic elements, the wonderful characters, and the completely gripping story kept me interested and by the end I was in love. While the ending is a bit of a cliffhanger I wouldn’t call it a terrible one. Fans will be pleased with the ending but I think it will also leave them wanting a bit more.
Overall, Cinder is one of the best retellings I have read in a while. It’s a fabulous start to Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles and I am very eager to read the rest of her retellings!
Looking for more reviews of Cinder by Marissa Meyer?
Cinder - Book 1
Scarlet - Book 2 - February 5, 2013
Cress - Book 3 - 2014
Winter - Book 4 -2015