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.
(Amazon product description)
I don’t read a lot of science fiction, so even though Cinder was getting good buzz, I wasn’t all that drawn to it. Add to that the retelling of the classic fairy tale that I could recite in my sleep, and it just didn’t seem like it would hold my interest.
Boy was I wrong! Now, I have to admit, most “modern day” rehashing of fairy tales end up being cheesy and simplistic. Okay for a Disney after school special, but not something I seek out. Cinder is completely different! While the plot is enough like Cinderella that it was recognizable, Marissa Meyer made it seem completely fresh and new. Setting the story in a futuristic world with cyborgs, androids and magic was brilliant! Additional plot lines including a mystery about a lost Lunar princess, a killer plague and political intrigue in the Princes kingdom centered in New Beijing add an unexpected depth to the story.
Cinder as a character was modern and intelligent, nothing like a Disney princess. I loved that she meets Prince Kai through her mechanic shop. That he seeks her out for her talent and skills is so much more interesting than him just thinking she’s hot. Kai was a little bit bland for me. Oh, I liked him enough, but he wasn’t overly memorable. You won’t see tween girls walking around the mall with “Team Kai” t-shirts anyway. I would have liked him to be just a bit more colorful in personality.
The book did have some great supporting characters. The Luna Queen was fabulous! Not only was she evil and bat-shit crazy, but her power was so unique and scary. I also loved Peony, Cinder’s step-sister, and Iko, her slightly dysfunctional android. Both added heart to the story.
While I liked this book much more than I thought I would, it does have some large flaws. I had a hard time with the romance between Cinder and Prince Kai. It was too insta-love for my tastes. I would have liked to have seen some chemistry build between the characters. My other issue was the predictability in the Princess Selene story line. Way too obvious!
Overall, I give Cinder...
Plot - 4 bookmarks
Character development - 4 1/2 bookmarks
Love story - 3 bookmarks
Setting - 5 bookmarks
Dream cast (otherwise known as who I pictured while reading) - Shailene Woodley (Cinder), Luke Bilyk (Prince Kai), Ashley Greene (Luna Queen). Yes, I know the story is set in China, but I don’t know a lot of asian actors and I can’t help who I see when I read.
While I hate photos of myself, I thought I would post this one for you. It’s me with Cinder author Marissa Meyer, taken a few weeks ago at a book signing. She really was a fascinating person. I’m very excited for the sequel Scarlet to release on February 5, 2013!
(I'm the short one who didn't bother to brush her hair.)