Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Published by Square Fish on January 8, 2013
Genre(s): fiction, adventure, fantasy, science fiction, young adult
Format & Pages: paperback, 387
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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.
Overall, this was an enjoyable, if somewhat predictable, book. On some level, I suppose that’s to be expected from a retelling, but even the major plot twist I guessed within the first 50 pages.
When I first started reading, it took me a few pages to get into and understand the android/cyborg thing. Once I finished the first chapter, though, I wanted to know more about this version of Cinderella. It was a good hook to get the story going, and the rest of the book proved to be just as well paced.
My two favorite characters were Iko, Cinder’s android with a sense of humor, and Dr. Erland, the short snarky doctor. It is somewhat telling that the characters I enjoyed most were supporting roles and not the main characters of the story. Frankly, both Cinder and Prince Kai fell a bit flat for me – I would have liked them both to have more personality.
After finishing Cinder, my first thoughts were, there is so much more I want to know! I want to know more about this world Meyer has built, and about the Lunars and their history. If this were a standalone book, I’d be highly disappointed. However, since it’s the first in a series, I’m hoping more of the backstory will be revealed in later books. Although I’m not in a rush to read Scarlet, it is on my list to read at some point.