Review: Cinder

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: CinderCinder by Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #1
Published by Feiwel & Friends on January 3, 2012
Genres: Fairy Tales, Romance, Science Fiction
Pages: 387
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley

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.

First of all, I need to state clearly for the record that this was a totally stellar read. It reminded me quite a bit of A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan, which I read and adored a couple months ago. The stories are not the same at all, but the general idea is. Both take a well-known fairy tale, put it into a futuristic setting, and make something completely new and original with it. Cinder is, in case you couldn’t guess, a revisionist version of Cinderella.

I loved how Meyer weaved in the core elements of the fairy tale, but felt free to make some changes too. For example, Cinder was adopted into a family by Linh Garan, who promptly died, leaving her in the care of her stepmother, rather than him being her father as in the original story. One of her stepsisters is evil, but the other one is actually her best friend. She attends the ball where Kai is to choose his bride, despite having been ordered not to go. All of that clearly draws the correlation to the fairy tale.

Cinder is all about dramatic irony, or at least it was for me. The book ends with a big reveal. I’m not sure whether it was supposed to be a twist, or if the audience was supposed to be sitting there shaking the book all the way through because they knew what was going on and no one else did. I suspect it may be the latter, because what happened was so obvious. Really though, I don’t think the knowledge of where the overall story was heading detracted from the book at all.

The setting here is completely amazing. Earth has apparently been through some serious turmoil. It now contains only six countries. The formation of these large powers occurred during the peace conference following World War IV. Ouch. Not to mention the fact that there are now folks living on the moon. What I am not sure of is whether the Lunars were initially human, although I suspect so.

Cinder is a powerful heroine. I love how much she is not run of the mill. She has expert skills as a mechanic, is over a quarter machine, and hardly cares about her appearance. She cares deeply about the few people (or androids) she’s close to and will risk herself to protect them. Plus, having a crush on the prince does not turn her into a brainless puddle of goo, something that I see a lot when the heroine hangs out with the hero of her book.

Book two promises to be even better. I have no idea where the story will go from here and cannot wait to find out! Recommended to all fans of science fiction and fairy tales.

4 responses to “Review: Cinder”

  1. Freddy says:

    Great review!(: Can’t wait to check out this book!!!!

  2. Cayce says:

    Thank you for the review! I love sci-fi, robots and fairy tale retells, so Cinder sounds like something I’d enjoy. I’ll try to borrow it from my library 🙂

  3. Suz says:

    Great review! I read Cinder and loved it too! I was skeptical of yet another retelling of Cinderella but found this story very unique and original. I loved that Cinder is a cyborg and her character is awesome!

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