by Marissa Meyer
Summary from Goodreads:
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.
Forgive me, fellow book lovers, for I have judged a book before reading it. I took one look at the summary for Cinder and said something to the effect of “Cool. . . but not my thing.” Then this book started showing up everywhere in people’s favorite books of 2012 list, and my curiosity couldn’t be contained, so I grabbed it from a local bookstore when I saw it had been marked down to a mere $5, and I found that Cinder is indeed my kind of thing.
There’s so much to like in this book. We have Cinder, the cyborg Cinderella who is a mechanic, has a good relationship with one of her stepsisters, and lives in New Beijing where there’s all sorts of intergalactic political tension and a deadly plague, and that’s only the beginning. Cinder is such a great character, fresh and unique, and Kai, the Prince in our tale, is the same way. In fact, I really like the character of Kai. In many Cinderella retellings, the Prince is little more than a plot device, but in Cinder he’s a real, living character who has decisions to make and stress on his shoulders and a million things on his mind. Every interaction between Cinder and Kai seems genuine and believable.
I give props to Meyer for making a retelling of Cinderella fresh, because while in some ways it is a classical retelling, in others it’s extremely different. As I read, I thought I had a vague idea of where the plot was going, and I did, but instead of making me lose interest that little bit of plot I could follow just left me wanting to know exactly how everything happened. Even though the book is around 380 pages, I raced through it and read it all in one sitting. I couldn’t leave Cinder and her world when I didn’t know the ending of the book. The “twist” at the end of this book was pretty obvious early on, in my opinion, but it didn’t dilute the power of the book as much as I thought it would.
This world is just so original, I’m left wanting more. I can’t wait to the sequel, Scarlet, releases in February. You can find Cinder on Amazon.
Final Impression: I loved this book. It’s so unique, filled with characters that I think will soon become favorites, and left me wanting to know more of the world. I highly recommend it. 5/5 stars.