Cinder is one of those books that could go horribly wrong. Cinder who lives in New Beijing with her evil stepmother and two stepsisters has an unknown, mysterious past. Through her mechanical workshop, she comes in contact with the Prince when she has to mend his defunct Android. In a nutshell, we have a Chinese Cinderella who is a mechanic and a cyborg in a dystopia setting. Could this really compute into an enjoyable read? Yes! It could and it does.
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Series: Lunar Chronicals #1
Published by Feiwel & Friends on 3 Jan 2012
Genres: Fantasy, ReTelling, Sci Fi, 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
I am finding it hard to pin point exactly what I loved about Cinder – the plot, the characters, the magic of the fairy tale spin? Well, yes, yes and yes! I read Cinder in a day. I had no choice. The book seemed to defy gravity, every time I tried to put it down; I ended up picking it back up again within minutes.
Lately I have been reading some books that were weighted down by purple prose. This is not the case here. All the descriptions are done perfectly, enough detail so you understand what’s happening but so much that you get bogged down in Sci-Fi lingo. This is perfect for me because if we get too many details, it shoots over my head and leaves me feeling frustrated and inadequate as a reader.
I kept forgetting that Cinder is a cyborg, let alone a girl from a book, to me she lives and breathes and feels just as I do. Her feelings of shame for what she is are heartfelt. I have often had times in my life where I felt I didn’t measure up so I felt instant empathy with Cinder over this. Her efforts to hide her foot as well reminded me of times where I tried to hide excess weight that I used to carry. These two things made Cinder an emotional read for me.
So many little fairytale quirks are captured in Cinder, I love it. It’s distinctive, fun and entertaining. And even better Cinder isn’t relying on the Handsome Prince to rescue her; she is more than capable of rescuing herself. To be honest, I would rather read Cinder than Cinderella to a child, it’s far more realistic!
And hurray for a book without insta-love. The relationship between Cinder and Kai is not so much a relationship as a pre-relationship. We see a bond building up, an attraction that is intensifying but nothing unrealistic. And as much as I loved Cinder as a character, Kai stands equally along with her in my mind. He has the heart and spirit of a true leader, putting his people ahead of his own desires. The prince and the cyborg mechanic might sounds like an unlikely match but if you read the book, you will know it’s just right.
Does it have negatives? Honestly, yes. Working out the plot is simple, you know exactly where this book is going, and there are no real twists. So we lost half a star. But as I loved everything else so much, that was all I could justify deducting.
Finally as this is based on a fairy tale, can we expect an unambiguous happy-ever-after ending? Well, it’s part of a series so I suppose you can guess the answer to that. But when books are this well written, I have no problem with that. Recommended, recommended, recommended!This post was getting too long so come back tomorrow for part 2 of my Cinder thoughts 🙂
Bookish Chat : Have you read Cinder, what are your thoughts on it? And if you haven’t read Cinder what do you think of the idea of putting a futuristic spin on a fairytale? Let the chat commence!