Published by Feiwel & Friends on January 3rd 2012
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.
In this thrilling debut young adult novel, the first of a quartet, Marissa Meyer introduces readers to an unforgettable heroine and a masterfully crafted new world that’s enthralling.
Cinderella was one of my favorite fairy tales growing up. It seems that every time a new retelling comes out, I just have to jump on it. Cinder was no exception. Look at the cover! Plus we are getting a Cinderella with cyborgs! Was so excited for this one.
Cinder is a fully imagined retelling of the classic Cinderella tale with plenty of science fiction add-ins. One of the first things that I noticed about Cinder was how different it felt from every other version of Cinderella I have ever read. But strangely familiar to another one.1
Cinder lives in New Beijing. A futuristic world that captured my imagination right away. But left me feeling like there was something missing. Wait, I know! It was the Asian flavor. New Beijing is filled with hints of the Asian culture that never get fully realized. It is like Meyer started to go down that path, but half way there decided that it was best to stay almost a vague as possible.
This comes through the most with our MC, Cinder. A cyborg who is presented as basically everything but being of Chinese decent. I found it odd that most of New Beijing's citizens are at least hinted at to be of Chinese decent, yet our MC clearly seems not to be. While her ethnic background does not deter from the story, it was issues such as these that bogged me down as I read Cinder.
True,Cinder is a fully imagined retelling of the classic Cinderella tale. But Meyer seems to never let the story go into its fullest potential. It is almost as if the story got stuck trying to conform to the classic tale so much that it lost its sparkle somewhere along the road. Or maybe Meyer just bit off a little too much. Cyborgs… people from the Moon / war with the people of the Moon… A lunar virus… and the classic tale? Just putting all that together seems a little much.
Cinder may have its flaws, but I still loved this book anyway. Was definitely a book that kept me turning the pages till the very end. And with so much left unfinished, I am desperately hoping for a sequel.2
A science fiction fairy-tale? Count me in. Besides the shiny beautiful cover, the plot really captured my attention and I couldn't wait to read it. I'm a lover of fairy tales and I've found myself enjoying more science fiction lately than I remember ever liking.
I was captivated by the story. A cyborg, Cinder is an orphan who lives with her guardian and two step sisters. One of them is sweet and loving, the other is mean and vicious. And of course, her guardian blames Cinder for the death of her husband. Cinder's earth has been taken over by the plague and they are looking for the cure any way they can. Add in a prince, who shows up incognito and needs his personal android repaired, Cinder cannot help but say she'll look into it. She's a mechanic at the market to make money for her family and is treated for the most part like dirt compared to her step sisters.
Beyond the cinderella plot, there is another larger plot, one that involves politics, war and a marriage proposal that the Prince highly objects to. The moon is it's own political sphere with beings that have biological powers that can control humans and even other Lunars (as they are called). The queen wishes to become Empress of Earth, but to what end – peace or war?
There's so much in this story, that it could never be a standalone, which means, no happily ever after – just yet. I love the characters, from Cinder's android Iko to Cinder and the Prince himself, they stand out and help you pull into the story.
Definitely a series I will be looking forward to more of in the future. It will drive me crazy to find out what happens next, but patient I must be.
1 Spoiler: Read at your own risk. Girl from the Moon. Boy from Earth. The whole time I was reading Cinder it amazed me how much it reminded me of Sailor Moon. After reading the book, I found out Meyer use to write fan fiction for Sailor Moon, so I guess it all makes sense.↩
2 According to sources at this time, Cinder is Book 1 of the Lunar Chronicles. While I originally thought that Books 2-4 would be more of Cinder and her adventures… it appears for now that this is not the case. Each follow book seems to tackle a new fairy tale. And while I am all for that.. I just want Cinder's tale to get completed.↩