Author: Marissa Meyer
My rating: 3.75/5
Goodreads rating: 4.14/5
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
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.
So finally I have read Cinder! I am big fan of retellings most of the time but of course I left this particular retelling on my shelf for no obvious reason. But I thought a good fantasy retelling of Cinderella would be a perfect book to read to help start off the year in bookish style.
With knowing that the Lunar Chronicles was (or still really is rather) a popular book series it’s a miracle that I haven’t been spoiled by anyone (but Instagram can be dangerous at times). This was a very solid book which I expected it to be but with some underlying issues that I will comment down below.
Cinder is about a cyborg named Cinder who is a talented mechanic but at the mercy of her highly annoying step mother and is forced to run a mechanic store to pump money into the household. One day however her step sister becomes infected with a deadly illness and Cinder is forced against her will to help with find a cure, but this venture brings some startling truths about her past to the surface and Cinder is made to choose between her freedom and the Commonwealth’s fate.
Now the pacing for the story was kind of wonky in places I have to say and so many revelations are revealed that the pentacle moment in the novel is a little underwhelming. I have to commend Meyer for producing such a unique story though. I like that Cinder is a retelling with a sci-fi twists which add to the story big time and the more magical elements help solidify the plot. But as I said there are loads of revelations or really plots which sometimes came together well and other times not so well which make the story not as smooth as it could be.
The world building around the whole plot was lacking ever so slightly- I would of loved to get to know this whole new world better and understand the whole state of affairs, what people do, if violence was a big issue, just things like that to piece to get the world.
The writing was average really. Nothing really stood out to me too much and nothing disappointed me as well She got across all the key points that she needed to clearly and the story kept my interest hooked.
The story is quick to read and I liked that nothing dragged on too much, everything just kept moving on smoothly. The changing POVs was something I was not expect but enjoyed as she conveyed the characters personalities really superbly during their chapters.
I liked the characters in this story. Everyone. Though they didn’t leave a huge impression on my, I enjoyed reading about them loads and I can see the potential of further development in each of them.
Cinder was a great protagonist! First of all she was a mechanic (total respect deserved) and she seemed to have a good smart head on her shoulders. I wished she stood up to her step mother though- well she did several times but with not enough energy as I expect a teenage to have. Also, I disliked the fact that (SPOILERS BY THE WAY) she turned out to be the lost princess. First she’s a special cyborg that makes her stand out enough, but then she’s immune and she’s a lunar without powers, then she’s a lunar with powers and also she’s a princess. I would of liked the princess to be a different character than we are used to and not the ‘chosen one’ protagonist.
Anyway I liked Kai and especially his relationship with his advisor. He can be mature, but then like a normal teenager and charming. Iko was another funny character as well and I liked her bond with Cinder.
The Queen seems like the perfect antagonist: deadly, arrogant, nononsense and an actual threat.
What I liked:
- The characters
- Unique plot
- The different POVs
- Cliffhanger ending
What I disliked:
- The pacing was sometimes off
- The average writing
- Not enough world building for my liking
This is a very solid first book of a series and an interesting retelling of the classic Cinderella. Though it is still rough around the edges, you can still enjoy this story.