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…
Sixteen-year-old Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past and is reviled by her stepmother. 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. Because there is something unusual about Cinder, something that others would kill for.
First published: 2012
One of my bookish resolutions for 2015 is to read more books out of my comfort zone. Cinder is the first novel in this category! I’d seen (but never really read) some reviews of it around the blogosphere, but figured it wouldn’t really be my cup of tea. Once I finally did read some more about it, it sounded like something I might like after all, so I ordered it. A few weeks ago, I read it, and loved it!
Cinder is a fairytale retelling, and I think (although I’m not sure) this is the first fairytale retelling I’ve ever read. I’ve always loved the idea, and this is such a cool and original way to do it! Cinder is a cyborg, which makes her looked down upon, and also means she has very few rights. Being a cyborg means having received a second chance at life and being part robot, and people don’t seem to appreciate that. Especially Cinder’s stepmother really hates her. Sound familiar? I loved coming across stuff like that, those clear references to the original fairytale.
Of course, this story takes place in a completely different time than the original Cinderella, or than our own time for that matter. It’s set in the future, with androids and hovers and all kinds of new technology. Meyer did a great job with the world building, and while it took a little time for me to get into this high tech world, I became quite invested once I got used to the terminology. It was also a lot of fun to learn a bit more about how this world got to be this way — you keep learning more bits and pieces about its history.
That also ties in with how well this story is written. I kept wanting to read on, because I wanted to know more. Meyer’s writing is quick paced, to the point and not of the flowery kind. It’s so easy to keep reading and I just flew through the book. I felt this style fit really well with the atmosphere of the story, and probably also enhanced it. It has this briskness about it, but is also sort of dark at the same time.
While a lot of this atmosphere has to do with the world and the crisis that they’re facing, Cinder’s personality influenced it as well. She’s so fed up with her stepmother and with being a second-class citizen, you can just feel the frustration emanating from the pages. She’s also very witty, however, and a very talented mechanic, which, all together, make for a very interesting character. And then there’s of course prince Kai, who’s just positively swoony. Not gonna lie, I love a swoony character every once in a while!
Although I loved the plot, I did see the biggest plot twist coming a mile away. That didn’t really bother me, though, because there were still surprises along the way, and I wasn’t 100 percent sure it was going to happen until it actually did. It was also very interesting to read about the political aspects of the story — all the diplomacy with regard to the Lunar people, for instance. It will be very nice to see how all that develops throughout the series.
I very much enjoyed Cinder, and I’ve ordered the second book, Scarlet, just last weekend, because I just have to know more! Cinder ended on quite the cliffhanger, and I’m so invested in this world now that I just want to keep reading!