Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Synopsis: 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.
My thoughts: “Even in the future, the story begins with once upon a time…”
Retellings are such a huge thing right now, and I’m very happy for that. I’m a shameless supporter. Born and raised as a Disney kid, I get so excited to see so many of the stories I grew up with grow up with me and shape into something darker and new, and allow me to explore these characters and stories in new ways. Ah, it’s so fun. So I was excited by the idea of Cinder, even though it sounded kind of strange, but for some reason it took me forever to actually pick it up and try it out.
So it’s loosely based on Cinderella. But she’s a cyborg. And there’s a plague. And there are creatures trying to wage a war. From space.
And it’s awesome.
I was excited for this and a little worried, but it exceeded my expectations in a fantastic way. The society is built so well; I loved the world of the Lunar Chronicles and found it so interesting. Applause to Marissa Meyer for creating such a compelling world. Also, Cinder rocks. She is such a great protagonist. There is such a great balance about her character: gentle but tough, kind but harsh, broken but resilient. Ah, I adore her. And she had an awesome cast of characters to back her up. Prince Kai was a favorite–I loved his character development and thought his relationship with Cinder wasn’t forced or just stupid–and Queen Levana makes for a sinister and intriguing villain. The stepsisters are a staple for Cinderella, of course, and I loved the twist on them here. And Iko is so cute! All good stuff, all around.
Parts of the plot were easy to predict, but I didn’t mind–I feel like fairytales are supposed to have an aspect of predictability to them–and there were more than enough plot twists and turns to keep me from getting bored. The pace was quick so things didn’t drag, and the only problem with that was it was over way too soon. Bring on the sequel!
Rated 5/5 for taking a story I love and reshaping it into something new, edgy, and enchanting.