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.
Review: What a fantastic story. As a young girl I absolutely loved Cinderella – I loved the fairy tale itself and I can’t even begin to count how many times I watched the Disney version on VCR also. Cinder is what the sci-fi/dystopian version of Cinderella would be. Only it’s way more awesome than what you’re probably imagining. It has androids, cyborgs, Lunars (moon people), emporers and evil stepmothers… which really no matter which way you look at it wins in any argument, hands down.
Cinder is a young girl, a mechanic in New Beijing. She is mostly human… due to an accident when she was younger she is 33% Cyborg. She has computorised and metal components to her, which ultimately saved her life, but she is embarassed about. When she’s not at the markets trying to make money, she has to endure being spoken down to by her stepmother Adri and her stepsister Pearl. She does however get along quite well with her other stepsister Peony, and she also has a friend in an android named Iko who is ever loyal.
Cinder’s life changes for the better the day she meets Prince Kai. He appears incognito at the market that Cinder holds a stall at asking Cinder if she would please repair his beloved android. Cinder agrees, and this chance meeting sparks a number of subsequent meetings where the Prince becomes quite smitten with Cinder.
When Peony develops the plague that has been killing so many others, Cinder dreads the worst. Out of spite, her cruel stepmother orders Cinder to surrender her own life in order to help the doctors try to find a cure for the plague. She alows them to try and use Cinder as a pincushion in vein that it may save Peony. However, much to the doctors surprise, Cinder is immune and released.
In the time being, the moon colony, known as the Lunars – who are ruled by an evil destructive leader: Queen Levana. Queen Levana has decided that she is going to make Prince Kai marry her by any means necessary. With Cinder continually in the picture this certainly adds a spanner to the works.
Fairy tale retelling
I am a lot of the time quite skeptical when I first hear about fairy tales being re-told because I think for many of us, they hold such a special meaning to us. I know I grew up on them, and so anything that would change that gets me quite nervous. But fear not. Whilst this story is very losely based on Cinderella, it is truly not comparable. If anything the way Marissa Meyer has written this story is genius, because we know the story already, however the twists and turns that are in this book are fantastic. And whilst I guessed the main twist in this story quite early on, I still felt completely satisfied when I was correct with my guess. So much happened in this book though that you could not predict or guess though and truly it’s for this reason you should read this book.
New Beijing you say?
I know right? Cinder is set in China. Which is completely amazing may I add. I really wasn’t sold on the idea before I read the story, but after having read it, it just works on so many levels. It’s also completely unique, because let’s face it. How many other YA books can you say are set in a post-apocolyptic, dytopian-esque, plague torn China? I believe none.. except Cinder. It really takes this fairy tale and changes it completely into something new all over again.
Oh… Prince Kai
I think it’s fair to say I may have had a bit of a crush on the Prince! I love a persistent male character, and Prince Kai is that. He makes it known to Cinder he wants her to be his guest at the ball, and doesn’t stop when she says no. In real life, this might be considered creepy, but for some reason in YA books, it always works for me. Everytime. I loved Prince Kai’s sincerity and innocence.
This is a beautiful first book in what appears to be a series of at least four books. The fantastic thing about Cinder is that there are ultimately a number of sub plots happening throughout the book, so it really leaves us wanting more answers to a number of things. I am really excited for the rest of this series. Most definitely deserving of 5 stars, a wonderfully entertaining story that will stay with you long after you read it.
Rating: 5 out of 5