*Image and Summary taken from goodreads.com
Author: Marissa Meyer
Summary: 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.
Release Date: 1/03/12
For years, I have gone by the book section at Target, or gone through Barnes and Noble and have come across this book, but for reasons unknown to me, I had continued on my way, leaving this book behind. Then I began to hear things about this book. Small whisperings at first but then I began to hear things from my friends. I heard of how great this book was and how it was easily among some of their favorite books. So about a week ago, I was going down the book aisle at Target and saw this book once more, and decided why not give it a try.
And boy am I glad that I did! (and a little mad that I didn't read it sooner)
Cinder is a fun, refreshing take on a tale that we all know, Cinderella. We still see some of the similarities such as the wicked stepmother who uses Cinder and looks down upon her. A no longer present father, who died of a disease running rampant through New Beijing. And an orange vehicle taking the place of the orange pumpkin. Of course, a big difference between the Cinderella we know, and the Cinder we come to know in this book, is that Cinder is a cyborg.
The story was a relatively quick and easy read to get through, and the chapters were staggered in length which of course accounted for some late nights that I had not meant to have. I found myself wanting to get through my work day quickly so that I could once more dive into the interesting world of Cinder.
Probably my favorite part of this story, were the different characters we were introduced to. I found myself easily falling in love with Prince Kai right from the first meeting, and my love for him only continued with each meeting there after. He is a young prince who has secrets of his own, secrets that his android Nainsi knows. So when Nainsi stops working, he is left to bring her to Cinder to try and get her repaired. But of course, life doesn't just stop there for Prince Kai, throughout the book he is left with more pressure being put upon his shoulders and a Queen who wants nothing more than to see an alliance between herself and the prince.
Then we have Iko, an android belonging to Cinder's stepfamily, who has a flaw in her personality chip. Iko is such a fun and bubbly character and each time she is present, I can't help but smile at the way she acts. She has a good heart, and tries her best to help Cinder, as well as doing her duty to the family who owns her. And to make her an even more interesting and fun character, she is also an android who has a crush on Prince Kai.
And then, we have Peony, one of her stepsisters, though this one is kind. She is younger than Cinder, and doesn't mind that Cinder is a cyborg, unlike her sister and her mother who treat Cinder like she is a disgusting waste of space. Peony holds that innocence of a younger sister, and Cinder truly cares for her. And much like Iko, Peony also harbors a crush on the young prince, and dreams of dancing with him at the annual ball.
And last, we come to the Lunar Queen Levana, who uses her powers to manipulate those that she rules, as well as Earthens during her stay. She is a very interesting character, and a rather fun one to hate. Maybe that is because she does so much to make me hate her that I enjoy it so, but either way, she is so good at manipulating people that you can't help but wonder if the good guys will really win at all.
The story itself, may have been a bit predictable, but that didn't make it any less enjoyable. There were still plenty of new elements introduced to the story and Marissa Meyer certainly gave us a new world to discover and enjoy. She gave us plenty of back story and world building in this first book, so I already feel like I know the place that the story is taking place in. I found the concept of Moon people, the Lunars, to be really interesting, and I love how we learn about them and the different things that they can do. The other thing that I really enjoyed about this book, is that there wasn't just one conflict going on, but instead multiple that fit within the story, and each with varying degrees of intensity and importance.
I felt that the ending of Cinder, left me hanging, which I kind of suspected that it would seeing as the story is really only just getting started with Cinder. I was actually so afraid of the ending, I just knew it was going to end in a cliffhanger, that I went out and bought Scarlet while I still had about 70 pages left to read. But I knew that if I didn't, I was going to be so upset when I got to the end of the story and had to wait to get the second one. And while I was right, the ending definitely does end in a cliffhanger, its not one that was so pressing that I felt the need to begin reading the second book the moment that I put down the first. Of course this could also have something to do with the fact that I finished the book at about 1 in the morning and I was dead tired.
I am a bit sad that this series will be left to a four part series, the next being Scarlet (Little Red Riding Hood), followed by Cress (Rapunzel), and last is going to be Winter (Snow White). Although she has also written a book called Fairest which is about Queen Levana herself, and I'm super excited to read that as well.
Cinder is definitely a great book and I strongly recommend it! Its a fun and fresh take on a classic tale and the characters really make the book a fun read! Marissa Meyer certainly has a great series on her hands with this one!