Rating: 5 Stars
Age Recommendation: Young Adult +
Genre: Science Fiction, Fairytale Retelling
The Bottom of the screen was labeled:
She was 36.28 percent not human.
Cinder, by Marissa Meyer, is a science fiction, futuristic retelling of the classic Cinderella story. In this world, Cinder is a cyborg due to an accident that occurred when she was 11, when she had to have her hand and leg replaced. Now she’s dealing with all manner of wires and mechanical parts, but there are some benefits. She can download information to fill in the blanks when she doesn’t know something, which gives her an uncanny ability to fix machines. In a world full of androids, cyborgs, and advanced technology, being a mechanic means that she has a lot of work to do.
One day, she is working at her booth in the marketplace when Prince Kai, in line to be the next emperor of the Eastern Commonwealth, comes along in disguise and asks her to fix his android, claiming that it’s nothing but sentimentality that has caused him to ask her to fix such an old model. Now, the Eastern Commonwealth was created after the fourth World War, because a treaty was met in which combinations of countries have a leader each, and they all work together to protect themselves from their enemies: The Lunars. And they’re basically what they sound like the people living on the moon. But these Lunars are more than they seem, though I don’t want to give too much away.
In essence, Cinder is the typical Cinderella character, who wants to go to the ball, falls for the prince, so on and so forth. Except being a cyborg means she’s “unusual” and “scary” and just leads to a whole lot of trouble. And with a disease wiping out the population, everything in the Eastern Commonwealth seems more threatening than usual. Whether that stops Cinder or not… You’ll have to see. And remember that it’s a series, so the ending you expect likely isn’t the one you’ll get. [In the best way possible.]
I did have a bit of an issue with the sort of “chosen one” aspect of one of the characters in this story, but because of the backstory of that character, it actually isn’t as irritating as that trope usually is. In fact, I loved it. I figured out their backstory by about the 40th page, but I didn’t even mind it because the writing was so easy to get into and the flow was so beautiful.
I actually read this book in less than a day, staying up until eight in the morning, then waking up and immediately picking it up again to finish it. Granted, I read this more slowly than I likely would have if I had not been in a reading slump before picking it up. This book reminded me why I love reading, beyond just loving the stories, and I have a strong feeling that this series might be my new favorite Young Adult series.
Cinder is relatable and creative and incredibly funny, and it’s difficult not to feel bad for most of the characters, even if they’re considered “bad guys” within the plot. My favorite part, however, was that there were not paragraphs of explanation to introduce the world. Instead, it’s all brought in casually, because Cinder learns things or thinks about things that the reader would need to know. But it doesn’t feel forced or drawn out.
Even if you aren’t a fan of fairytale retellings, please pick this one up. Everyone needs to read this, even if it’s just so that I can have more of a chance of running into someone I can talk to about it.