Thursday, February 23, 2012

Book Review: Cinder

Release Date: Jan. 3, 2012
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Pages: 387 pages
Genre: Science Fiction
Source: Publisher

Goodreads 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.

Cinder is retelling of the classic Cinderella story, but with a fantastic sci-fi twist. Since I love retellings, I’ve been looking forward to this one and it was even better than I expected!

Kudos to Marissa Meyer for making our futuristic Cinderella a cyborg which may sound weird, but it totally works for this book. The novel is set in New Beijing, a city rebuilt after the fourth world war. The world building is awesome and when I read about the setting of New Beijing, I could not help but think of scenes from one of my all time favorite sci-fi movies, Blade Runner. While Cinder is not dark like Blade Runner, there are the hovercrafts, Asian influences and androids that remind me of Cinder.

A big change from the original fairytale is instead of one villain, there are two. Adri is Cinder’s stepmother but she is really the wife of the man who adopted Cinder. He died shortly after the adoption and Adri has hated Cinder ever since. Adri is bitter, petty and does her best to put Cinder down. While we hate Adri for bullying Cinder, the real threat is from Queen Levana, ruler of a race of people with paranormal abilities who inhabit the moon. Levana is evil, manipulative and cunning with plans to rule Earth, but she needs to marry Prince Kai to put her plans into motion.

Cinder is a very likable character. She has a bad home situation that she desperately wants to escape from, but of course, her destiny is more entwined with Prince Kai and the Lunars than she can ever imagine. There is more to Cinder than meets the eye and it is easy to figure out very early in the novel. With Adri’s verbal abuse and Cinder’s insecurities over her cyborg enhancements, it’s easy to empathize with her, especially when Prince Kai flirts with her and Cinder thinks she is not good enough for him.

I don’t feel that I got to know Prince Kai well enough in this book. A few portions of the novel were told from his perspective and we see that he is a nice guy who puts the safety and well being of his people before his own happiness. He is sarcastic, smart and completely swoon worthy. His friendship with Cinder is sweet and leaves room to grow and develop. I really hope we get a lot more of Kai in upcoming books because he has the potential to become one of my favorite book boys.

Cinder does not end with a cliffhanger but leaves you wanting so much more! Cinder is an awesome debut novel and I hate that I have to wait until next year to read the sequel. This is one of my favorite retellings and I highly recommend it!

Content: Kissing and some violence

My Rating: The Best!


Xia said...

I stayed up last night until 3 just to finish the story. I couldn't put it down! I found the story a bit predictable, but I loved it nonetheless.
I can't believe the next book won't come out until 2013. It's so long from now. :(

Kristin Rae said...

Thanks for the review! I've been looking forward to this, the author is coming to town in April!! :)

kay - Infinite Shelf said...

Wow, great review! I hope I'll enjoy it as much as you did; it certainly sounds different from other books on my shelves right now!

KM said...

So glad you loved this one! I did too! SO good!!!

Asheley (@BookwormAsheley) said...

Can't wait for the next one.
The waiting is the hardest part. ;)

Bookworm1858 said...

The addition of that second villain really took away my enjoyment of the Cinderella aspect, which is what I was most excited about. Cinderella's only antagonist is supposed to be her stepmother! Not that it really matters as this was a very enjoyable story!

Anonymous said...

I had a feeling when I read & loved this that you would like it too. And it seems you did! Great review. I couldn't have said it better myself. :)


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