Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publish Date: January 2, 2012
Genre: YA, Sci-Fi, Dystopian
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 lives the life of your obligatory Cinderella, complete with the requisite wicked stepmother and hideous stepsister. But Cinder is different than meets the eye. She's a skilled mechanic with a gift that supports her family's seriously lavish lifestyle. Not only that though, Cinder is a cyborg, making her less than the average human in New Beijing. Life is difficult, of course, but it's about to get more difficult. When an intergalactic war begins to brew beneath the surface, Cinder is about to become an unwitting heroine...but is it a life she is willing to continue, or will it be too much for one cyborg to handle?
There's a whole mess of dystopians and sci-fi novels on the YA market today. That's no secret, kids, but when an author is willing to take a classic, turn it on its tail and make it into something entirely new. Debut author Marissa Meyer has transformed your classic Cinderella tale into something far greater than your average damsel in distress tale. Offering us a heroine that's flawed but witty, sweet but strong and far braver than all those around her, Cinder earns its spot on the YA market today with an honest, fun and intense tale.
I was a little leery of Cinder, to be honest, despite my excitement. It's hard for a book to live up to the hype, but Cinder balances the task with ease. The characterization of our heroine was spot-on, allowing me to access the heart of her being from page one and become invested in her tale. Furthermore, all the secondary characters, including Cinder's stepmother, Prince Kai and her stepsisters came alive through rich and evocative dialogue and powerful actions. The true beauty of Cinder, however, lies within the world Cinder lives, New Beijing. The place was a virtual cesspool, dissolving under an incurable plague and ready to be attacked by the leader of the Lunar world, Queen Levana. Through the spine-tingling action and suspense, the romantic and believable love story and a great, fast-paced plot, Cinder succeeds on all levels.
Cinder is the first in a planned quartet of novels (love that it's not a trilogy!). Fun and thrilling, it's become an instant favourite of mine and definitely warrants a re-read. I give it a 4.5 out of 5, and I highly recommend it to all fans of YA fiction, especially those who like fairy tale retellings, sci-fi and dystopians.
I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.