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.
In this thrilling debut young adult novel, the first of a quartet, Marissa Meyer introduces readers to an unforgettable heroine and a masterfully crafted new world that’s enthralling.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Marissa Meyer’s Cinder was one of the first books I read for 2012, and boy, did it set the tone for the rest of the year. In early December, I started to see a lot of positive buzz. I was sent an ARC (advanced reading copy) and it took a lot of will power to hold off starting the book. But once I did…wow.
Cinder is a futuristic spin on the fairy tale classic, Cinderella. Wait, let me clarify. While Cinder has the story basis of Cinderella, Meyer did a great job making the story her own. Cinder is not only a retelling, but what I would think as a re-conceptualized creation. While I gathered bits and pieces of Cinderella, I took away only the amazing story that is Cinder.
Linh Cinder is a cyborg Cinderella. How awesome is that? In Meyer’s world, a cyborg has prosthetic limbs and organs wired into her body, as well as a system implanted into her brain. And while Cinder is only part cyborg, she feels the full weight of prejudice. To add to that, Cinder has a stepmother who detests her, two stepsisters, and lives the life of a household servant.
But Cinder is more than just a cyborg, and definitely more than just another Cinderella. There is an element of familiarity to Cinder that comforts me. On the other hand, Cinder/s story is new and filled with surprises. Cinder has a great sense of adventure that keeps me on my feet. She is intelligent, witty, yet vulnerable. Cinder is a strong protagonist, one who I am glad to know.
The world is set in New Beijing, the capital of the Eastern Commonwealth. It is ruled by a monarchy, but is deemed helpless to the plague that threatens the lives of the people. Along with the current king, no one is safe. Another threat knocks on the door of New Beijing. The Lunar Empire and its queen has taken advantage of the sick king and threatens to end their peace. Prince Kai must step into his role on the throne and do what is right for the people.
In my opinion, Meyer did a created a world which includes Eastern Commonwealth and Lunar. The world fuels my imagination, with details of the palace, the slums, as well as the people. Different races? A plague? Magic? Meyer wrote about the culture and the people who inhabited Eastern Commonwealth. She made it real for me. She gave me a fascinating world that allowed me to paint the backdrop of this great tale. But while people want more, I think it’s enough to satisfy the the imagination and leaves enough for my curiosity.
My favorite part about Cinder were the characters that Meyers wrote about. Each one was well crafted, allowing my imagination to accept them as real people. Aside from Cinder, there is a fantastic cast.
Prince Kai, to me, was different than many male leads I have read about. He had a sense of strength, loyalty, and other traits that most royals would have, but Meyers introduced him to me as someone with compassion and humility. The romance that develops between Cinder and Kai is believable. It wasn’t an insta-love thing. It wasn’t even angsty! It was just right.
Meyers created a world that I wanted to be a part of. Regardless if Cinder‘s setting is futuristic, or even that it is a fairy tale, I wanted to be a part of everything. There are cultural references, political interest, and most definitely an adventure that is out of this world. So much went into this book, and from the intricate details, characters, and words, you can tell.
Cinder is definitely a must read for 2012. But this is only my opinion. You will have to read it to find out for yourself.