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.
I read this book per recommendation from a few people, and while I was slightly disappointed I am glad I read it. Cinder wasn’t anything super spectacular, but it was a fun book and it did set up a great story for what I’m hoping will be a really good series. Since Little Red Riding Hood is my favorite fairy tale I was eager to get through this first book so I could get to Scarlet, and I am really excited to read it.
The writing is spectacular, however. Marissa Meyer has created this complex sci-fi world that is so futuristic, but it also has an old world charm to it. It’s set in New Beijing, but I got a very Aladdin-esque feel from it. The marketplace, the palace, it all felt really homey and familiar, then the net screens, hover crafts, and uhm hello, cyborgs! That all had a very future-y feel to it and it was great.
Another thing that I did love beyond Marissa’s writing style was the story between Kai and Cinder. Every time those two were on the page together I was hooked. Kai is so cool, I really don’t have a better word to describe him beyond that. I have to give Cinder some serious props for being able to keep herself composed around him. Those two were what kept me reading.
For the most part though it was kind of slow moving. All the world politics stuff that was going on with Prince Kai and the rest of the world leaders was a little stale, but I kind of understand why it had to be put in. Kai is under a lot of pressure after all. But those parts, along with some of the virus cure research parts, were a little blah.
When it comes to the ending it was slightly predictable in some ways and then in others I was slightly blown away.
If you haven’t read the book and you don’t care for spoilers, shield your eyes.
As soon as we found out that Cinder was Lunar it’s not hard to put two and two together that she would end up being related to Queen Levana somehow. I was thinking daughter personally, but I guess I just didn’t think about it hard enough because it actually is something that is pretty easy to figure out, since Princess Selene is the one relative of Levana’s that could ruin her claim to the thrown. So I was pretty shocked at first to find that Cinder = Princess Selene, but after thinking about it more it really isn’t that surprising. What I am looking forward to now I when Kai finds out. That will be a real treat!!
All in all I’m glad I read Cinder but I can’t say that I absolutely loved it. I do recommend it though, especially since from what I’ve heard/read the rest of the series is amazing. I started Scarlet last night and I’m already enjoying it. So watch out for a review on that soonish.