I received this book for free from Penguin Australia in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Written by Marissa Meyer
Published January, 2012 by Puffin
Provided by: Penguin Australia
Genres: Dystopian, Re-Tellings, Sci-Fi
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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.
Initially, Cinder wasn’t a book I’d heard a lot about or had placed at the top of my reading pile. After some rave reviews, however, I decided to give it a shot! Fast-paced, enjoyable, unique… these are just some of the words I’d use to describe this 2012 debut by Marissa Meyer! Cinder is not a book to be missed!
Yes, Cinder is a new and fresh re-telling of the Cinderella fairy-tale. At first I was hesitant, seeing that I know SO MANY ‘new’ takes on the story, but this book takes only the best elements of the story and twists them into something new and exciting. The cover of my copy says ‘this is not the fairy tale you remember’, and that’s entirely true. Of course there are familiar aspects – such as the step-mother, Cinder being a ‘servant’ – but those things are thrown together into a new and futuristic setting.
Cinder is a story of cyborgs, androids, incurable diseases, spaceships and even hosts a civilization that lives on the moon. From the word GO, this book had me interested. Everything flows perfectly and seamlessly and it makes for a very entertaining read. While the story DOES feature a ball, the main plot-driver of this book is the disease that threatens the Earth. Cinder’s main motivations are based around that threat, as her step-sister, who she actually cares about, is at risk of never recovering. This determination wars with Cinder’s yearning to escape her stifling and cruel stepmother with her best friend – the house android, Iko.
While I did figure out the ‘twist’ in the story quite early on (perhaps because I read something with a similar twist recently – The Pledge by Kimberly Derting) there was plenty more in Cinder that captured my interest. There’s also a whole cast of characters that I happened to enjoy. Cinder, Kai, Peony and Iko were standout favourites, but I also found myself wanting to know more about the villains: the Lunar Queen, Sybil and the mysterious girl behind the D-Comm chip that seems to resemble Rapunzel!
The relationship between Cinder – a cyborg – and Prince Kai – the heir to the throne of New Beijing – was one I loved reading about. Marissa Meyer managed to make their friendship relaxed and easy-going, one formed on mutual respect despite their class differences. I think those two things were integral in having their relationship advance to more later on – and still be believable.
The Lunar Chronicles promises to introduce more fairy tale characters in later books; such as as Rapunzel, Red Riding Hood and Snow White, and I cannot wait to see how Marissa Meyer re-creates them. The story also finished on SUCH a cliffhanger, and I find myself not knowning HOW I’m going to stand the wait between books.
Recommended to: Anyone who enjoys a dash of sci-fi or dystopian will enjoy this one, as well as readers who are looking for a fresh. new series to get involved with.