Title: Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1)
Author: Marissa Meyer
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: January 3rd 2012
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 am not a big fan of fairy tale retelling because a) I never really liked fairy tales as a child and b) I find fairy tale retelling predictable. At first I shied away from Cinder. I knew even without reading the blurb that it’s a retelling of Cinderella. The title and the cover kind of gave it away.
“Even in the Future the Story Begins with Once Upon a Time.”
But the blogosphere is abuzz with Cinder so I decided to read the blurb. I’ve read some fairy tale retelling before but never have I encountered one that’s set in the future with cyborgs and androids and cool techy stuff. So hey why not try this book. And I am glad I did!
Ah where do I begin? I have so much feels for this book it’s difficult to form coherent thoughts, much less write a decent review but I will try my best.
One of the things I love about Cinder is that she’s a badass girl. I find it very cool that she’s a cyborg even though the other characters in the book find cyborg inferior. She also has a very kind heart without being a doormat. She is ready to fight for herself if she has to.
“Do your kind even know what love is? Can you feel anything at all, or is it just… programmed?”
Although this is a fairy tale retelling and most fairy tale retelling centers on romance, Cinder doesn’t focus much on that aspect. I like the fact that Cinder is not defined by her love interest– Kai. The romance in this book isn’t the mushy-gushy kind.
“Kai cleared his throat. Stood straighter. “I assume you are going to the ball?”
“I-I don’t know. I mean, no. No, I’m sorry, I’m not going to the ball.”
Kai drew back, confused. “Oh well…but…maybe you would change your mind? Because I am, you know.”
“Not bragging,” he said quickly. “Just a fact.”
This book has a lot of memorable and lovable characters. One of those is the very swoon-worthy Prince Kai. I mean c’mon, who doesn’t swoon when she meets a prince? And then there’s Iko, she’s an android and a very good friend to Cinder. She might just be an android but I find her very lovable. I want an android friend like Iko too!
“Cinder twisted up her lips. “Do you think it could have a virus?”
“Maybe her programming was overwhelmed by Prince Kai’s uncanny hotness.”
All in all, Cinder managed to retain the essence of the original fairy tale while creating its own twists on Cinderella. This is high on my most-recommended list, whether you are into retelling of classic tales or not, you’ll enjoy reading this book!