Thursday, January 12, 2012
Cinder, by Marissa Meyer
Release date: January 3rd 2012
Published by: Feiwel & Friends
Genre: Young Adult
Rating: 4/5 stars
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.
I put Cinder in my to-be read pile right after I found out this was a retelling of Cinderella – one of the most adorable faerie tales. But that’s not the only thing that kept me impatient for its release. A dystopian society in which cyborgs live amongst humans sure is an interesting setting, and adding Cinderella to the mist only leads to a hell of a book. My expectations were high for Cinder, and I wasn’t disappointed. Not at all.
Cinder, a mechanic cyborg that lives with her witchy step-mother, is our main character. I didn’t hate the girl, but nor did I love her. She was just a girl that lived with what she could have, and made the best out of it. I liked the way she viewed things, the way she was consistent in her thoughts, centered, and knew her place in society – even if that’s the toughest thing to handle.
Her life spins out of control when Prince Kai enters her booth and asks her to fix his android. The young, handsome boy is Commonwealth’s star, but there he was, about to contract Cinder. Being the hero of the book – and the love interest – I expected Kai to be serene, thoughtful, Edward-like, but that’s not what I got. Kai is suffering with his dad’s decease, and his cheerfulness is shadowed by his responsibilities. He’s such an adorable man, and every time he tried to court Cinder I smiled like a silly girl. Even though the romance is not thrown at the reader, it’s definitely there, slowly wining Cinder and who’s reading.
I enjoyed the dystopian aspects of the society as well. The Earth has gone through 4 World Wars, and a lot of cities were destroyed by the constant conflicts. The technology has evolved a lot, and it’s always funny – and a little disturbing - to see how each author works with this world, if enough background is presented, and if it all makes sense. Marissa Meyer did a great job at it, but I was a little lost throughout the story. I wanted to know how the cyborgs were introduced in society, how the world came down to this point – and I admit, being a history geek, I was curious about the third and fourth World Wars. Cinder is the first book in a trilogy, so more answers will be provided in the next book (I hope).
I was halfway through Cinder when I realized that this was a trilogy. And I was like, “What? No! I want the happy ending now.” The ending of this book feels like a cliffhanger, and honestly, I don’t know if I will be able to wait so long for the sequel. I just have to find out what’s going to happen next. Marissa Meyer managed to write her own story, based on its own world and background, with elements of the original Cinderella – just enough so that the reader can tell that it’s a retelling, but without being obvious. This may very well be one of the best retellings I’ve ever read. Well done, Mrs. Meyer!