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. . . .
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.
My Review: I've always loved Cinderella. From the Disney version to Malinda Lo's recent retelling with Ash. I have got to say though, that Cinder is by far my favorite retelling. Marissa Meyer did so much more than tweak the classic tail. She literally created a whole new world. New Beijing is a clash of the old and new. Advanced technology where androids run amok in the city entwine with traditional Chinese culture seamlessly. Technology and a nearly magical race of Lunar's clash to still give the story that fairytale feel. Meyer effortlessly spins a tale of a second class cyborg, an interplanetary struggle, and a forbidden love. It's safe to say that I fell in love within the first 20 pages.
Cinder is truly unique among MC's. I loved the fact that she was a mechanic. There is just something amazingly awesome about a girl being a grease monkey. Plus she's a cyborg, which just added to the awesome-ness. I really don't think I've come across cyborgs in other YA books. Correct me if I'm wrong, I probably just haven't read it if that's the case, but I really loved it. I know I always loved Cyborg from Teen Titans, so it was nice to see another venue for them. Cinder as an MC was just fantastic. I loved her no nonsense attitude and how she tries to be so stoic and down to earth in regards to Kai. She definitely had some spunk to her and doesn't go down without a fight. Her devotion to her step-sister was truly beautiful. She cares for Peony so much and would do anything for her. Despite her biotch of a stepmother and other step sister, she doesn't hold it against Peony. Though others treat her poorly, Cinder takes the high ground and good to people no matter what.
I really loved Kai as well. (Does anybody else notice the new trend in the name of Kai for guy's in novels?) Even though he's crown prince, he's amazingly down to earth and has a great sense of humor. He is truly devoted to the well being of his country to the point of self sacrifice. He's able to see past the fact that Cinder is a commoner and a mechanic. He get's to know her for herself and falls for her. I was kind of disappointed with him towards the end. Though I think it wasn't because Cinder turned out to be a cyborg. I have a feeling he'll come around.
The Lunar people were definitely an added spin. Thank goodness I have a moderate understanding of quantum entanglement and knew what the whole bioelectricity thing was about. It has a scientific explanation but the citizens of New Beijing just refer to it as "magic". And damn those Lunars were EVIL. I'm terrified of humanity ever colonizing the moon now. Maybe Mars would be a better choice eh? The kind of side story to the lost heir to the Lunar throne was very cool as well. I liked the concept and the ingenuity in the creation of the whole Lunar race.
I loved every minute of this book. It still kind of sticks to the classic plotline, but there are so many more twists thrown in that you will always be surprised. I totally called a few things, but it didn't make it anti-climatic. Cinder was a highly original undertaking that put a fresh spin on an old classic. I absolutely cannot wait for the sequel! ^.^