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Tuesday, April 24, 2012
"Cinder" by Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Age Group: Young Adult
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.
It has been a really long time since I've read the original Cinderella story, but I've always loved the various book and movie incarnations of it. When I first read the blurb for this book I thought, what could be more brilliant than a cyborg Cinderella, living in a dystopian world, with an impending intergalactic war? Um, nothing! Oh my goodness, this book was completely wonderful and insane.
I loved New Bejing and Marissa Meyer did an amazing job at building this world and making it feel like a real place. The market, the palace, Dr. Erland's office and the quarantine warehouse were all described in such a way that I felt like I was standing in them with the characters, even when they weren't very pleasant places to be. I also really liked the droids that were always around for various things. I've always thought it would be pretty cool to have robots around to do things for us, but these droids had personalities and some of them even seemed to have connections with people. That was so much cooler than regular old robots.
Now let's talk about Cinder. She was fantastic! So self-depricating and yet, so determined. I liked that we weren't reading the whole story from inside her head, it definitely felt more like a fairytale that way and then we also got to have scenes with some of the other characters when she wasn't around. I thought it might be weird with her cyborg attributes, but it was so easy to fall into and eventually you just feel like she is a regular person. No matter how much more than regular she turns out to be. I am the biggest fan of her droid Iko. Everytime she was around she made me chuckle and I loved the relationship she had with Cinder. They had such a comraderie and even though she had to obey Cinder's evil stepmother, she would be there for Cinder as far as she could. I know you aren't supposed to like the stepmother in this story and Adri was no different. She was so infuriating and I just wanted to reach into the book and smack her. Prince Kai, on the other hand, I wanted to reach into the book and snuggle. He was just so charming and nothing like you would expect a prince to be. From the very beginning he treated Cinder as someone worthy of his time. He may not have known she was a cyborg, but she was still technically beneath him and he never once let that stop him from seeing her. And the tension! I'm glad this isn't an instant love situation, especially since we have a few more books to look forward to, but I just wanted to scream at them to kiss already! Ugh!
The story definitely has a slow build to it, we get to gather a lot of information about the characters and the way things in their world work, before we really get into the conflicts of the story. The whole book was fantastic, but those last few chapters were just, wow! Some of the things that happened were a bit predictable, given that it is a take on a well known fairytale, but it didn't matter at all because it was such a fun ride getting there and her final delivery packed a nice bit of wallop. I am so excited to find out what is going to happen next in this wonderful series, I'm sure Marissa Meyer has more than a few surprises up her sleeve for us.
CINDER Audiobook Clip:
CINDER Book Trailer: