It has been so long since i have posted a review! However that does not mean i have not been reading. While the majority of the books i have read have been Robin Cook books (i am slowly making my way through his entire bibliography (is that the word?)) i have read another book by a different author. Cinder is a Cinderella story with a twist! Written by Marissa Meyer it is a futuristic/dystopian Cinderalla story set in a new earth where Cinderella is actually Cinder and is a cyborg mechanic who is thrown into a world of magic, disease and planetary politics.
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 really enjoyed the plot of the story- both the content, the climax and the pacing of the plot. The story is set in a futuristic world where there was war between the countries. Many of the major cities were destroyed or majorly effects, the most important city to this story is new Beijing where this story takes place. While the nations on Earth are unified (for the most part) they face a different enemy- the Lunar people who live on the moon. They are rumoured to possess magic, with this magic able allow them to create a glamour (a projection of themselves, like a new face or appearance that people see instead of their own) and the ability to brainwash/control people with their minds. While these powers seem very ‘supernatural’ and ‘weird’ and you would think that they would not fit into a story that is set on Earth in the future, Meyer’s writing allows these ‘magical beings’ to fit into the world and the context of her story almost seamlessly. The story follows a cyborg Cinder who is under the guardianship and is owned by her step-mother, as cyborgs are not legally seen as people and cannot be independent. She is a normal girl until Prince Kai stops by her store for some mechanical work on his droid and everything changes.
One of the most interesting thing about the plot and the world Meyer’s created is the Leumatosis disease- a plague that has spread across much of New Beijing and the surroundings. it has been mentioned that it has spread to Europe and other places of the world, but the extent of it’s spread has not been fully revealed. This disease has many stages, and one of the primary plot points of the book is the search for a cure, and how it actually started. So far it has been a really interesting part of the story, and has meant that the obvious romance plot (i mean it is a Cinderella story) is not the primary point of focus and contributes to the sci-fi and fantasy nature of the story.
Overall i loved the plot and i thought it ended at a really good place. The famous ball scene is the highlight of the original fairytale and i was let down slightly by how it was adapted in this book. However the rest of the adaptation i thought was well done and fresh- and really got the balance between the romantic Cinderalla story and the sci-fi/fantasy world created.
Cinder is one of my favourite YA protagonists in all of the books i have read this year. I thought she was characterised well and we really grew to learn more about her character with nothing that she did throughout the story feeling ‘out of character’ or just ‘weird’. Her interactions with Prince Kai and sweet and a joy to read and i also liked the close relationship she had with her step-sister, something we have not really seen in previous Cinderella stories. Her Step-Mother was stereotypical, the same can be said concerning her other step-sister. So far we have not learnt much about these individuals or the motivation for their treatment of Cinder. This is something i hope is explored in the coming books.
While i am not one for romance, cinderella is one of my favourite fairytales and i am stoked to have found an adaptation of this classic story that i enjoyed. While it has it’s root in the classic the world created sets it apart from other adaptations, and i loved the character of Cinder and how she is given a strong voice and has the ability to make her own decisions and choose her other path even in the face of adversity. I recommend for anyone who loves alternative retellings of classic stories, and it is not too focused on the romance with hints of politics and science scattered throughout.
I am getting my hands on the next book in the series to read as soon as i can!