If you’ve ever been to a bookstore and walked within 10 feet of the young adult section, you’ve likely seen this book on the shelf. It is the first book in a wildly popular series that essentially are all Disney princess retellings. Cinder by Marissa Meyer, of course, is a Cinderella retelling. Instead of young girl who is made to clean the home she lives in as a slave, Cinder is a cyborg who works as a mechanic and is responsible for earning money for her family.
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #1
Published by Feiwel and Friends on January 3rd 2012
Genres: Science Fiction, Fantasy
Narrator: Rebecca Soler
Length: 10 hrs and 6 mins
Sixteen-year-old Cinder is considered a technological mistake by most of society and a burden by her stepmother. Being cyborg does have its benefits, though: Cinder's brain interference has given her an uncanny ability to fix things (robots, hovers, her own malfunctioning parts), making her the best mechanic in New Beijing. This reputation brings Prince Kai himself to her weekly market booth, needing her to repair a broken android before the annual ball. He jokingly calls it "a matter of national security," but Cinder suspects it's more serious than he's letting on.Although eager to impress the prince, Cinder's intentions are derailed when her younger stepsister, and only human friend, is infected with the fatal plague that's been devastating Earth for a decade. Blaming Cinder for her daughter's illness, Cinder's stepmother volunteers her body for plague research, an "honor" that no one has survived.But it doesn't take long for the scientists to discover something unusual about their new guinea pig. Something others would kill for.
What I liked:
- The retelling aspect of this story was very well done! I loved it! And it made me want to go and watch Ever After (let’s take a moment to discuss how that’s the best Cinderella retelling EVER thank you very much).
- Infectious disease! YAY! I love when a book has a terrible epidemic killing tons of people. The only thing that would have made it better would be if they turned into zombies and then the story morphed into a running-away-from-and-killing-zombies book.
- The world building is quite fun. This all takes place at some weird point in the future in a strange futuristic China (at least I’m suspecting it’s China, because they live in “New Beijing”) where everyone is dependent on technology. Bonus: There are people living on other planet(s), too! Well, I guess just living on the moon, but maybe there are more people on other planets…?
What underwhelmed me:
- Sometimes, the plot felt a little juvenile and unsophisticated. I won’t dive into details (because spoilers), but some things just played out in an unrealistic fashion. A 13-year-old wouldn’t have noticed these things, but since I’m not 13…
- The plot twist(s) were predictable. The end.
Three solid stars. I definitely liked it, but it wasn’t too special for me. I will say that everyone keeps telling me the series gets seriously better, so I may have to read the next few…