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’ve heard a lot of great things about this novel and, I’ll be honest, I’ve been looking at it from a distance wanting it forever. So, of course when I got it, I’ve been very excited to start reading it. I’m a sucker for old, well known stories being reinvented. 

          Something the novel does immediately is draw your attention. Within the first few pages, I’m pulled into the story. It doesn’t hesitate to begin working towards the end of the book, and even though this is a novel that’s near 400 pages, I don’t find any moment dull or out of place. Every scene in this novel seems to serve a purpose. I’m a reader that can get distracted very easily, but I love finding books like this that make me want to keep reading.

          I know in the review of Harbinger I said that I didn’t exactly enjoy the romance aspect of it. However, opening Cinder, I was coming in with the idea in mind that there would be romance since Cinderella does have a huge romantic aspect. I really enjoyed the way Meyer did the relationship between Prince Kaito (Kai) and Cinder. I wasn’t pounded with the constant idea that Cinder was interested or attracted to Kai and it was the same with Kai’s feelings toward Cinder. It was very much there, but it was underlying to the overall story rather than it being in the center. 

          At the risk of spoiling anyone, I won’t go into too much detail of why I love Cinder so much, but I thoroughly enjoyed what Meyer decided to do with this classic tale of Cinderella. Along  with placing the tale in a futuristic setting, Meyer decided to add a flare of political development within the world of New Beijing and Cinder’s world in general. With Cinderella being such a short story, it’s open to such creativity and I’m glad that Meyer did what she did, especially with the relationship between Cinder and her adoptive family and most importantly how she gets to the ball. 

         My only gripe, which isn’t really a gripe anymore, is that even though the story is set in New Beijing, it’s implied that Cinder is brought over from Europe. Being Korean, I struggle to find any American YA novels that consist of characters that aren’t… you know, white. So seeing that even though the story takes place in Asia and there are Asian characters, the protagonist is not. However, there’s a very important plot twist that’s kind of anticipated that has changed my mind of it slightly, but a little more representation would be nice. 

        Overall, this novel is paced very well, none of the characters seem two dimensional, even though the novel has a serious undertone, I’ve found myself laughing out loud, and the story concept is very interesting. I will definitely go and purchase Scarlet, the sequel to Cinder and keep up with this series. I may or may not review later books of this series. 

Final Thoughts: A great twist on a fairytale classic and I can’t wait to read more.

Details:
Title: Cinder
Author: Marissa Meyer
Published: January 3, 2012
Pages: 390
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