There’s been a fair amount of hype for this book, so I was very excited to read it – plus the beautiful front cover is a definite plus. Cinder, by Marissa Meyer, is a cyberpunk retelling of the old fairy story, Cinderella. I’m normally not a fan of rehashing old themes – in fact – I’m pretty tired of people doing it, but Ms. Meyer has put a very unique twist on this.
Sixteen year old Cinder is a cyborg. She is a goodly percentage machine, due to a hover craft accident when she was young, (the government pays for the surgeries, but after that you are considered “property”). She is considered an “inferior” person in society, and practically a slave to her evil step-mother and step- sister (in another twist, the younger step-sister of the two is friends with Cinder). When Cinder’s younger step-sister falls pray to the horrible plague sweeping the kingdom, her step-mother blames her, and donates Cinder’s body to plague research. However, the scientist working on her soon discovers something that changes Cinder’s future forever.
What I liked about it:
The Writing: Marissa Meyer is an extremely talented writer. She pulls you in and doesn’t let go right from the very start. Though some people (on Goodreads and such) complained that there wasn’t enough description of the New Beijing that Ms. Meyer created – and that may be true – I was still taken with the descriptions (more of the robots, cyborgs and the stalls of the market).
The Plot: I did find myself predicting the plot once in awhile and not just because of the Cinderella story, but the other parts as well. Let’s face it, we know she’s going to turn out to be special, it’s a recurring YA (young adult literature) theme.
Characters: It was refreshing to have a heroine that was both realistic and strong. Also, she reacts to things in a way that you can relate to. Lately it seems like too much YA literature has heroines doing ridiculous things. Things I would never do in those circumstances, (ie: date a guy who is basically stalking me) which makes me enraged frequently throughout the book. Also, Prince Kai was actually likeable, which is a rare find in the books I’ve read lately. (I’m really sick of dark and mysterious/dangerous).
Conclusion: I started reading this book at twelve at night (I couldn’t sleep) thinking I would just read a couple chapters and go to bed. Four hours later my husband knocks on the door of my study, points out that it’s four in the morning and asks why on earth I’m not in bed. I crawl back into bed, shocked that I’ve been reading for so long, and before I fall asleep all I can think is that I can’t wait to finish it tomorrow morning. Regardless of what anyone else may so in any other review, if a book can make four hours seem like a couple minutes, it has my vote.
Rating: I give this an eight out of ten on my bookshelf scale.