Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Review: Cinder

Author: Marissa Meyer
Published: January 3, 2012
387 pages
5 Gold Stars

(summary from Goodreads)

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.

So this is the first third person book I've read in awhile, so it took some time to get into the flow of things, but even after the first chapter, I knew Id love this book. A revamped and epic twist on the classic fairy tale, Cinderella, Cinder uses the same emotions and basic plot lines yet creates a completely different tale. Cinder is a cyborg living in a futuristic Earth where cyborgs are lower class. She is lucky enough to live in a good apartment, but her step mother hates her. Throw in a deadly plague and going to the ball isn't the only thing Cinder has to worry about. 

Adding the futuristic, sci-fi elements really sets this story apart from other fairy tale retellings. The fact that Cinder is Cinderella is only secondary to everything else that takes place in this book. Not only is she trying to hide the fact that she's a cyborg from everyone, including Prince Kai who has taken an interest in her, but there is also a colony on the moon whose queen is threatening war on Earth. The fantastic part is that going to the ball is not Cinder's biggest mission in this book. Instead, she's trying to get away from everything and could care less about going to the ball. It's the perfect ideal for teens to read. The prince is not the only thing that matters to her, saving those she loves and making a name for herself are more important.

One of my favourite parts is that this is a series. With an open ending, and promise of other fairy tale heroines to join the ranks, I know I'll enjoy the others as well. The Lunar queen becomes the largest enemy and she's sure to be a large part of the other tales. The next in the series, Scarlet, which is out now, focuses on Little Red Riding Hood and connects with Cinder's tale. The other two, Cress and Winter tell the tales of Rapunzel and Snow White, and the idea of this makes me so happy. I can't wait to find out how each girl connects to the other (although there are some hints in Cinder) and see how Meyer creates a bigger picture while still having each girl play out her fairy tale. 

Fairy tale retellings are forever popular and for good reason. I've read many of them, including Alex Flinn and Jessica Day George's revamped versions. What I like about the retellings is that not one is alike even though they all have the same basic plot. It takes a lot of skill to reconstruct something so well known into your own device and Meyer has wired the words perfectly to create an entirely new series like nothing else before. Cinder is a character that everyone will be able to relate to and you'll find yourself devouring this story and routing for her the entire way through. A joy to read and I can't wait to pick up the next instalment of The Lunar Chronicles.

“Even in the Future the Story Begins with Once Upon a Time.”

“I'm sure I'll feel much more grateful when I find a guy who thinks complex wiring in a girl is a turn-on.” 

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