Friday, October 25, 2013

Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Title: Cinder
Author: Marissa Meyer
Release Date: January 3, 2012
Page Count: 387 pages
Rating: 5/5 stars
Do I Recommend it?: Absolutely!

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.

(Review under the cut)

Review: This book was recommended to me by a good friend of mine, and I'm so glad that I listened to her and picked it up! This book was so good, it's been weeks that I've read it and I'm still not over it.

This is the probably the best modern fairy telling I've read so far. Cinder takes after Cinderella (obviously), a classic fairy tale we all know (Disney's version, of course). Cinder has the basic components of Cinderella: Cinder has a step mother and two step sisters, Cinder does all the work while the mother is home all day, there's a ball at the end, etc. But all the specifics are different and Meyer's own, I would sometimes forget it's based on Cinderella.

The world building was fantastic. The story is set in the future in New Beijing (I love the sound of that. New Beijing), in a world where there are androids and cyborgs who live among humans. While androids are used to do housework and office tasks and are common in societies, cyborgs are not. Cyborgs are not well liked, they are seem as unnatural and, for a lack of a better word, creepy.

Cinder is a cyborg, a "person whose physical abilities are extended beyond normal human limitations by mechanical elements built into the body" (thank you, google). She was adopted by Linh Garan when she was eleven, right after her surgery because of her fatal accident. Linh Garan passes away, only days after her arrival, from the Plague, letumosis. In Cinder, cyborgs are sent to a medical lab to test antidotes for the fatal disease, and every cyborg sent to the labs end up dying, so no one wants to volunteer to be their "lab rat," for example. It's not until Cinder's mother volunteers her, in spite, to be their next lab rat does the book start moving along.

Cinder is a wonderful character. She's shy, but she's also smart and hardworking. I loved her relationship with Peony, her younger step sister. Unlike the original story of Cinderella, Cinder and Peony become very close friends. Peony doesn't hate her because she's a Cyborg, like her mother and older sister do. She loves Cinder as if she's her actual older sister. Peony is so young and adorable, everything that happens with her in the book makes my heart ache.

Iko was a fun character to read. Although she's an andriod, her personality chip made her seem like she was also Cinder's younger sister, instead of her assistant or the family's pack mule.

And lets not forget about Prince Kai *swoons* The love story in this book is very minimal, but it's still there and it was very well done. Cinder's relationship with Prince Kai is probably my favorite, for Kai doesn't see her as just a mechanic, and Cinder doesn't see him as just the prince. They both see each other as more than what they are: as actual human beings.

Can we take a moment here to talk about the antagonist in this book? Queen Levana, who is a Lunar, which is a person who is from the moon. They have special powers and can manipulate the mind. How cool is it that the enemy of the humans is from the moon? They're not a great species, but they are so interesting! Queen Levana is a great villain and I hate her and I also love her (that's not weird, right?).

I love everything about this book. I love the story, the characters, the writing - all of it! It's easily become one of my favorites series, further proven after I read an fell in love with the next book, Scarlet (review will be up soon).

I am in love with everything about this book and I can't wait for the rest of the series!

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