Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Fiction
Book Jacket Synopsis: “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… Sixteen-year-old Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past and is reviled by her step-mother. 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. Because there is something unusual about Cinder, something others would kill for.”
Review: I have a confession to make. I love (and I mean LOVE) Cinderella adaptations. To be honest, I am a fan of any fairy tale adaptations (exhibits A and B: After Alice and Wicked by Gregory Maguire). And this latest retelling, in the form of Marissa Meyer’s debut novel, did not fall short. In fact, the second I finished reading Cinder, I wanted to start it again. I am certain that I will get a fuller, richer understanding of the plot and characters from a second reading. While the book jacket synopsis plays up the “forbidden attraction” between Cinder and Kai, this book is not strictly, or even overtly, a romance novel. Indeed, many of the secondary characters in the book, such as Cinder’s not-so-evil stepsister, Peony, and her android housekeeper, Iko, add some excellent layers of depth and feeling to this novel. I also really appreciated the well-rounded and empowered titular character (especially given the fact that the original Cinderella is basically the worst Disney princess in existence). I loved the futuristic world of New Beijing that the author created and had a hard time putting this book down. I can’t wait to read the second book in the series, and I would recommend Cinder to anyone who enjoys fairy tales/fantasies/extraordinarily creative plots.