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 borrowed this book yesterday from a friend (thanks Rabiah!) and I found it amazing! This is the first fairytale retelling I've read, and I honestly wasn't sure if I was going to like it. I thought it would be a classic sort of retelling, and the idea of cyborgs confused me.
I was hooked from the first chapter itself!
There's this quote that jumped out at me from the page - "With a yank of the last wire, her foot clattered to the concrete". How many times do you read something like that in a novel?
This book intrigued me right from the beginning, and it just kept getting better. Cinder is a strong protagonist, and I loved that the novel was from the perspective of Kai as well, so that I could get an insight into his mind. Kai, I felt, was slightly lacking in this book. He didn't stand out much, and it seemed like the only thing he had going for him were his looks and his royal background.
However, the plot and other well-developed characters made up for this. I loved the concept of the novel, the futuristic setting as well as the fact that it was set in New Beijing. Very few (okay, none) of the books that I've read are based in Asian countries, and I liked that Cinder followed the culture and jargon of East Asia.
I really liked Cinder's personality as a whole. She wasn't swooning over Kai like everyone else, and I liked her impulsive nature as well as her stubbornness. She's headstrong, seemingly fearless, and overall extremely kick-ass! Marissa Meyer's writing style heightened my interest in the book, and I finished it in just two sittings. Her descriptions are very visual, and I could practically see the scenes in my head as I read them. Iko is another character I loved. Even though she is an android and isn't supposed to have emotions, she felt much more real to me than several other characters like Pearl, for example. Iko is so loveable and witty and joyful, it's impossible not to like her! Pearl, on the other hand. *Sigh* I don't think there's any hope for her at all. She was a shadow of a person, and I doubt if she will even make an appearance in the sequel, Scarlet.
I loved the advanced technology present in the book - the fact that Cinder, as a cyborg, can access any information she wants from a panel in her brain, as well as her ability to control her auditory senses. The hovers, ID chips and comm links really appealed to me too.
One thing I didn't really like about Cinder was the predictability. The climax near the end was obvious to me before I had finished even half the book, and there were other certain parts that were also quite obvious.
But the fact that I overlooked this will tell you how much I loved this book! Even the antagonists like Adri and Queen Levana were amazing characters in their own way. I was able to sympathize with Adri at certain points, and I realize that she had her own reasons for doing whatever she did. Queen Levana was a terrifying and mysterious character, and I hope we get to know more about her in Scarlet. I can't wait to read more about Cinder and Kai's story! I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes futuristic or dystopian kind of novels.