Friday, 4 May 2012
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: January 3rd, 2012
Genre: YA, Science Fiction, Fairy Tale Retellings
Life in New Beijing is difficult for anyone, with the life threatening plague taking a hold of the nation. Things are even more difficult for Cinder, a mechanic and a cyborg. Living with her hateful guardian who uses her, Cinder feels like she doesn’t belong anywhere. When Prince Kai asks for Cinder’s help in fixing his android, she feels even more ashamed of her secret. With the plague sweeping through the world, Cinder might be more important than she ever thought. When she learns she is immune to the disease, Cinder becomes one of the most important people in New Beijing. With the world in distress as the incurable illness sweeps over everyone, things become even worst when the Emperor dies. With New Beijing in peril, the Lunar Queen has taken advantage of this weakness and is looking to become Empress or start a war. As Cinder tries to discover more about her past, she has to learn to accept who she is if she is ever to be with anyone, including the Prince.
Cinder is sci-fi meets fairy tale, when the story of Cinderella is told about a cyborg in New Beijing, in a world stricken by disease and threatened by the people of the moon. If you’re not into science fiction, this all might sound a bit ridiculous, but it works. Some fairy tale retellings make me feel like I should have thought of the same thing. I would never have thought of the plot for Cinder, and I have to admit I was a bit skeptical about it at first. One of the most original fairy tale retellings I’ve ever read, it was interesting to see how the original fairy tale was adapted into this story about a futuristic earth full of cyborgs and moon people. The story was exciting and well paced, and I thought that the plot was the strongest part of the book. The main plotline is centred more around the Lunar Queen than the Cinderella aspects of the story, so it is really more of a loose retelling. Things were fairly predictable, and this kind of sucked a lot of the fun out of reading, for me. I loved Cinder’s spunk and independence, but I still felt detached from her as a character. At the moment, I feel like it would have been smart to make this a book that stands alone and not part of a series. I wonder if it will work as well in the sequel, without the Cinderella plotline. Overall, I thought that this was an entertaining and unique book. Marissa Meyer took a big risk is retelling Cinderella in a way that has never been done before, and I think that based on this book’s popularity, it paid off.