Reviewed by Ambrea
Based loosely upon the Cinderella fairy tale, Cinder follows the story of Linh Cinder, a cyborg with a brain interface that has given her the uncanny ability to fix almost anything. Her reputation as the best mechanic in New Beijing leads her to a surprising meeting with none other than Prince Kai, who needs a broken android repaired before the annual ball. But when her youngest step-sister, her only human friend in the world, is infected with a fatal plague that’s devastated the Earth for over a decade, Cinder is blamed and subsequently volunteered as a test subject for plague research by her stepmother.
However, scientists discover something extraordinary about Cinder and her cybernetic interface: a secret that will put her life in mortal danger—and change the balance of power between the Earth and the Lunar kingdom. Now, gifted with this new knowledge, Cinder must fight to save the world she considers her own and rescue New Beijing from a devastating threat, total annihilation.
Marissa Meyer’s first book in the Lunar Chronicles is fascinating: it’s Cinderella meets science-fiction; it’s a classic fairytale with a dystopian twist—and I found it invigorating. Although Cinderella has been reimagined numerous times, revived in a million different ways, Cinder feels like a unique take on a fairytale that has been around for a very long time.
I especially loved the fact that Meyer completely revitalized the story, inventing a tough, intelligent and pragmatic heroine with Linh Cinder. Cinder is smart, self-sufficient, and inventive. She’s a mechanic—and a darn good one at that—and she doesn’t need anyone to rescue her. She may eventually find her Prince Charming, but she’s more than capable of rescuing herself (a trait which I really liked about her).
Honestly, I devoured this book: I finished it in less than two days, and then I promptly went online and bought the second and third books in the series (the fourth one, according to Meyer’s website, comes out in November of 2015 with a prequel having appeared in January). I loved the characters, I loved the complexity of the story, and I even loved the tragic parts. (Be forewarned, Cinder is tragic. There is no happily-ever-after just yet, as this is only the first novel of four, which means Cinder’s story still has a long way to go.)
Long story short, I found Cinder to be a beautifully detailed story with appropriate amounts of suspense, action, and discovery to keep me invested from beginning to end.