By Jen P
For a while now, I’ve noticed friend after friend reading this book. The rebel in me didn’t want to waste my time on yet ANOTHER Cinderella retelling, but I finally picked it up from the local library. Here’s how I felt about Cinder by Marissa Meyer.
In Meyer’s version of Cinderella, our lead is a Cyborg mechanic in the futuristic city, New Beijing. Prince Kai comes to her for help repairing an android, and she hides the fact that she’s a cyborg because, even though she’s a bit of a badass, she’s still a teenage girl and he’s still a handsome prince.
Instead of two evil stepsisters, Cinder has one good and one bad. Peony, the youngest, is Cinder’s only human friend. When the two go on a salvage run, Peony becomes infected with the deadly disease that plagues their city. Med-bots whisk her away immediately, and when Cinder returns home, her evil stepmother donates her to the study of the disease because cyborgs don’t have the same rights as full-human citizens. It’s a brutal world indeed, though Meyer manages to keep the story light enough that I kept reading. (Let me tell you, I HATE Cinderella stories because it’s usually so tough to get through all the emotional and physical abuse of the heroine to get to the happy ending.) Anyway, Cinder is taken to the lab (which happens to be at the palace) against her will, strapped down, and poked and prodded until the head scientist realizes she’s immune to the disease. He makes a deal with her to come back for testing, and from then on, she comes and goes from the palace as she pleases—which she doesn’t mind, because she regularly gets to see Prince Kai, who thinks she’s just there to repair robots; and also, she might hold the key to saving her sister within her own body. Too bad she can’t ever be with Kai, because the last thing he needs is the embarrassment of falling in love with a cyborg.
Poor Kai isn’t ready to be king, but when his dad is taken by the disease, his coronation looms. The best way to save his people would be to marry the queen of the Lunars—the heartless, semi-magical people of the moon. But Kai’s quickly falling for the cute mechanic, Cinder, and with the coronation ball imminent, he only wants one girl on his arm. But he can’t figure out why Cinder keeps rebuffing his advances, and the fate of his people rests on him choosing the opposite of what his heart truly desires.
What I liked:
Future tech, lighthearted reading, and enough action to keep me going. There were so many twists on the old tale that I didn’t feel like I was reading just another Cinderella story. On the other hand, there were enough Cinderella references that I could tell that’s what it was. Meyer does all this in fun ways that I won’t spoil for you.
What I didn’t like:
No fairytale ending tied up in a pretty bow!!! But I’ve heard the final book in the series will wrap up all the heroines’ happily-ever-afters. Also, I’m annoyed that the next book isn’t a Cinder book, but a Red Riding Hood book. Again, I’m only basing this off of the reviews of others, but Cinder’s tale is supposed to weave into the next story so that this becomes a fairytale team-up of sorts, pitting princesses and other heroines against evil oppressors.
I can’t wait to pick up the next one– Scarlet! I simply MUST know how it all ends for Cinder, and I look forward to finding out how the heroes and heroines react when they’re all together. I think Meyer has created a fun world if you’re into fairytales, and it’s worth a read. I give it a Sister Geeks 4.5 shields!
Have you read Cinder? What did you think of this twist on this appallingly overdone fairytale? Will you check it out? Let us know in the comments.
Happy reading, book geeks!