Published: January 3rd, 212 by Feiwel and Friends
Source: Bought (Paperback)
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.
*This review does contain spoilers! Just in case you haven't read it yet.
I did actually read Cinder in 2012 when I got a copy from NetGalley. Back then, I gave it 4 stars and I think I was rounding up, but honestly, I was basically reading it for the first time this year because of how little I remembered. And it was fantastic. I am so happy I decided to read this again. (I so did not appreciate it enough the first time.) It was mostly because of the excitement in the blogging community after the cover for Winter was revealed.
Cinder is a beautiful tale of loneliness. (And hope, of course. It's based of Cinderella. What else do you expect?) But it's always the lonely characters that get me. They're all too easy for me to connect with, and Cinder's loneliness mixed with the prejudice she faces as a cyborg made her an incredible character for me. I felt for her SO much in this book. Marissa Meyer kind of ripped my heart out, and I feel like it's only going to get worse. But Cinder is also angry, caring, a little bit reckless. She stands up to Adri. She grieves, just like a human. She grows so much in this book.
As much as it hurts me, I love Cinder's fear of Kai discovering she's cyborg. She wants to keep that secret locked away, doesn't want to see that look of disgust on his face. Wants him to know her, know the truth, but she's just too afraid. And that just made her even more real for me. I also really love that there wasn't even a single kiss - not yet. There's still so much more developing to be done.
"Cyborg. Lunar. Mechanic. She was the last thing he wanted."
Kai is just one of a slew of other characters in the novel that I loved. I really appreciated how he isn't the stereotypical prince from novels these days. He felt so much more real to me. Iko is adorable, Dr. Erland is so entertaining, and Queen Levana . . . Wow. I love what Meyer has done with the glamour. Levana would scare the shit out of me if she were real, to be honest.
And, of course, the setting is just as fantastic as the rest of it. I love how New Bejing is portrayed. I love the world Meyer has created. That's not to say I would live there - I like to stay plague-free, thank you very much. But it was to cool to read about the market, the palace, the hovers. There weren't a thousand inconsistencies that just left me confused like most of this genre. And also MOON CIVILIZATION.
"But if there was one thing she knew from years as a mechanic, it was that some stains never came out."
And the plot is just such a unique spin on the tale of Cinderella that I want to cry with happiness. I do feel that the reveals about Cinder's origins and the fact that she's actually Selene could have been a little different - Dr. Erland was kind of just like, oh, yeah. Here. And while the princess Selene part wasn't a shock to me, the Lunar bit definitely was! I was never bored and just couldn't wait to find out what was happening, what Levana was up to, if Kai was going to marry her or if they would find a cure for the plague. I'm so intrigued by the Lunar society and what it's like up there on the moon. Please tell me we get to see that!
Also, THAT ENDING. I'm so glad I'm getting into this series now and not waiting for Scarlet.
Overall: Cinder deserves nothing less than 5 stars. My heart ached for Cinder herself, the world is masterfully written, and I absolutely CANNOT WAIT to read Scarlet. (It's a good thing I already bought both Scarlet and Cress the very second I finished Cinder.)
"Believe me, Cinder. You are a sacrifice I will never regret."