Publisher: Penguin (AU/UK), Feiwel & Friends (US)
Release Date: January 3rd 2012
Add it: Goodreads
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 is a futuristic retelling of one of our most well-loved fairy tales. It's set in the Eastern Commonwealth sometime after World War IV, where a deadly plague known as Letumosis has ravaged New Beijing for years without cure. Cinder is a young cyborg who suffered a terrible accident when she was 11, resulting in a surgery that transformed a portion of her body into more metal and wires than flesh and bone. Cyborgs rank second-class among humans and such prejudice rings prominent in Cinder's stepmother, Adri. Cinder is a gifted mechanic, who longs for freedom from her wicked stepmother. When the Prince of New Beijing, Kaito, asks Cinder to fix his android that may hold data that could free them all from the overthrows of another planet, her quiet, miserable life turns on a head as she's swept up in an adventure rife with danger, treachery and forbidden attraction.
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.
Cinder is such an admirable heroine. She's strong, loyal and determined. I really felt a strong bond with her, my own emotions going haywire with her own. I love when I'm able to connect with characters on such an intimate level. In fact, you really feel for every character, whether love, affection, respect or repulsion. Iko, Cinder's android friend, was an absolute joy and had me giggling aloud so many times! The relationship between Cinder and Kai was one of the highlights, a true friendship grew between them. An attraction so honest and lovely, a chemistry so strong and sweet, they nestled themselves into the crook of my heart both as partners and as individuals.
Reading from both Cinder and Kai's point of view gave a greater perspective on what was happening on both a personal and a political level. From Kai, not only does he charm you with his personality and ground himself as an honest, flawed, genuine hero, but given his position, we were able to see more of Queen Levana. The deceptively beautiful Queen of Lunar. The Lunars were such an interesting touch to the story. They're a society that reside on the moon, a fascinating, if not creepy human-like race with unsettling abilities. Earth and Luna are on the brink of a war. The one way to prevent this? Prince Kai accepting Queen Levana's hand in marriage.... but having an evil, calculating villain share control over humanity isn't much of a step-up from war.
The futuristic society was so well imagined and the way in which Marissa incorporated the original tale of Cinderella was fantastic. It was like visiting an old friend you haven't seen since childhood - they're taller, older and much hotter, but there is still that friendly wave of familiarity underneath. Cinder still held onto the essence of the fairy tale, but was so inventive and original in it's own right.
Marissa Meyer has written an imaginative new series that brings your favourite fairy tales to life with renewed vigor. A beautifully crafted cast of characters, thrilling futuristic society, page-turning mystery, heartwarming romance and a dash of magic, are all what make this such a compulsively readable novel. I think it'll be one of the standouts of 2012!
5/5 Golden Apples!