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
Cinder is the epic retelling of the well known fairytale Cinderella. We all know how the story goes. Cinderella’s father marries a horrid woman who brings her two daughters along to join the family. Of course her father dies leaving poor Cinderella to this cruel stepmother and sisters that treat her like scum. But everything works out for Cinderella because everyone loves a happily ever after. Yes, that’s how this story goes, except not. Marissa Meyer takes us through new twists and turns leading us to discard most if not everything we knew about Cinderella.
“Even in the Future the Story Begins with Once Upon a Time.”
Linh Cinder is a sixteen year old cyborg living in New Beijing. She’s a mechanic working in the market and lives with Adri -her legal guardian and two stepsisters, Pearl and Peony. This whole world is set in the future and so much has had to be done in order to keep the peace. It’s mentioned that there have been four World Wars. I shouldn’t think that that’s awesome, but Four World Wars!
Cinder makes do with what she can but still longs to be free. As a cyborg, she is technically (pun not intended) not considered a person. She’s a machine and therefore needs a legal guardian to ‘guide’ her, if you will. Adri is mostly horrible and you feel this pity for Cinder, hoping that one day she’d be free. Obviously that is impossible. She’s not human. She has nothing to her name. Adri literally owns everything Cinder owns. There were times when I felt sorry for Adri, but then she turned and did something despicable. This woman was not an easy person to get along with. Cinder has her two stepsisters who are close to her in age, but that’s where the relation ends, mostly. Peony sympathises with Cinder and genuinely cares for her whereas Pearl would probably throw her to the dogs if given the opportunity.
Prince Kai is to die for and the way his character is written made me fall for him instantaneously. We meet him through Cinder’s eyes and later get to know him through his own point of view. The life of a Prince is not easy. I wanted to pat him on the shoulder and tell him, maybe things will turn out okay.
Queen Levana, oh where do I begin? This woman was infuriating. I didn’t even attempt to like her. She uses her gift -“Bioelectricity. Calling it magic only empowers them.” – which is kind of awesome, to control people’s perceptions of how they see her. Basically, everyone who sees her face to face thinks she’s the most beautiful woman to walk the land. I say land because she’s from Luna (the moon) and she’s on earth for the duration of this story. I disliked her mostly because her entire personality if I could say, was a lie. Nothing about her was truthful.
“Vanity is a factor, but it is more a question of control. It is easier to trick others into perceiving you as beautiful if you can convince yourself you are beautiful. But mirrors have an uncanny way of telling the truth.”
We also spend the majority of the story wondering about Princess Selene who was killed in a fire when she was a baby by -you guessed it- Queen Levana. That woman would do anything for power.
I did enjoy the few characters that ended up helping Cinder. They weren’t many, but they were enough to get her through to the next big obstacle. I loved this version of the fairytale and I honestly prefer this one to the older one. Marissa Meyer is a gift that should be treasured. Her writing style is out of this world.
Read: 4 August 2015
Publication Date: 3 January 2012
Link to Author’s Goodreads Page: Marissa Meyer