Author: Marissa Meyer
Published: January 3rd, 2012 by Macmillan Publishers
Genre: Sci-fi, Retelling, YA Fiction
Cinder is a teenage cyborg, practically owned by her stepmother after her stepfather died of the ever-present plague. When her favorite stepsister also shows signs of the deadly illness, Cinder is involuntarily sent to the lab as the next test rat for a cure. There, Cinder learns things about herself that leave her questioning her past.
In the meantime, the Commonwealth faces its own dilemma as the Lunars threaten to take over Earth by force. Prince Kai of the Commonwealth struggles to accept Queen Levana’s conditions for a treaty. He soon finds himself running into the mysterious Cinder more often than not. But what happens when he learns the truth about her—things not even she was aware of until recently?
The first thing that won me over was the writing. Good writing = readable work. It all flowed smoothly, allowing the scenes to play out flawlessly.
Meyer did a fantastic job keeping the reader interested. I found myself eager to return to Cinder’s adventures, as well as find out the fate of the Commonwealth. I will admit: there were at least two parts that lagged my interest. However, I find they were necessary for the plot, and Meyer wrapped the scenes up in a timely fashion, giving you the information necessary for the story without dragging it out.
With this being a retelling of Cinderella, Meyer charmingly added the famous bits of the original story into this sci-fi version, and she also found a way to personalize it to better fit her story. I found her version an appropriate fit to a modern story, and the additional plot line with the Lunars worked to her advantage.
If there was anything that bothered me, I’d say it was the multiple cliffhangers. As great as it is to leave your readers wanting more, I felt empty upon reading the last page. The romance line was left open, as was her future. And to be honest, the plot twist concerning her identity did not leave me baffled. In fact, I guessed who she was near the beginning. Yet I had expected this to be confirmed sooner and not in the last chapter, when there was nothing to be done about it.
For my rating, I will give Cinder four stars. There were other, smaller plot twists I did not see coming, and despite what bothered me, Cinder was overall a very interesting read. As for the sequel, Scarlet, I have added that to my TBR list.