Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends, Pages 390
Publication Date: January 8, 2013
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.
Absolutely adored this book. I kept seeing it everywhere and for some reason I just wasn't sure if I wanted to read it. What was I thinking?? So glad I finally read it. The only perk for waiting was that I was able to immediately read Scarlet when I finished.
Cinder was a phenomenal character, I loved everything about her. Loved that she was a mechanic, loved that she was a cyborg (although that word doesn't quite fit, if you ask me), loved her loyalty and affection for Iko (the android who just wants to be human and looking for the perfect android body). Loved Iko, she was hilarious. "'Prince Kai! Check my fan, I think I'm overheating.'" And Prince Kai--what a fantastic love interest--cannot get enough of him.
Great evil villain--Queen Levana. I just hate her. Given that I have such strong emotions for all of these characters, it makes you realize what a fantastic writer Marissa Meyer is.
The world-building is unique, interesting, and well-thought out (plague, cyborgs, cyborg draft, intergalactic issues). Enjoyed the politics between Earth and Luna, and that obviously plays even a bigger role as the series continues. The big reveal at the end wasn't really a surprise, but who cares?
The plot was fast-paced and I read it in basically one sitting. And finally, as further proof of how much I loved this book, even though I read it on my Kindle, I bought the hardback too. Paying double is worth it for this one!
So I completely agree with Pam's review and have to admit I also loved the book from the minute I saw the image on the cover. I also loved how Marissa Meyer took the basic storyline of Cinderella and updated it by making Cinder much more self reliant and the prince less interested in Cinder's beauty and more interested in who she is and her skills as a mechanic. I'm not sure if I would consider Iko or Dr. Erland the fairy godmother in this version but I appreciated the fact that Cinder's own self-doubts about attending the ball were explored.
Another aspect of the story that I loved was the setting in New Beijing. I kept wondering throughout the book if this was intentional given the focus on human-android-cyborg relationships. I am really looking forward to future books in part to try and understand if the other societies on Earth also develop such strong emotional relationships between the various groups.
Finally if you haven't checked out Marissa Meyer's homepage I strongly recommend it. I loved reading her extended biography and learning more about the person who created such an unusual world, there are also some great discussion questions accompanied by writing and visual arts exercises. The teacher in me is singing right now!!! A final reason to check out the homepage is the countdown clock to Cress!