Genre: YA, dystopia, retelling, fantasy
My rating: ★★★★★
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publication year: 2012
Cinder is the best mechanic in New Beijing. She is also a cyborg, which means she is only part human. Mistreated by her step-mother Adri, and blamed for her sister’s death, she wants to run away and get her freedom, but she may have information that might save the handsome prince Kai and the entire Eastern Commowealth, from both the plague and the dangerous Lunar queen.
Cinder is caught between freedom and duty, between love and what should be right, and in the middle of an intergalactic struggle, she might be more important than she thinks she is…
Yes, I know I am late on the train, really, why did I not start this series before? It is amazing. I bought plenty of retellings recently, and this is the first one I read. Now I can’t wait to read more.
I love all the parallels we can draw with Cinderella’s original story, the lost foot, the evil step-mother, the chores (and I won’t tell you more). I really love how Meyer made this book turn out, with a brand new story, and yet the fairy tale background clearly recognizable. I love the world she created, even if it is full of dangers. It is such an amazing work.
I think it’s also an interesting reflection on differences and prejudice, which we can very much apply to today’s context.
I really like the pace of the story, and how it is full of surprises. And since I already heard about the next books, I can say it’s nice to hear about future characters already being introduced in the first book. If only I had money, I would devour those books in an instant.
Now, let’s speak about the characters. Cinder feels like a complex person, who has been hurt by life, and doesn’t always understand why she is living. Most of the time, she feels worthless, though she is actually gifted. She had it hard, but she still wants to try her best for the people she loves (Peony and Iko for example. I really loved their relationship). She has to face a lot of dilemmas, and deals with them properly in my opinion. She keeps learning more things about herself which takes her aback, but in the end, she accepts everything and just keeps getting stronger. And I have to admit, a few things were predictable, but it was really well put.
As for Kai, we don’t see him as much as Cinder, but I thought he was really interesting as well. He goes through a lot as well, ans has a lot to carry on his shoulders when he his not ready for it, and yet, he always thrives to make the best choice for his people. He seems to be a good leader (I just hope he won’t be blinded by hatred or distrust or anything in the next books, that would ruin the character). He is a bit of a cliché- handsome mysterious prince charming – but hell, I don’t mind that from time to time.
As I mentioned earlier, I really liked Peony and Iko, it’s a pity we didn’t get to see them more. Dr Erland was also a fascinating character. I just loved how we kept learning more about him until the very end of the book, and I really hope we will keep seeing him in the next books…
As for Levana, she is our perfect evil power-hungry villain with murderous intents and dangerous magical powers. I hate her, and yet I can’t help but be curious as to what she has in store for the next books…
In the end, this book was a really lovely surprise. It’s smart and nicely written. It’s really hard to put down and full of plot twists. I just loved it ♥
Bits and pieces reminded me of The Selections and Red Queen. Overall, I recommend it if you like dystopia and retellings.