Author: Marissa Meyer
Release Date: January 3rd, 2012
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends (Macmillan)
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.
I was very surprised by Cinder, considering how much I liked it!
I want to go ahead and start with the things I didn't like really quick, because it's not much! One being almost all of the plot points? I totally guessed from the beginning. And not just because it's a Cinderella retelling but the plot points that had to do with the entire civilization and the Lunar people and Cinder herself; totally called it. So that did take a bit of the "dramatic" effect off all the big reveals which is no fun for me! But simultaneously, it doesn't detach from the experience and I was just as happy reading about Cinder getting there even though I knew where she was going. And another thing is: the villain.
I didn't think Levana was a very fleshed-out villain, and you guys know I LOVE my villains to be realistic and have ulterior motives and be very conniving and tricky. And yeah, I get it: world domination sounds awesome. But I wanted to know more about her and how she came to be the way she is (an amazing example of a wonderfully constructed villain is Warner from Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi) throughout the story. ON THE OTHER HAND,
Every other character was so much fun and awesome to read about! Cinder was strong and independent and my heart broke for her on so many levels every time she'd find out another thing she didn't want for herself or did want and couldn't have. She makes some tough decisions and I applaud her for them! Each side character is fleshed out perfectly from Ido, who brought on some comedic relief when needed and Dr.Erland, who is one of the most complex characters in this book and I loved reading about him!
As for plot; it read a lot more like a Fantasy than a Sci-Fi Dystopian to me but maybe that's just because of the whole idea of it being turned into sectors and the kind of magic element incorporated into the story with the Lunar people. Dr.Erland explains it in his scientific way but I don't really buy it; that's magic! And I didn't mind at all; because you guys know I love Fantasy like WHOA. Meyer definitely packs the punches when it comes to high stakes and sacrifices on both Cinder AND Kai's part, which I appreciated. They both had a lot to lose.
BONUS FACTOR? Totally the whole plague aspect of the novel. The entire civilization in which Cinder lives is being killed by a disease called Letumosis and no one has any idea how the hell they're going to fix this. Maybe it's the fact i'm in the Medical Academy at my school but plague books always fascinate me. The whole progession of the disease is strange and curious and I was just as desperate at times (and for certain people) to find a cure as well!
As for the romance; Kai and Cinder don't disappoint! Your heart's going to be breaking because it is not a steady road for these two! There's a lot of secrets (Cinder's fault or otherwise) being kept between these two and it just becomes so much that everything seems to fall apart at times. But they were sweet together and i'm excited to see where she's going with this because that ending! Gah!