Genre: Urban Fantasy / Steampunk / Fairy Tale / China / Dystopia
Year Published: 2012
Number of Pages: 390 pages
Date Read: 11/20/2014
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #1
I have read many different interpretations of my favorite fairy tales over the years, but there is one type of fairy tale retelling that I had never stumbled upon before: STEAMPUNK CINDERELLA! It seriously is better than it sounds as Marissa Meyer has created one awesome retelling of “Cinderella” in the form of “Cinder!”
In the city of New Beijing, Cinder is a sixteen year old girl who happens to be a cyborg and she lives with her cruel stepmother Adri along with her two stepsisters Pearl and Peony. Pearl is just like her stepmother Adri as she is cruel towards Cinder also, while Peony on the other hand actually cares about Cinder and is the only person who treats her kindly. One day, Cinder’s whole world changes drastically when she meets up with the charming Prince Kai and he asks her to fix his android for him. Of course, Cinder wonders why Prince Kai wants her to urgently fix his android and this incident led to so many events that would affect Cinder in so many ways, such as her stepsister Peony suddenly being affected by the dreaded plague that is affecting the city. When Adri finds out about Peony’s condition, she immediately blames Cinder for getting Peony sick and she forces Cinder to volunteer for the plague research program that was responsible for taking the lives of so many cyborgs such as Cinder. When Cinder meets Doctor Dmitri Erland, the head of the research facility, she will soon discover that she is no ordinary cyborg and the discovery of her secret origins might be able to change everything for the world!
Wow, how could I seriously not have read this book years ago when it first came out? I mean, I had to not be paying attention to the book news during that time to not notice the rave that this book was receiving! Anyway, I was simply blown away by the creativity and intensity of this book and Marissa Meyer did a brilliant job at retelling the classic “Cinderella” story in a dystopian and steampunk society! I loved the way that Marissa Meyer wrote all of the characters, especially Cinder, Prince Kai, Iko and Peony (probably the most sympathetic characters in the entire book). I really enjoyed Cinder as a character as she is shown to be a strong female protagonist who happens to be a cyborg and I loved the fact that even though Cinder is a cyborg, she still has human emotions like love and terror that makes me really relate to her character. I also loved her relationship with various characters in this book, such as Prince Kai, Iko and Peony. I loved the fact that Peony treated Cinder like her own sister and it was truly tragic to see her get the plague so early on in the book as it made me tear up a bit since I really loved Peony’s character and I did not want to see her get taken out of the story so early on. I really loved Iko, Cinder’s android as she provided so much comic relief to the story and was such a great companion to Cinder and I would love to see more of Iko in future “Lunar Chronicles” books! And last but certainly not least, Prince Kai himself and man was he one awesome hero of this story! I loved the way that Prince Kai flirted with Cinder, despite not knowing that Cinder is a cyborg and I would have loved to see more moments between Cinder and Prince Kai in the future books! I was also quite interested in Queen Levana’s character, the queen from the planet Luna, since she definitely seems like a threat to both Prince Kai and Cinder and she is probably the scariest character in this book since she uses her mind control to make people do whatever she wants, which is quite a frightening thought! Marissa Meyer also did a brilliant job at developing the world of New Beijing as you can feel the Chinese influence throughout the book through the culture of the city and through the characters’ outfits, which Marissa Meyer goes into great detail with in the descriptions. I was pretty interested in seeing how New Beijing was created after World War IV and seeing how the city has become a dystopia ever since the war.
For anyone who does not like scary moments in a book, this book has plenty moments that might scare some people such as the scene where Cinder is being operated on and the fact that Queen Levana can mind control people to make them commit suicide if she likes.
Overall, “Cinder” is a truly fantastic book that fans of the classic “Cinderella” story will easily fall in love with and I am definitely checking out the sequels, “Scarlet” and “Cress” soon!
Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog