Friday, September 14, 2012

Cinder, by Marissa Meyer

Summary (from

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. 

The Breakdown:
  • Interesting Characters?: They're definitely unique - you don't see these characters in YA much these days... at least not the stuff I'm reading. No fussy, whiny characters that make you want to pull your hair out.
  • Doing Interesting Things?: I could do without some of the political stuff, but overall they're making things happen, and it's seriously exciting.
  • Told in an Intelligent Way?: The sci-fi quality of the book gives it a slightly different feel than other dystopians I've read recently, and in a good way. It's definitely memorable.

I wasn't sure if I was going to like Cinder. I heard it was amazing, that people couldn't put it down, and it was a science-fiction retelling of Cinderella. An interesting combination! But was it right for me?

Well, I couldn't put it down, and ended up reading a good 200 pages in one sitting. And while I wouldn't say it was amazing, it was definitely very very good!!

Theoretically, Cinder is a retelling of the classic fairy tale.... but trust me when I say it's a loose retelling. Cinder uses some of the major plot points of "Cinderella" to create the overall structure of the book, but there's a lot of other stuff that happens in-between, is totally of Marissa Meyer's creation - I've never before heard of a Cinderella story with the politics and science fiction aspects she's included!

I'm not a sci-fi nerd, but I enjoy it on occasion. (One of my favorite college courses: Social Ethics for Earthlings and Others. AKA, philosophy and science fiction. We watched a lot of Star Trek and my professor was high half the time. It was fantastic.) But I didn't find the idea of a cyborg narrator totally enthralling... call me speciest (another philosophy class term!!), but it sounded weird. But Cinder's a smart, likeable character, and Kai, the other main character, is super-cute and delightful. Not in an annoying way! I liked both main characters and found them charming. (....Prince Charming? See what I did there?!)

(I'm brilliant, I know.)

The one thing that started to bring the book down for me was the political angle. There's a good amount of politics going on in Cinder, and usually I really don't care for politics. (Sidenote: I just read Insurgent, the Divergent sequel, and got totally lost because it was 95% politics. I'd write a review of it, but I don't understand what I read exactly.... that, and since I'd read Divergent over a year ago, I kind of don't remember the characters. But that's beside the point. Back to Cinder.) The political angles didn't pull me away too much, but I'm nervous that as the series continues, it'll be a lot of politics and a less of the characters and plot, which is what I like. But we'll see. I'm definitely down for Book #2! And that makes it.... A Success!

Cinder on

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