After finishing this book, I was struck with an almost overwhelming desire to burst into applause. It was just that good! I don’t know why, but I was not expecting anything great from this book. I think it was the fact that Cinder was a cyborg that turned me off--sci-fi stuff like that just isn’t my thing. But luckily for me, my awesome sister sent me a copy, so I decided to read it despite the fact that I wasn’t planning on reading it before. Good choice on my part.
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 thing I loved most about this book, and the thing that drew me in from the first page, was how, I don’t know . . . friendly? . . . this book felt. It felt so natural and easy, and basically reading it was like listening to a friend. The writing style was just so accessible and fresh. And funny--don’t forget funny. This book made me smile so many times.
Cinder is endlessly likeable. She’s funny and self-deprecating and down-to earth. And my heart just went out to her for the prejudice against her for being cyborg and for the crappy life she has--but Cinder never lets that get her down. She’s so awesome. My favorite secondary character goes, hands down, to Cinder’s android friend Iko--she’s just so spunky and hilarious. But oh my gosh, the villains in this book are so well written! There’s the step-mother and the Lunar queen, and both are just so devious and passive aggressive and horrible that they made me want to pull my hair in frustration--which is probably actually a sign of an effective villain.
In case you didn’t pick up on it before, this book is a retelling of Cinderella, and it’s such a good one too. It keeps important elements of the original story (the step-family, the prince, the ball, etc.) while introducing new and completely awesome things, like Cinder being a mechanic, all the futuristic stuff, and the political tensions between the people of earth and the moon.
Overall, I really liked Cinder. It’s the first in a series, so I have a while to wait before I get to find out what happens next. But apparently the next book, Scarlet, is going to be another fairytale retelling, featuring Little Red Riding Hood. I can’t wait!
Rating: 4 / 5 (honestly, if this book had managed to be a standalone, I probably would’ve given it a 5--I’m too prejudiced against series)