Saturday, August 3, 2013

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Posted by Ellie at 12:53 PM
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Feiwel & Friends
387 pages

originally saw Cinder sitting on a shelf at Barnes and Noble, and while the story sounded interesting, I was so burnt out on fairy tales at the time (so many corny movie adaptions — ugh) I ended up passing. Big mistake. Fast forward about a year, I’m browsing B&N online and I see a book called Scarlet. Apparently it’s the second book to that one scifi-Cinderella novel I skipped last year and there are two more books coming out in ‘14 and ‘15, respectively. Over the span of that year, I had rekindled my love for fairy tales (thanks, Tangled) so I decided to give the series a try.

My first thought after finishing Cinder was that I was going to build a time machine. Not only for the purpose of meeting Charles Dickens and pushing Hilter off a cliff, but also to push myself off a cliff because I wrongly judged this book. VERY wrongly. It was easily one of the best books I’ve read in a long time.

Our story takes place in futuristic Beijing, 126 years after the fourth World War. Cinder, main character extraordinaire, is New Beijing's most renowned mechanic and near slave to her greedy adoptive mother. But there is something about Cinder that makes her different. She has no memories of her life after she was in a horrific accident at age eleven, leaving her to be an amputee saved by modern science and cyborg prosthesis. Unfortunately, the world Cinder lives in is very prejudiced towards cyborgs, so she must always hide herself. 

On top of all that, there is a raging epidemic of letumosis, the mysterious and seemingly incurable fatal disease, a charming prince in need of Cinder's mechanical genius, an annual festival Cinder isn't allowed to attend, and a murderous queen from the moon determined to make Earth her domain.

Cinder is SUCH a great character. She's so relatable. I was rooting for her all the way through! She was witty with such dry humor and a good heart. I felt so horrible for her with all of the trials she had to endure throughout the book. Her almost-romance with Prince Kai was refreshing and infuriating and adorable and heartbreaking and -- !! Okay, I won't spoil, but really! They were so cute together, and this book is completely void of insta-love, which makes me a very happy camper. Those last chapters though. THAT END. WHYYYYY??,??!!! OKay, okay, no spoilers. Right.

All of the side characters and villains were very well-developed as well, with Adri as the almost-pitiable step-mother, and sweet Peony, and bratty Pearl, and the awful, awful Lunar Queen Levana, the batty Dr. Erland... Everyone was so interesting to read about. Ms. Meyer is amazing at writing interesting and unique characters.

One thing I adored about Cinder was the setting. Love the nod to the roots of Cinderella. New Beijing is such a cool place, I love the mix of western influence and old traditional Chinese. It really feels like how it would be in the future, with cultures meshing together after so long of segregation.

Be warned though, Cinder has something of a cliff-hanger (and a heart-wrenching one at that), but the second book Scarlet is already out! I've already read it, and I LOVE it. So please, PLEASE check out this series if you think it sounds interesting. Definitely one of the best books I've read this year, and one of my favorite series of all time.

~ Ellie


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