Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Author: Marissa Meyer. Website|Twitter
Published: 5 January 2012 (Puffin)
Google Play: e-book
Book Depository: paperback
Source: Borrowed from library.
Plot Summary (from Amazon):
A forbidden romance.
A deadly plague.
Earth's fate hinges on one girl . . .
CINDER, a gifted mechanic in New Beijing, is also a cyborg. She's reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister's sudden illness. But when her life becomes entwined with the handsome Prince Kai's, she finds herself at the centre of a violent struggle between the desires of an evil queen - and a dangerous temptation.
Cinder is caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal. Now she must uncover secrets about her mysterious past in order to protect Earth's future.
I was completely intrigued by this book and wanted to read it purely to satisfy my curiosity. Cinder is a modern re-telling of the Cinderella story, only set in a futuristic world where Cinder is a cyborg. I'm all for a modern twist on fairy tales and this sounded like a pretty interesting twist!
It took me a little while to get into this book. At first all the talk of cyborgs and androids left me thinking "really?!" and I wasn't totally convinced it was going to work. But as I read on, I settled into the book and started to get used to the world it's set in. It felt a lot like some of the post-apocalyptic/dystopian books I read so I sort of got myself into that frame of mind whilst reading and it seemed to help.
The fairy tale twist is interesting. There's Cinder herself, stepsisters, a prince, a ball (and even an orange carriage of sorts) so all the building blocks of the Cinderella story were there. There's an awful lot more to the book than that, though, and once I started to see the story as a standalone novel with its own plot I found myself able to enjoy it more. I almost wished it hadn't been linked to Cinderella in places so it could focus on the story Meyer has dreamt up, but it's still really fun to spot all the little fairy tale references!
I really enjoyed the plot, and felt that it had a little bit of everything to keep me satisfied: a potential love story, a deadly disease threatening the planet as well as the possibilty of war and conflict with a rival society. It definitely had the feeling that the story was really building to something, and I'm really glad it's the first in a series (Cinder is the first of the Lunar Chronicles) because I really want to read more of this world.
The story flits between several characters point of view throughout the book, but I enjoyed Cinder's POV the most. Her story had so many levels to it and she was a really fascinating character. I liked her relationship with stepsister Peony as well as with her robot buddy Iko. The love story element of the book didn't feel too overwhelming, and I think it was balanced well with everything else that was going on.
I was really enjoying this book by the end already, but then the ending absolutely blew me away! I was on the edge of my seat and totally didn't see the end coming. It really raised my opinion of the book as a whole.
I'd definitely recommend this book. It's worth persevering with, because any doubts about it I had at the beginning were obliterated by the end. It's a very, very high 4*.
What to read next: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer, book 2 in the Luna Chronicles series.
Books like this: Glitch by Heather Anastasiu
Win a copy of Scarlet on Goodreads right here! (Competition open internationally - closes 30th Sept)
Be sure to check out some great extras on Marissa's website, too! Click here.