Genre: Science Fiction
Publication Date: 2012
Length: 400 pages
Description (via Goodreads):
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.
This is not the fairytale you remember. But it’s one you won’t forget.
I was not so sure about this book when I picked it up, but boy am I glad I stuck with it. When I read the description and saw that it was a sci-fi retelling of Cinderella, I have to admit, I cringed.
But MAN. This book was so good.
Cinder is a cyborg mechanic. In this world, Cyborgs are treated as though they are below humans, but Cinder is a very strong woman who does not let that get in her way.
This story also has the classic evil stepmother and stepsisters, but one of the sisters, Peony, is actually really cool and is nice to Cinder. Her stepmother is the absolute pits though. Pretty much every scene she was in made me want to throw my phone across the room.
The main story revolves around a plague that has hit New Beijing that they are racing to find a cure for. When Peony contracts the plague, her stepmother “volunteers” Cinder to be a test subject in hopes of finding a cure.
While in the lab, Cinder begins to learn secrets about herself, her family, and more.
The story is set in dystopian China, in New Beijing. The moon has also been colonized, but they are under the rule of an evil queen. They are on the brink of war with Earth and Prince Kai (the Prince Charming of our story) is responsible for trying to form an alliance with them to prevent a war. I loved all of the political stuff that was worked in here.
I was pretty blown away by the worldbuilding in this novel and since it’s the first in a series, I’m looking forward to exploring this world more.
The author handled pacing really well. Everything that happened seemed exciting and there were so many different plots that were beautifully woven together.
The romance was also super subtle. Since it’s a YA novel I was expecting to be hit in the face with a love plot, but the focus is definitely way more on Cinder. Her character development is achieved through her actions, not through some romance with the prince. I love that she did not fall overly in love with the prince and that the romance was more of a subplot than a main focus.
She tries to bring herself out of her situation and is not waiting on the prince to rescue her from her terrible family.
I feel like I’ve been pretty vague in this review because I don’t want to give anything away. I also feel like I couldn’t fully explain some of the things I loved about this book without spoiling it, so you’ll just have to trust me on this one. There’s a lot going on in this book and it’s all pretty freaking great.
I’m eager to dive into the rest of the series.