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.
Sometimes I am an ornery reader. Sometimes, when a book is super popular, and everybody’s talking about it everywhere, it makes me want to NOT read the book. I’m not sure why; it’s kind of annoying because by the time I DO read it (and I like it), everyone’s moved on and I have nobody to talk about it with.
This is exactly what happened with Cinder. I had it on my to-read list since before it was published1 and then it exploded and the orneriness kicked in. I put it aside for YEARS. Luckily, Cinder‘s part of an ongoing series, so it’s not too late for me to squee with people!
And squee I will! Y’all, Cinder is a highly entertaining book. It’s a fluffy scifi story about princes and cyborgs and EVIL MOON QUEENS. It’s also a retelling of Cinderella, and y’all know how much I like fairy tale retellings.
In particular, I really liked Cinder and Prince Kai. They’re wonderful characters: perfect teenagers and very entertaining to read about. Cinder has huge body image issues, exacerbated by her terrible step-mother and the fact that apparently she’d no longer considered a real person.2 Kai is adorable and exactly what you’d want a prince to be: royal and kind and competent (or getting to be, anyway). Together they are super cute and also kinda cringe-worthy. Teenagers.
The world of Cinder is fun, too! I mean, not fun. It’s in a post World War 3 situation and there are evil moon people threatening war. It’s not a happy place. But it’s fun to read about and that’s all that matters.
I think if I were in a bad mood, though, I wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much as I did. It’s one of those books that’re easy to pick apart because the plot/writing flaws are so visible they’re practically poking you in the face. For example: cyborgs are, ostensibly, AWESOME. They have the internet in their heads! EVERYBODY would want that. It’s kinda weird how Cinder‘s society isn’t taking advantage of that, don’t you think?
Unless, of course, it’s only Cinder who has the internet-head thing. It’s too bad we never get to meet any other (alive) cyborgs in this book because I really wanna know more about them. They seem so cool and yet they’re so despised–another thing I take issue with. These people came back from the dead! Why aren’t they being celebrated as amazing thingies of science? And so on.
So don’t squint at it too hard, I guess. But I’m still very much looking forward to seeing other people/countries/etc. in future books. More world-building! Also, more moon people! Yay!
Read: December 26, 2014
Jenny and Jenny did a podcast about Cinder and Scarlet last May! Go listen to it because it is a very good episode.
- partly because the author used to write Sailor Moon fanfic, including one of my favorites when I was a kid! Yay, more fanfic writers going pro! ↩
- What’s the point of that, btw? Why bother bringing back people from death/near-death if you don’t want to retain them as citizens? I don’t THINK they’re going out and deliberately making people into cyborg-slaves, but it’s strange. ↩