Loved by no one.
Forced to work for those who hate her.
Father dead. Stepmother evil. Stepsister torture.
Handsome prince. Fairy godmother.
Do you recognize the fairy tale?
What about the cyborg part? And the fact that the cyborg is a gifted mechanic. Yes, our beautiful Cinderella can fix just about anything mechanical and has a computer in her head. Melissa Meyer has taken our beloved Cinderella and well, ripped her apart a little bit. And put her back together brilliantly.
From the publisher:
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.
Cinder is more than just a re-imagining of the classic fairy tale Cinderella. It’s a look at caste systems, government, disease, slavery, abuse, and oh, so much more. Cinder was everything I hoped it would be, and more. I have long loved fairy tales, fairy tale mashups, fairy tale retellings…basically anything to do with fairy tales. And this scifi reimagining was so much fun for me. Being the first in a series, of course there is a great deal of world building, something I (at times) don’t care for, especially when it drags on and on. Luckily, it doesn’t drag in Cinder. I’ve found that I typically don’t mind it in dystopian novels, particularly because I love seeing what the author chose to change, kill off, or do away with, and Meyer made all of that interesting in her novel. Meyer also had to build her characters and I think she’s built quite a good one with Cinder. She’s strong. She’s smart. She’s the same kind, sweet girl from the fairy tale, but she’s also not afraid to talk back, particularly to her stepmother. Meyer also threw in a wicked queen. I mean, what’s a fairy tale without a wicked queen? And you guys, she is hella evil. Dude. She gives my shivers the goosebumps, she’s so freaky. Of course, I ate. it. up.
Like most first novels, there were a few hiccups, some things that made me groan a bit. Thankfully, Meyer did not succumb (well, not too badly) to that favorite YA trope; the beautiful male protagonist. While I got the idea that Prince Kai, Cinder’s Prince Charming, was pretty hot, Meyer did not wax poetic about it. Thank you Melissa Meyer. I’m looking forward to the next in this series and seeing how Meyer grows as a writer. I think she has great potential.
The wonderful guys at Macmillon Audio sent me a clip from the audiobook to share with you all. Rebecca Stoler reads the audiobook and, while I am unfamiliar with her, I will definitely be listening to this audiobook at some point before the next book in the series comes out. Click the audiobook cover to have a listen: