Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Format: ARC (courtesy of Feiwel & Friends)
Genre: Sci-Fi, Steampunk, Dystopia, YA (take your pick)
Publication Date: Jan 03, 2012
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.
Holy Lunar Batman. Think the combination of Cinderella + cyborgs + dystopia, can't possibly work out? Well, it does, and this book is the proof.
But first: the negatives. The biggest distraction I found in the book is Prince Kai. I didn't understand his character very well, especially his sudden attraction to Cinder. We see his actions, and get to occasionally read his thoughts, but they aren't consistent with each other. I'm not quite sure if this is done on purpose (showing how much he has to learn) or not, but it is clear that he has a lot of growing to do as a character.
The ending was also a bit of a let-down, if only because I am dying to know what happens next. The full Cinderella story arc doesn't happen in this book, so we are left waiting for the next book, for what I hope has some sort of a conclusion.
Lastly: The book is set in "New Beijing," the future China, but aside from character names, there was no Chinese culture in the book at all. I refuse to believe that even hundreds of years from now there wouldn't be something cultural that stuck, especially in such a rich and deeply-ingrained culture.
And now: the squealing! Despite the above, I really enjoyed this book. I was enthralled with Cinder and her life as a mechanic/unofficial servant. She's a spunky character, who comes complete with guts, honor, and interchangeable parts. It took me a few chapters to really understand her, but I must say that I'm quite a fan.
The world Meyer built is impressively detailed. I could picture everything in my head as I read, and was able to lose myself in it, completely. Meyer is great at explaining enough so that the reader understands what is going on in the story, but not explaining so much that it feels like overkill. She hints at just the right details to get your mind spinning with the possibilities.
I was hooked with the details; fantastic descriptions of mechanical body parts, internal wiring, and futuristic machines, made better by the fact that Cinder is a mechanic with lots of knowledge about them. And little fairy tale hints kept popping up in the most unexpected places. It was a fun surprise each time I realized what something represented (much like I fun I get from realizing what things represent in Once Upon a Time).
This is a book you need to read. The dialogue is great--sometimes funny and other times heartfelt--and Cinder's sarcastic humor comes out in just the right places. You'll love the way the writing sweeps you into Cinder's story, and the world she lives in. And you'll gasp at the end when it leaves you wanting more.
...you are looking for something fresh and memorable; a book to get lost in.
Major loss of sleep, inability to function, accelerated reading, shifted priorities, and the sudden urge to cry in frustration upon finishing.
Had to get my energy out after finishing this book, so here are some wallpapers for you. Enjoy! :)
Other Books in the Series:
Other Books in the Series: