by Marissa Meyer
YA Science Fiction/Fairy Tale
Amazon / Goodreads
Plot Summary: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.
Review:This book is just gorgeous. Love the writing, the world and the twist on the fairy tale! The story moves so quickly too - it's easy to get immersed in the story.
The main character, Cinder, is an unconventional take on Cinderella - she's snarky and resentful and rightfully so because her adopted family is so dismissive of her. Having Cinder part android adds more credibility to the outcast situation Cinder finds herself in - even though she is the main financial support for her family. Adri and Pearl were just so hateful, I couldn't stand them so they were perfectly written. It was refreshing that Cinder did have a kind adopted sister - Peony - who is adorably sweet and again works so well in the story because she gives Cinder a tie to her adopted family.
The story switches third person POV between Cinder and Prince Kai which was another great approach to the narrative so the reader can understand the Prince better and how the romance develops. I thought it was a bit odd that Kai was so taken by Cinder so quickly but I can see her appeal to him because she is apparently such an individual amid a lot of Prince Kai fangirls. But the romance isn't the most important part of the book! This story is much more multi-dimensional than that!
The Commonwealth Cinder lives in is threatened by a mysterious and devastating plague and also the danger of war from the powerful Lunar colony. I couldn't get enough of all the twists and turns in the story as Cinder and Kai each deal with these threats, and the mystery of how this plague came to the Commonwealth and what Prince Kai could possibly do to discourage the Lunar Queen's plan. The plot is relentless and keeps building on the world and the culture as it progresses. The richness of the plot, characters and world absolutely captivated me! The denouement was very exciting as well - with some interesting alterations to the normal Cinderella at the Ball scene. I very much adored this highly imaginative fairy tale revision, and eagerly look forward to picking up the sequel!