Started: August 28, 2016
Finished: September 3, 2016
Rating: 4.5 stars
Genre: YA science fiction, dystopian
Summary (from Goodreads): 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.
I waited way too long to start this series.
For a while, I resisted starting this series because it wasn’t finished. By the time that Winter was released, I was so tired of dystopian YA that I just couldn’t bring myself to pick up the first book. It was at a time when it seemed like every YA book I looked at had some kind of dystopian aspect and I was so burnt out on it. I’m really glad that I waited until I wasn’t burnt out on dystopian to read this.
Cinder was honestly one of the best books that I’ve read this year. I don’t really have a reason that it didn’t get five stars, but I’m trying to make my rating system more exclusive for five stars because I give a ton of books five stars that probably could do with four stars. This book is one that I had to think about for a while before I rated it.
Cinder was really, really good. Since currently Marissa Meyer’s only novels are the Lunar Chronicles, I’ve never read anything written by her. I really enjoyed her writing style. It reminded me a lot of my own style. Her world-building was superb, and I felt like I knew New Beijing while there was still room to learn more and build more in the next three books.
The plot wasn’t fast-paced, which was unexpected. I expected that it would be like other YA dystopian novels where the plot moves very quickly and the author has to keep inventing new plot points for the next books because all of them are exhausted in the first one. I really liked that this book moved slowly and the main conflict of the story became apparent as I was reading instead of being established outright.
I also love the fairy tale retelling aspect of the story! I’ve been into fairy tale retellings with Jackson Pearce’s novels, but it’s nice to know that I have a whole series of retelling to look forward to. This was definitely different than the retellings that I’ve read before because it’s very futuristic and technologically advanced, but I really liked that it still felt like a fairy tale retelling.
The characters were really great as well. I loved Cinder and Kai, and I thought they were some of the best written characters that I’ve read this year. I had enough information about them to keep me interested, but not enough that I felt like I knew everything about them. That kind of characterization is a sign of good writing to me, and I loved it.
All in all, I really loved this book. It was interesting, exciting, and definitely lived up to my expectations. I can’t wait to pick up the rest of the series to read!
NEXT READ: The Cellar by Natasha Preston