Cinder is a cyborg living in a world where cyborgs are property, but she is also a young woman with an interesting past and a dramatic future. Her world turns upside down when the future emperor comes by her mechanic shop to have her fix his android. But, he doesn’t know her big secret. She doesn’t even know her biggest secret until the wicked stepmother commits her to a terrible fate.
Accompanied by an android who is a little too human, a human who is a little too alien, and a spunky stepsister, Cinder’s world is one I want to visit over and over again.
When I first heard about these books I decided to put off reading them because it all sounded way to kitchy. That was a terrible decision. I actually read all four books in this series and the accompanying short stores in three days. Three days. I will clarify that I read VERY fast, but I still barely slept. I loved the characters in this story. Cinder is everything you want a main character to be damaged yet strong, powerful yet intelligent and endlessly creative. Kai is everything you want in a love interest, needs a little fixing, but loving, kind and excessively hot (for an imaginary book character….cough).
Meyer did a brilliant job bringing this story to life for me. The world she developed was very complete and even her mechanical characters had depth. In fact, the android best friend Iko is by far my favorite character. Iko is the comic relief of this book and she made me laugh out loud on multiple occasions. The fact that Meyer can write both such a humorous character alongside her more serious characters is a testament to her creativity.
I do have to admit though, this book may have made me so happy just because it contained such obvious nods to so many of my favorite things. There is the obvious one…fairytales. I do truly love the classic fairytales and Meyer does a great job retelling them without losing what it means to be a fairytale. That’s tricky to do. I think there are an abundance of retelling of the classic fairytales popping up lately, but few really stay true to the feel of a fairytale like Cinder did. Then there is Firefly. How is this like Firefly do you ask? Well this story takes place in New Bejiing and brings together all of the space travel and cultural mingling that we loved in Firefly’s brief tenure. Finally, I am a HUGE Sailor Moon nerd. I grew up wanting to be a moon princess. For any Sailor lover, the fact that Meyer is one of us is obvious within the first few chapters. Without even reading her writer’s bio I knew that Meyer was influenced heavily by the Sailor Scouts that I love and by Firefly, which I also love.
I think this book gave us just enough of all these fandoms without trying to hard or being a copycat. I felt Meyer was creative in her re-telling, but my favorite part had to be how unique each of her characters was. I really got a grasp for each individual personality. In many young adult books the reader gets a good feeling for the main character. The main character is the one you really understand. The impressive thing about Cinder is that I felt that way with several of these characters. I got to know each character on a personal level, even those that weren’t essential.
The only bad things I can say is that the writing gets a little stale at points and there are a few plot points that I could have done away with. This book rambles a bit.
I give this a 4.5 on my young adult scale.
Main Characters: 5/5
Side characters: 5/5
World Development: 5/5
Writing Quality: 4/5
Procrastination and Giggles,
The Red Queen
P.S. I try not to fall in love with book characters, but I’m with Iko on this one…
“Prince Kai! Check my fan, I think I’m overheating.”