Release Date: January 3, 2012
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
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.
The cover and synopsis of Cinder had me entranced. A futuristic sic-fi re-telling of Cinderella? Yes, please! Sadly, I wasn't happy with this book at all. While I enjoyed certain aspects, like the characters, it wasn't enough for me to love this book. I do have Scarlet, the second book in the quartet on hand and I'm hoping it's better.
Let's start with the plot. I want to point out that there was so much potential for the plot to be amazing but sadly, it was really predictable. Besides knowing who's going to end up with who (after all, this is a re-telling), I figured out a key aspect of the plot almost 15% into this book. There was no sense of surprise in this novel for me and that was not okay. I found myself getting bored and I even admit to skimming some pages because I just didn't care. I thought about not worrying about it since this was Marissa Meyer's debut novel but that seemed wrong. The second half of the book had much more action which was fantastic because the first half was a chore to get through.
I was also surprised at the lack of world building. As I said, this is considered a sci-fi book but I found some aspects to be border line fantasy. All of the special powers that some of the characters possess seem to just be there. I really wanted more background as to how it all came to be. The only explanation was that it was because they lived on the moon. Being the science nerd I am, I began to wonder if it had to do with DNA changes or particles in the air or something else that caused the powers. But nothing was explained and that was rather sad.
I did like many of the characters. Cinder was a fantastic protagonist. She was brave and smart and loving. She was also willing to do whatever she needed to to help her step sister (the one who likes her anyways) and for the people she cared for. Even though she was strong willed, I liked the aspects in which she was confused or sad since it made her seem more relatable. Iko was hilarious and a much needed distraction from all of the drama but she was also the best friend Cinder needed. Kai wasn't as fleshed out as I had wanted him to be but I was willing to put that aside. Honestly, I wasn't in love with their relationship. I felt like there was no spark and all of the times there should have been tension between the two, I felt nothing.
Overall, I didn't like Cinder. I liked out protagonist but combined with the predictable plot and lack of world building, it wasn't a book I enjoyed. I want to give this book more than 2 stars but really, the 2 stars come from liking Cinder and Iko. I will be reading Scarlet and I'm hoping to love it!
I actually love the simplicity of this cover! Plus, the glass slipper is a big part of the story of Cinderella so it fits but the robotic leg makes it perfect!