“Cinder” had been on my #TBRlist for a long time. I finally got it earlier this year when I was on a desperate hunt for science fiction books that I might be able to use as a comp for Chrysalis once I start querying again. “Cinder” did not end up being that book, I wasn’t exactly expecting it too, but it was a good read.
A retelling of the Cinderella fairytale, Cinder is fresh, fun, and so much more than a girl waiting for her Prince. Cinder is a cyborg with a bad foot and a mechanical bent. She is hired by Prince Kia to fix a palace robot and they slowly build a friendship – without revealing that she is a cyborg, because they are worse than second class citizen’s where they live.
Complicating things is her stepsister contracting a horrible plague. Cinder gets rounded up with other cyborgs to be used as test subjects to find a vaccine. Through the testing, Cinder is discovered to be much more than anyone knew.
On top of that is the problem of the Lunar Queen, who is sweetly trying to brainwash everyone in to being her slaves.
I really enjoyed the book. Cinder is caring and brave and intelligent but not in an overly exalted way that would make her feel inaccessible. The cyborg angle is great. I love how she leaves her foot, and not just her slipper, as she tries to run away from the ball. Speaking of the ball, that was my favorite part. The state of dishevelment that Cinder arrives in and the complete acceptance that Kia offers her is amazing.
I also love Cinder’s struggle to find her worth and beauty in the aftermath of the tragedy that made her a cyborg. That’s something we all have to work through regardless of the kind of scars we receive in life.
The book is a little predictable, I guessed the “big revel” quite a ways in, but that didn’t bother me. Marissa Meyer wrote a wonderful new version of Cinderella and did a great job of laying the foundation for the rest of the books in the series. I highly recommend it.