Cinder’s life is anything but a fairytale. As a cyborg and the ward of her cruel guardian, Cinder can only dream of being free, of having a say in what happens in her life. But as a deadly plague called Letumosis sweeps across the city, and Queen Levana of Luna attempts to make a move for the crown, Cinder finds herself suddenly involved in the interplanetary drama. With the attention of Prince Kai on her, Cinder is pulled between gaining freedom for herself and of helping free her country from fast approaching threats.
You know the fairytale, but you don’t know it like this. While it’s obvious that the basis for Cinder comes from the story of Cinderella, this modern retelling is so much its own that it is still wonderfully unique. Marissa Meyer creates characters that must navigate complex situations, allowing them to develop and grow throughout the novel. The constant revelations keep your head spinning and have you constantly surprised.
Cinder is a fairly quick read, and when you’re done it kind of seems like not that much actually happened. The plot is interesting and well-worked, but it seems to work as a set up for the rest of the series rather than a plot in and of itself. This doesn’t make the book bad or uninteresting, but it does make it feel like it’s lacking in something.
Despite this, I loved Cinder and the rest of the Lunar Chronicles and have read them multiple times. Fairytale retellings can be so much fun to read, especially when done in such an unconventional and modern way. I finished this book in one day and couldn’t wait to start book two. Mild spoiler: Cinder ends on a major cliff-hanger that will have you reeling and speeding to the bookstore to buy the whole series.
I give Cinder four stars for the genius and intricate plot and characters. I would recommend Cinder for anyone who enjoys the new-world, tattered society narratives with a sympathetic heroine meant to save the day. It’s the perfect blend of classic tale and dystopian story, bringing new life to such a well-known touchstone.