Sometime after getting my agent, I was looking through my local Barnes and Noble for books that could possibly work as comp titles for my novel. Because what better way to excuse buying a bunch of books than putting together a book proposal? (On a side note, proposals are evil, but that’s a topic for another time) While scanning for steampunk titles, I stumbled across Cinder by Marissa Meyer. I had heard about it and it had been in the back of my mind for a long time. Might as well pick it up and see how I like it, right?
Thank you book proposal requirements.
The Plot: 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.
Characters- As someone who was never a big fan of Cinderella from the original fairy tale or her portrayal and most of the updates and remakes, I really appreciate Cinder. She’s resourceful and empathetic. She keeps all of the original character’s good qualities while adding on and becoming her own person. Prince Kai is slightly less interesting, but at least he has a very understandable conflict. The original prince in Cinderella was such a nothing character he almost didn’t exist. Kai deals well with the struggles of his kingdom so I enjoyed reading about him too. Shout out to the crazy, mind-control villain, Lavinia, because I love mind control and villains. So many possibilities.
The Good Points- Obviously I love the characters, but besides this, I love the set up and the world. I love steampunk and fairy tale retellings, so I'm surprised I didn't pick this book up sooner. The set up this world and the aesthetics of it is unique. I thought the changes made to the source material were very clever (particularly the part with the foot. Those who have read the book know what I mean). The story wasn't afraid to throw in a few emotional blows for Cinder that I didn't expect. Really, this book took me to lots of unexpected places.
The Bad Points- Unexpected places, except for the major twist. The major twist is a good twist I just wished it had been disguised a bit better and I think there was an easy way to do that. I guessed the twist as soon as the first clue was revealed so that took away from the final punch. But sometimes the best books come from the journey and not the final destination.
I loved Cinder, and I love the other two books in the series, which I may review at a later date once Winter comes out. The easily guessed twist could have been played better, but over all this was an enjoyable read. I recommend it to any fans of fairy tale retellings or steampunk fantasy. This one is definitely worth it!
Final Rating- 4.5/5