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ARC Review: Cinder


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Release Date: TODAY
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Sci-fi/Dystopian/Paranormal
Source: NetGalley
Rating: Perfect Bed Partner
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About the Book:
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.

In this thrilling debut young adult novel, the first of a quartet, Marissa Meyer introduces readers to an unforgettable heroine and a masterfully crafted new world that’s enthralling.
The screw through Cinder's ankle had rusted, the engraved cross marks worn to a mangled circle...

I was exquisitely surprised by this book! Cinder is billed as a revitalization of the Cinderella fairy tale, and while it has undertones of a fairy tale retelling, the overarching plot is so much more than that! I don't even know what to dub this one: sci-fi? dystopian? paranormal? It really is a striking, albeit crazy mash-up of things, as if Meyer plucked elements from different genres and rearranged them meticulously into her own unique tale. Cinder, the MC, may be portrayed as the renowned mechanic, with a penchant for breathing new life into the dull, the irreparable. But when I think of Cinder, I envision Meyer with a toolbelt and a mask to resist flames, rebuilding something that has been done before, a retelling of Cinderella like no other, plugging and twisting and tightening the nuts and bolts of a fascinating new thing.

Cinder makes an extraordinary Cinderella! At a glance, there are subtle and concrete allusions to the Cinderella tale we all know and love throughout the book, and it's the same with the heroine, but there's so much more to it than meets the eye. On the surface, Cinder has got the Cinderella life, working and submitting to brutal "chores" for a stepmother who doesn't love, want, or appreciate her, a girl who doesn't classify herself as beautiful and lacks inward confidence that we recognize when she attempts to hide her... eccentricities. But, she's also loyal, hardworking, with the makings of true spunkiness, and, despite her life being in terrible jeopardy in multiple instances, emanates a disarming bravery and strength that endears her to us all the more. In the depths of her thoughts and feelings, there is a girl with hopes for acceptance, but on the outside she gathers to her a formidable illusion of cool confidence.

One evil Lunar queen who governs a vicious race, one mad scientist who owns the keys to Cinder's mysterious past, one dashing prince with a desire to do right by his people and growing feelings for Cinder, one death which cuts deep, later and Cinder gives us a riveting story about loneliness, loss, and the will to do what is right despite the life-altering consequences. My only true disappointment with the book is the romance with the prince. I found the slow development to be sweet and full of promise, but I'm holding out for much more in the ensuing sequels. I mean, IT'S THE PRINCE. There has to be a breathstealing romance!

With simple, yet elegant writing, entrancing, detailed world-building that draws in even the skeptical reader who repels sci-fi and the like, and a main character that tugs at the heartstrings, Cinder is a one-of-a-kind, gripping debut that is everything it says and infinitely more! A debut novel that has made my favorites list from a debut author I can't wait to see more from! Really, what will she come up with next?


Renu said...

YAY, so glad you enjoyed Cinder! *nods* It's on my favs list too! Don't you just love Cinder?! She's such an awesome mc! Definitely a one of a kind read. :D

Jenny said...

I really loved this one too Asher! Though I do agree with you on the romance, I'm hoping for a little more romance in the next couple books, but I did like how there was no insta love going on and no love triangle. That for me makes this one a complete win! Really fantastic review!

Tiffany said...

I absolutely adored Cinder and I'm glad to see you enjoyed it as well. I can't wait for the next book to come out. Great review!

Ninja Girl said...

Wow! This was an awesome review. I mean, I already wanted to read Cinder, but you've made it seem even better. Love hearing that she has a cool confidence/spunkiness. Can't wait to read now!
Great job,
Ninja Girl

roro said...

i really need this1
tnx 4 you're thoughts
whoot i want it ^-^

Linda said...

I'm so excited for this one and a tiny bit jealous that you already read it. Great review!

Liz. R said...

I love retellings, and I love dystopians - so a dystopian retelling is my idea of a very good book :P. Cinder sounds like such an awesome MC! Glad you enjoyed this one, can't wait to read it :).

Kat said...

I can't wait to read this one. :) Awesome review, Cinder seems like a really lovable character!

Brodie said...

YES! *fist pumps* I knew you'd love this! (Well, I hope you would :P). It was so not what I imagined.... Cinder herself surprised me. She's such an amazing heroine and I adored Iko too!! I loved that we got to read from Kai's perspective also <3 As usual, another spectacular review, Asher!!

A. Knight said...

Renu- Yes, Cinder as the main character was one of the highlights of my time reading the book. She's so different from what I've chosen as a variation of Cinderella. But I loved her!

Jenny- It's so wonderfully, beautifully unique. And although romance hasn't reached me yet, I have a feeling it will.

Tiffany- I know! I'm so anxious to see what'll happen next? Where can Meyer spin the story after this?

Ninja Girl- Yes, she's such a genuine character. One that's really relatable, somehow.

Roro- *high fives* It's such an exciting, pretty fast-paced read!

Linda- *lol* Trust me, it's been worth the wait, though.

Liz- I wouldn't classify it as JUST dystopian though, that's the beauty of it. It's like everything you could ever want in one book (except for the romance, I needed a little more... Ok, a lot more!). But like I said, Cinder is definitely a highlight.

Kat- I hope you get to it soon! It really is one-of-a-kind.

Brodie- I TOTALLY DID. That's what caught me by surprise - even reading the synopsis didn't totally prepare me for what I was going to find. And yeah, I love reading from the male POV, so reading from Kai's perspective was delightful! Thank you, my darling Brodie, I'm happy you enjoyed.

Thank you all for stopping by!

Erica said...

I am so excited to read the next book after this - what a fun start to the series :)