Blurb: 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.
Thoughts (non-spoiler): I originally read this book back in 2014, I believe. I gave it four stars but I remember nothing that happened in the book. A while ago, I went to go pick up Scarlet and was extremely confused, so I knew I had to re-read Cinder. I’m so glad that this is what I pulled out of my TBR Jar for May because I loved it!
I don’t think I’ve ever read a book where a character goes through so much development and learns so much about themselves as Cinder. For the most part, she accepts these new things and most of the book is her learning to adapt to what she’s learn. There is a lot of angst surrounding Cinder which got quite annoying after a while, but considering what she is going through, it’s not that big of a deal.
Cinder was a great protagonist. Nothing ever comes easy to her and it was fun watching her struggle to fit in with New Beijing. Even though she only liked Peony, I enjoyed how she attempted to be a good step-daughter and the dynamic between Adri (her step-mother) and Cinder was interesting to watch develop. Speaking of developments, seeing Cinder and Kai bond was so awkwardly hilarious. Both characters are pretty stubborn and it was so funny to see their stubbornness collide with each other.
The novel is a really cool re-telling of Cinderella and I thought it was done quite well. It was definitely different enough from the original fairy tale, yet it had elements that kept reminding the reader that it is a re-telling of a classic story. I truly appreciated all of Meyer’s little details she put into the story, such as the cruel step-mother and step-sisters, the grand ball, I like to think of Iko being the fairy godmother and Cinder losing her foot at the ball. The world that Meyer created, this urban fantasy world that take place after World War IV is very intriguing. I would love to know what caused the other two World Wars and how this futuristic, high-tech world came to be. I would assume Cress takes place in another part of the world like Scarlet does, so that will be nice to see other places of the complex world that Meyer has created, especially with the Lunars because I feel like they’ll effect everyone, not just New Beijing.
Overall, this was a great first novel in a series of new takes on classic fairy tales. It has intriguing characters and an interesting plot that helps push the story along. There also is some political business and the people have to try and adapt with this horrible disease, which adds a nice element of mystery. If you have yet to pick up Cinder, I highly encourage you to do so, and the fourth installment of the Lunar Chronicles, Winter, is coming out this November!