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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.
Usually, when I’m late reading a series, I end up mentally kicking myself for not reading the books sooner. But not this time. This time, I was so happy that it took me this long because not only do I get to read books 1, 2 and 3 right after each other (the wait between books would have been killer) but because I got to listen to the audiobooks instead which I think make the books soooooo much better! I’ve had an ebook of this since 2012 and my awesome friend Sara got me a personalized signed copy of Cinder from an author event she went to last year. (Thanks Sara!) I’m such a sucker for fairy tales but am always wary of retellings. Either I think the close similarities are kind of cheesy, or I get annoyed by big changes. But this book, wow! Marissa Meyer brings such a fun, unique and amazing twist to the classic beloved fairy tale.
Set in futuristic New Beijing where humans coexist with androids and Lunar’s, Cinder is a cyborg mechanic. She ‘belongs’ to her stepmother and lives with her and her two stepsisters. Cinder’s stepmother is horrible and treats her like a servant because technically that’s what Cinder is. As a cyborg, she has no rights and must do what her owner asks of her. Unlike the story, I was glad to see that one of Cinder’s stepsisters was actually a friend to Cinder and it was nice to know that Cinder also had the friendship of her android companion, Iko. Being one of the best mechanics in New Beijing, Prince Kai ends up at her booth when he is looking for someone to repair his personal android. From then on, their world collide, even if they don’t even realize it.
I fell in love with the futuristic world that Marissa Meyer created!I loved how the similarities between the Cinderella fairy tale had they’re own fun twists as much as the changes she made. Of course, it has a step mother, the evil step sisters (or step sister in this case), a prince, a ‘pumpkin’ coach and of course, the ball! I was wondering if the iconic ‘slipper’ scene would be in the book and how it would be interpreted. I loved how Meyer played this into the story while giving it it’s own Cinder twist. I really liked Kai and Cinder’s friendship. Although sparks fly between them, this is a very slow burning relationship which I really liked. Although the pacing was slow, it really worked for the series. I think another thing that made this story so strong was the great cast of secondary characters. We have a wickedly awesome and evil Queen Levana and the mysterious Dr. Erland. But nobody tops Cinder’s android friend Iko. Every time she was in a scene, I was thinking ‘fuck Siri, I want myslef an Iko!’ I loved how she was determined to think and act like a human even though she was basically a fancy computer chip. Her scenes with Cinder and Kai were funny and heartwarming. Couldn’t get enough of her!
There were so many interesting plot twists to the story and I was just in awe of it the whole time. Although I guessed one of the big reveals early on, I still really loved this story. Besides, since when does everything have to be a huge shocker? I was in almost panic mode when I was nearing the end of the book because there was still so much I needed and wanted to know! How would we figure it all out if the next book is about Scarlet??? Silly me for doubting Meyer! Yes, the next story is about Scarlet and Wolf (Little Red Riding Hood retelling) but it is still very much Cinder’s story. We get Scarlet’s story and POV as well as Cinder and Kai and a few other characters we meet. I don’t know how Meyer does it but it just works! So we get more of Cinder, Kai and Iko in the next book as well as new characters. Yay!
Audiobook Comments: Rebbeca Soler, I love you! This girl is such an amazingly talented narrator and actress. She brings this already great story to a whole new level of awesomeness with her flawless narration and character portrayal! I am in awe that she has a unique voice for each character, from the main characters to even the smaller characters. I loved the way she pulled of Cinder and Kai’s characters, loved! But her voices for Queen Levana, Sybil, and Dr. Erland were outstanding! My favorite was her android robotic voice for Iko. I loved how she made her sound robotic but she also had Iko’s human qualities that we love. I’m so happy that I waited to read this series and ended up going with the audiobook version instead. I can’t imagine reading this story without Soler’s narration to bring the story to life. This is by far my favorite audiobook series and I highly recommend it to everyone! Want to win an audiobook copy of Cinder, Scarlet or Cress? Enter my giveaway here!
Check out Rebbeca Soler narrating Cinder!
Some of my favorite non-spoiler quotes from Cinder:
Even in the Future the Story Begins with Once Upon a Time.
“I don’t know. I don’t actually remember anything from before the surgery.”
His eyebrows rose, his blue eyes sucking in all the light of the room. “The cybernetic opetation?”
“No, the sex change.”
The doctor’s smile faltered.
Clearing his throat, Kai murmured, “You have no idea how to dance, do you?”
Cinder fixed her gaze on him, mind still reeling. “I’m a mechanic.”
His eyebrows raised mockingly. “Believe me, I noticed. Are those grease stains on the gloves I gave you?”
“You yourself said there will be horrible consequences if she doesn’t get what she wants. I am not worth starting a war over.” His eyes brightened behind the spectacles. He looked young for a moment, almost giddy. “Actually, you are.”
This is my interpretation of Cinder’s look from the ball scene. Her dress was white and I found some cool jewelry that reminded me of her android hand and other ‘parts.’ I went with a foreign cover of Cinder since the white shoe matches the look better than the red one. Hope you like it!
Check out my previous Book Looks!