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.
Where do you start when a book is nothing like you had expected but all you could have ever have wanted? Cinder was a seriously awesome story and was executed perfectly. I had heard rave reviews and wanted to read it but every time I went to pick it up I dreaded being let down or not liking it because of the cyborg factor. I would be lying if I said I didn't have doubts and thought that the sci-fi would be too much for me but I quickly discovered that it wasn't. The twist that this book took on Cinderella was impressive to say the least.
Biggest fear walking into this was the possibility that I would not connect with any of the characters or even feel that I understood them. Cinder took that idea and tossed it right out the window. Tough sad and compliant when we first meet her she is clearly a fighter despite all odds. I mean she lives with someone that lives off of her earnings and constantly reminds her that she is the orphan that she never wanted. Truth be told I probably would have snapped long before Cinder did. Even when she snapped it was more like he was taking a stand for herself. Her strength started to show and basically unless there was a reference made I forgot she was cyborg. I personally would have liked to see her develop and accept herself a little more but this is a series so there is still time.
All of the characters bring something to the table in this one. From Cinder to her evil Step Mother to Iko the android and to Peony the sweet sister. The characters bring so many dimensions to the story really. all different and unique in their own way. It is very clear the amount of time, effort and care that Marissa put into each and every character because you can feel who they are. Now not always did they develop beyond what you originally meet but they all still play an important role in their own way.
The romance and the romantic interest were the only point of up and down for me. Cinder wan't comfortable with herself therefore every time Kai showed interest she reasoned her way around him actually liking her. Kai himself was sweet but at times unrealistic. Maybe it's the fact that he was so sweet that didn't quite capture me, I like my guys with an edge to them. I found that he was instantly way to into Cinder right from the get go and fell to fast. The balance to that was the fact that Cinder refused to just give in. Yes that is because as stated above she is hard on herself and this is kind of due to the fact the world that she lives in does not accept cyborgs really. So Kai and Cinder fall into that dream romance, the kind where they both want it but when the truth is out they are from two different worlds.
The world that Marissa Mayer created was truly what captivated me. New Beijing was masterfully written and every single part of the city that you read is clear as day. The castle was probably my favourite as it shows the beauty and the dark of the city. However the new world is all around well created and every stop you make be it the market, Cinder's home or the lab you can literally see the place unfold right in front of you. The one thing I did note was that despite taking place in Beijing there isn't a heavy China feel to it. This could be in part to the unravelling of today's society and the rebuilding of a new one.
This book was way more for me than I ever expected. Just be warned if you are looking for a happily ever after you might not find what you are looking for. This is a series though and I have super high expectations for the next book. However I don't feel that Marissa Mayer will disappoint. Though I am really interested to see how the other tales will mix in and tie together in the next book. Actually to be honest I'm curious to see how the entire series ties up all the tales together. Overall I enjoyed this read am excited to move onto Scarlett as soon as possible!