Young Adult, 387 pgs.
Published in Hardcover on Jan. 3rd, 2012 by Feiwel & Friends
Received from Amazon Vine for Review
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.
Wow! This is definitely a WOW book for me. I never would have thought to read it if it wasn't for all the early reviews raving about how awesome it is. So when I had the opportunity to review it myself I totally jumped at the chance and I do not regret it! This book was so full of awesome that the second I finished I immediately convinced about six others that they MUST read it! And they are!
I am not really into sci-fi unless it's more of the fantasy variety. This one is futuristic with androids and cyborgs and aliens. Totally not my thing usually. But Cinder is basically a normal girl. She hides that she's a cyborg as much as she can because it seems they are kind of looked down on, like they aren't fully human. But she is. I mean she has a human brain and still thinks like a normal girl. And she was completely real and like-able to me. I connected with her right off the bat and 'got' her. She was funny and compassionate but she was dealt such a rough hand that she was a bit cynical, or she forced herself to be anyway, trying to convince herself that she was 'less'. No one would like her if they knew she was cyborg, etc.
The other characters were great as well. The prince was totally not prince-like. I mean, he wasn't full of himself. He was funny and he was also compassionate and like Cinder he was dealt a rough hand. Though it's completely different because yes, he's a prince, but he's suddenly thrown into this tough position and his decisions mean the fate of his country. But he had a clear head and struggled to do his best in deciding what to do. But one thing that wasn't a struggle for him was Cinder. At least as far as we see. They are continuously running into one another and he doesn't even hesitate to be kind and gently flirtatious with her. And though he doesn't know she's cyborg he does know she's not royalty and he still pays her attention. I totally loved him for that. And don't worry, yes- he's completely swoon-worthy! He's not a bad boy, but he's still swoony!
The stepmother was definitely evil and had me so angry! I totally wanted to reach in and strangle her. Same with the one stepsister. The other one was kind and has her own story but I don't want to spoil it for you. The Cinderella part of the story was perfect. It was definitely it's own retelling but still followed along enough that it was pretty obvious that it was a retelling of Cinderella.
The sci fi elements were important but somehow the book was never heavy. There wasn't lots of long descriptions or a ton of backstory. For me it was perfect. I got enough that I wasn't confused but not so much I felt overwhelmed. I thought the world building was good but some may feel it's lacking because we don't really learn a whole lot about things from before. But really, I thought it was perfect and in future books I'm sure we'll learn much more.
This was a clean read that had me on the edge of my seat. While it's fairly long I read it in only a day because it was so good and was fast paced. I very highly recommend this book!
Disclosure: I received this book for review purposes and all opinions expressed are my own. I was not paid or influenced in any way.
I received an advance copy of the book and the final version may differ.