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.
I adore twisted fairy tales and Cinder definitely didn’t disappoint. It took just enough out of the original fairy tale so that the story was still identifiable, but threw in some new elements that I loved.
Some parts of the fairy tale, though modified, remained untouched, while other were changed completely. At the beginning of each section there are quotes from the original Cinderella – not the abridged, movie version – but the original darker version, which added a nice touch to the book.
The story sucked me in from the first page and I raced through the story a lot faster than I’d anticipated. However, I felt that the reason this book was so fast-paced was not because it was suspenseful, but because I wasn’t able to get into the book on a deeper level. When reading, I felt like I was floating on the surface on the story and was therefore unable to fully connect with the characters or events in the plot. The writing, though clear and easy to follow, didn’t help matters.
I would have loved for the story to slow down, even just for a moment to expand upon the character’s emotions, because while they were developed, I had no connection with them whatsoever. But at the same time, the smooth plot kept the story simple and uncomplicated and made for a light, enjoyable read. So I’m pretty conflicted.
I think the reason this disappointed me so much was that I really liked the characters. Cinder is feisty, caring, funny and even a touch snarky. Though she is an outcast she doesn’t let it bother her and isn’t constantly moping about her life. When things go wrong, she steps up and takes action and is in control of her own life.
Kai is not your average Prince Charming, but a real person who is sarcastic at times and kind at others and is struggling with bearing the weight of the Kingdom. There’s others too: Iko, the robot with a personality who isn’t afraid to speak her mind and Peony, who is sweet and so different from the evil stepsister portrayed in the fairy tale. Even the ‘evil queen’ has a lot more to her than just being evil.
Though the plot was highly predictable and I was able to guess just about everything, I really liked the ideas that fueled the story. The sci fi world was a highly imaginative one that stood out from others I read. There are cyborgs, androids, and Lunars; people living on the moon, not to mention a plague sweeping through society. Even the setting of New Beijing was cool as I am used to futuristic books being set in America.
The story also had a darker side – people die and evil isn’t defeated, which balances the book perfectly.
I am sure that both the plot, world and characters will be expanded on in later books and can’t wait to read Scarlet!