Published: January 5th 2012, Puffin
Pages: 372 pages, ARC
Series?: Yes, this is the first out of four
Acquired: Kindly sent for review by the publisher
Summary (from Goodreads): 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.
In this thrilling debut young adult novel, the first of a quartet, Marissa Meyer introduces readers to an unforgettable heroine and a masterfully crafted new world that’s enthralling.
My review: The first thing that attracted me to Cinder was the stunning cover, I'm not going to lie. I absolutely love it and I think it's going to command so much attention in bookshops and online browsing. It definitely transcends a number of different cover art stereotypes for various genres, which is going to really help the book become more accessible to, for example, readers who usually only read contemporary novels.
There is a big revelation towards the end of Cinder and this is where I felt a little let down, as I'd guessed it within a few chapters of the story beginning. I'm not sure if that will be the case for everybody but I am usually famously slow on the uptake so I'm assuming most people will probably have the twist figured out quite quickly.
Prince Kai is your run of the mill dystopian hero; gorgeous, confused by the state of the world around him and a bit nicey nicey. Of course, he and Cinder are attracted to each other from the outset etc etc. I don't need to go into any more detail in regards to the love story, as you've all definitely read it a thousand times before. However! There is a bit of a shocker towards the end of Cinder that had me cheering. So in the last thirty or so pages of the book you can forget everything you thought you knew about predictable, stale love stories. Thank God for that - Marissa Meyer, you win many points to avoiding the ending I have to admit I thought you were going to go for!
The mythology in Cinder was interesting and definitely original so big props to Meyer for that. I liked learning more about the Lunars and their Bitch-Ass Queen, who was a stereotypical fairytale villain in all her glory. This was a good thing. I bet she has very severe eyebrows.
This is definitely a very traditional 'first in a series' novel; so many questions are raised and very few are answered, though there's a big ole cliff hanger to make sure we're back for round two when it's released. I love, love, loved the little hint as to which fairytale princess we're going to meet in book two. At least, I hope that's who we're going to meet. We'll see in 2013!
First line: 'The screw through Cinder's ankle had rusted, the engraved cross marks worn to a mangled circle.'
Total: 15/20 (B)