Review: Cinder

11:46 Cilla P 0 Comments

Title: Cinder
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Source: Dymocks Books, Melbourne

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

Review: ⋆⋆⋆⋆

"I'm sure I'll feel much more grateful when I find a guy who thinks complex wiring in a girl is a turn-on."

I read this book in April 2014 while I was still in Melbourne, and since it's been so long, I wasn't going to post the review on this blog. However, I was browsing one of the big bookshop chains yesterday and saw Cinder among their newly arrived books. (Apparently that is how behind Indonesia can be with books, unless it's a really hyped title or author.) Anyway, given this and the fact that Winter is coming out this year, I've decided to post this review after all. And now that you've read through my rambling, let's get on with the actual review!

I'm in love with this book. I love retellings of fairytales, and this is easily the best I've read. I love the the fact that the story - a YA dystopia - is centered somewhere other than North America and that there is a global community as well as the local environment. In books like The Hunger Games, you can't help but wonder if Panem exists in isolation from the rest of the world, or if there is even the rest of the world. I didn't need to ask that question with Cinder. Also, isn't it about time we have an Asian heroine?

The characters are so alive. I adore Iko, the android with a 'faulty' personality chip; she made me laugh so much. It would've been easy for Queen Levana, the big bad, to come across as caricaturish with her obsession with beauty and her quest for (quite literally) world domination, but Meyer managed to inject and maintain that sense of danger to Levana's every threat. And Cinder! My heart ached for her often, but I love her strength and determination. I was able to guess one of the major plot revelations, but I didn't really care because the journey to it was not predictable. (My friend told me that the same revelation totally took her by surprise, so maybe I'm just really used to fairytale retellings.)

I couldn't put it down, and would absolutely recommend this book to everyone who loves fairytale retellings and a bit of science fiction.

“Even in the future the story begins with Once Upon a Time.”


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