Cinder by Marissa Meyer is a book that I should've read a long time ago-- one that everyone, it seems, has already read and raved about. This book has been sitting on my bookshelf for the last three years, because while everyone's raving about this book convinced me to buy it, I couldn't bring myself to read it. Now, why? Why wouldn't I read a book that it would seem that literally everyone absolutely loves? Well, here's why. The idea of cyborgs kind of really freaks me out. And the idea that Cinder is a cyborg just really pushed me away from the series.
Ironically, while reading the book I got really pissed off at all the characters who were prejudiced against Cinder because she was a cyborg.
Basically what I'm trying to say is that I absolutely loved Cinder, despite or maybe because she was a cyborg. You really get used to the idea as you read the book, if you haven't read it, I highly encourage you to. This is not a series you want to miss. If the idea freaks you out, just be comforted knowing it made me uncomfortable as well. You actually grow to like Cinder more because of her cyborgness-- it's really useful. It's not like Cinder is a robot or anything (though there are robots in these books and they're kind of awesome), it's like she's a human, who lost limbs and got them replaced with metal ones. (Plus there's like a computer in her brain, but she still has a human brain, I promise!)
If you didn't pick up on it yet, Cinder is a fairytale retelling of Cinderella. A very loose fairytale retelling, but it's really fun to see the aspects of the fairytale in there along with all the fun new twists Meyer puts in her story.
The plot is fast paced, seriously, the action/stuff happening starts in the first chapter. I had no trouble becoming fully immersed in this futuristic world, and I doubt anyone will. While things happened quickly, the book did not feel rushed. In fact, I think the pacing was just right for the story being told. It gave time to get attached to the characters, but nothing felt like it was filler. Everything really needed to be there.
This book shockingly enough, follows Cinder, (that was sarcasm, if you couldn't tell through text) a mechanic cyborg who lives with a cruel step-mother and two step sisters. Cinder is a fantastic protagonist. She's clever and selfless, and yet not to the extent where it becomes annoying. Her character is one that it is easy to sympathize and side with. I really found myself rooting for her in this book, and am looking forward to seeing more of her story.
Kai, the prince, is Cinder's love interest. I've literally been shipping the two of them since they met. Like even after their first exchanged words I already really shipped their relationship. Kai is determined and likable-- despite the fact that he was raised to be a politician. He'll do whatever he has to for the good of his country, even if it isn't ideal for him. He's cute and slightly flirtatious as well. All together a very swoon worthy character.
The last character I'd like to address is Iko, Cinder's android. She is absolutely hilarious and actually one of my favorite characters so far. I look forward to you all meeting her, because I have a feeling you'll be as charmed by the little android as me.
I would rate Cinder 8/10 stars, it was really exciting and it made me want to immediately want to read Scarlet. Which is why I immediately ordered it on amazon... and then bought it on iBooks. Yeah, I was really excited.
Oh, and just to clear something up that I was confused about before y'all go diving into this wonderful book (if there is anyone left in the world who hasn't read it), these aren't like a companion series. What I mean by that is that they're all interconnected and still follow the same characters from the previous books' point of view, each book just adds some new characters to our group. I thought this series would be like the These Broken Stars books, where each book has its own full arc for its characters, and while the characters are in the next book, they're not big parts. That is totally not true. This is an actual series that follows Cinder throughout all the books, as well as the other characters.
Sixteen-year-old Cinder is considered a technological mistake by most of society and a burden by her stepmother. Being cyborg does have its benefits, though: Cinder's brain interference has given her an uncanny ability to fix things (robots, hovers, her own malfunctioning parts), making her the best mechanic in New Beijing. This reputation brings Prince Kai himself to her weekly market booth, needing her to repair a broken android before the annual ball. He jokingly calls it "a matter of national security," but Cinder suspects it's more serious than he's letting on.
Although eager to impress the prince, Cinder's intentions are derailed when her younger stepsister, and only human friend, is infected with the fatal plague that's been devastating Earth for a decade. Blaming Cinder for her daughter's illness, Cinder's stepmother volunteers her body for plague research, an "honor" that no one has survived.
But it doesn't take long for the scientists to discover something unusual about their new guinea pig. Something others would kill for.
Well, I hope you all enjoy this book as much as I did! And if you're still weird about the cyborg thing, don't be! You won't regret reading this book.