By Marissa Meyer

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: January 3, 2012
Genre: Young Adult Futuristic
Source: NetGalley

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.

Goodreads Summary

We all know the classic tale of Cinderella, right? In Marissa Meyers adaptation, Cinder is a cyborg: a mostly human girl with a few steel parts. She was in a horrific accident as a child which resulted in both of her parents death, and would have lost hers had a surgeon not gotten to her in time. She doesn’t remember anything from before the accident, but she does briefly remember the man who adopted her and brought her to New Beijing. Shortly after she arrived, he died of the plague, leaving Cinder in the care of his wife and two daughters. His wife detests the very sight of Cinder, and blames her for her husband’s death.

The plague is ravaging its way through the world, and the emperor of New Beijing has fallen victim to its clutches. The country is on edge, and Cinder is drafted by the royal scientists to test her for cures. She meets Prince Kai, the son of the sick emperor, and immediately falls for his charm but keeps her cyborg state a secret. The plague isn’t the only enemy the world is facing, and the evil queen of Lunar is threatening her way into Prince Kai’s life. Cinder learns secrets about herself she never knew, and she is slowly discovering she may be the only hope the world has from plague, and the Lunar Queen’s evil motives.

This book was kind of blah for me. I love the fairytale of Cinderella, but this version just didn’t do it for me. The story was kind of slow and wandering, and I bet that if all the plot fillers were removed, it could have been told in about ten pages. There wasn’t a lot of action in this book, and it seemed more of a set-up of the world and characters than anything else. There was some slight action at the very end of the book, but the first 98% of it took awhile to get through.

I also had a hard time connecting with Cinder. I didn’t get any emotion or feeling from her, and it made it hard for me to care about what happened to her. I did feel sorry for her though, since she’s had some tough breaks in her life. Maybe now that we’ve got the world building out of the way, Cinder can develop the kind of qualities I look for in a heroine. I’m hoping in the next book she can become the kind of heroine I grow to respect and admire, and want to have a happily ever after. That is not the case after this first book.

My Summary: I’ve seen several positive reviews on this book, so perhaps this is one of those books that didn’t work for me, but might interest you. The pace was just too meandering and there wasn’t enough excitement or emotion in it. It wasn’t the worst book I’ve ever read, by any means, but it certainly wasn’t the best. I’m am going to read the sequel and give the series one more shot. I’m crossing my fingers that the second book turns out better for me than this one.

My Rating: B-



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