Monday, February 6, 2012

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Cinder by Marissa Meyer
400 pages, Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan Audio
Audiobook courtesy of Macmillan Audio

"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."

I have been on a serious fairy tale kick lately, and needless to say, I have been very eager to read Cinder ever since I saw the cover! Better yet, there was sci-fi in this fairy tale. For those you out there that are skeptical about this mix of genres, don't be! Marissa Meyer handled the two genres very skillfully and wove them together to create something entirely new and original.

For this specific book, I listened to an audiobook. At first I was a bit worried that I would become annoyed with the reader's voice, but I actually enjoyed her voice after a while. I was happy that she was able to do the different accents for the different world leaders, as well as a monotonous voice for an android. At first I was a little disappointed with her voice for the Prince. I thought her voice should have been a bit deeper, but as the book went on, I am glad that she didn't change her voice much for him. If she did, it would have almost been like she was making a mockery of him.

Marissa Meyer nailed the classic personalities of the characters that make up a Cinderella story. We have Adri as the classic evil stepmother, someone you simply just want to punch in the face sometimes as a favor for Cinder. You have Pearl, the snotty stepsister who is second in a line for a good punch after her mother. And then you have Peony, the one stepsister who you actually like as she is kind to Cinder. Iko, an incredibly adorable android, took the place of the rest of the staff of servants in the classic tale, and her fate made me sad, but I still have hope for her!

Cinder definitely had its surprises, some that I absolutely did not see coming, as is the case with Dr. Erland, and some that I did, such as the big bomb of a secret at the end of the book. What a cliffhanger! My only complaint is that I figured out that big secret in the first quarter of the book. I don't know if it is because I am getting too good at guessing these kinds of things, as I have seen other reviewers who said they didn't see it coming at all, or if the author made this big "secret" too obvious. I literally saw it coming a mile away, but it was a secret with a HUGE impact nonetheless, and it didn't ruin the story by me figuring it out early; it just took away a bit of the suspense.

I enjoyed the characters very much. For the most part, I felt like they didn't rush into things without stopping and thinking, which makes me a very happy reader! I enjoy reading about characters that don't do blatantly stupid things because they didn't stop and think for two seconds. I had a respect for Prince Kai and what he had to do to lead the Commonwealth, and I found him as an attractive romantic interest. Cinder had her moments when she would drive me a little nuts (Haha... nuts and bolts! Couldn't resist. :D), but for the most part I felt like she was a very relatable character.

So, if you are looking for a new and refreshing take on the Cinderella tale, this book is definitely for you! It makes for a entertaining read that still has substance at the same time. I enjoyed it very much and am looking forward to its sequel, and you will too!

Rating: 4 stars - I really liked it. Worth buying.

Check out an exclusive clip of the Cinder audiobook below!

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