Cinder by Marissa Meyer

I love fairy tales as much as the next girl. They are the kinds of stories I’ve read first when I was a kid, and I love them until now. And so, when I found out that there was a new Cinderella retelling, I got curious and a bit skeptical.

The reason is that I’ve only read a few numbers of retellings and some of them aren’t exactly as good as I expected them to be. Another reason is that Sci-Fi wasn’t exactly my cup of tea. It’s not that I don’t like Sci-Fi, but it’s the genre that I hardly reach for (I’m more of a fantasy/adventure kind of reader). In my surprise, though, it was the main thing that persuaded me to get my own copy. I was curious how Marissa Meyer would pull this retelling. Cinderella + Science Fiction? It didn’t quite add up. But I also don’t think I’ve read or seen anything like it. And that’s how I knew I had to get my hands on it.

Cinder is the first installment of The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, which happens to be her debut novel. I couldn’t figure out whether to read it fast enough to find out what happens next or to savor each word. In other words, CINDER IS BEYOND AMAZING.

While most of the aspects of the story is an homage to the classic fairy tale, Marissa Meyer still managed to work her own magic and weave it into the plot, making the story even better. The world building is fascinating. Just fascinating! The incorporation of influences from South and East Asia and the sci-fi twist in the story is truly unique. Layered with monarchy conspiracies, glamoured aliens, cyborgs, and a fatal plague, the whole premise is intense and simply spellbinding.

As with characters, I thought they are all compelling and imaginative. Cinder is a wonderful and likable protagonist. While she’s caring and courageous, Cinder is also intelligent and independent. Even though she’s missing tear ducts or not able to blush, I still find Cinder relatable. Particularly in the way she’s unsure of herself. Despite all that, she remains kind and humble, but she’ll also go out of her way to fight for what she believes in. I also like her android side-kick, Iko. She’s loyal and hilarious!

And then there’s the Prince Charming or Prince Kai in the story. The thing is, he’s more than just a charmer. Yes, he’s handsome and brave, but he’s also funny, sarcastic and open-minded. What I like about him, though, is he has his own insecurity when it comes to ruling his kingdom. I was pretty much in love with him the first time he appeared in the story. Also, I enjoyed every minute he and Cinder are together. I swear I was smiling the entire time he asked Cinder, the first time and the second time, to go with him to the ball.

Cinder’s stepmother and step-sister in this new spin may be awful, but the Lunar queen is dangerous and unnerving. She’s powerful, beautiful and terrifying. I thought she was entertaining and completely engaging.

To be honest though, I figured out the mystery early on but I didn’t mind. I was still hooked! It’s what I wanted to happen, anyway. Overall, I love Cinder and it is now one of my all-time favorite books. I cannot wait to finally read the second book, Scarlet! I recommend this to everyone, especially to people who are doubtful to try YA Sci-fi genre. It’s worth it!

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