Format: Hardcover, 387 pages
Published by Feiwel and Friends/Macmillan
Publication Date: January 3, 2012
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.
I'm really into fairytale retellings and this intrigued me with its sci-fi spin on a classic. Plus it has a lot of hype going for it. Yet, I fell short of liking it. I didn't dislike it but there were a few things that really irked me about it. To start, there was so much foreshadowing in the way that I knew the ending climax 58 pages into the book. After knowing the ending it became difficult to take the rest of the story seriously.
I couldn't connect with Cinder, I thought that she was a really frustrating character. I wanted to feel bad for her but her poor decisions just made me want to smack her. I'm a manga/anime fangirl and I've loved many androids and cyborgs but there was something about Cinder that made her seem too inhuman for me to fully connect with her character. I think I'm alone in that though. As for the romantic aspect in this book, it's very much Cinderella in its instalove. That alone took off one star for me. Nonetheless, I don't regret reading it but I can't say I belong in the fandom as of right now.
1) I liked the world building and I thought that the sci-fi elements brought an interesting element.
2) Despite what I think about his relationship with Cinder, I like Kai.
3) I liked the writing style. It wasn't too simple or too bland. It flowed nicely without being too whimsical.
2) As I already said, I'm not a big fan of Cinder. I found her to be frustrating, immature, and sometimes just plain stupid. She is supposed to be a brilliant mechanic who grew up taking care of herself. She should know the ways of the world and have at least some street smarts. Yeah, not really. It seemed like she doesn't know or understand anything.
3) There was nothing holding the couple together. Everyone is in love with Kai just because he's the Prince and the only reason I can come up with as to why Kai likes Cinder is because she's the only girl who would have ever turned him down. They have very few moments and none of them made me swoon over their relationship.
“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.”
Kai cleared his throat. Stood straighter. "I assume you are going to the ball?"
"I-I don't know. I mean, no. No, I'm sorry, I'm not going to the ball."
Kai drew back, confused. "Oh well... but... maybe you would change your mind? Because I am, you know."
"Not bragging," he said quickly. "Just a fact.”
Kai tilted his head, peering at her as if he could see right through to the metal plate in her head..."I think you should go to the ball with me."
She clutched her fingers..."Stars," she muttered. "Didn't you already ask me that?"
"I'm hoping for a more favorable answer this time and I seem to be getting more desperate by the minute."
Kai's lips twitched. "Please?"
"I mean, why me?"
Kai hooked his thumbs on his pockets. "So if my escape hover breaks down, I'll have someone to fix it?”