April 22, 2016

Review of Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Release Date: January 3, 2012
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Page Count: 390
Format: Hardcover
Genre: YA/Sci-Fi
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 remember the day I picked up Cinder like it was just yesterday, even though that yesterday happens to be about four years ago in 2012. It was at one of my favorite bookstores, Barnes and Nobles; that I found Cinder sitting in the YA bookstore and picked it up solely due to the interesting cover. Many people cite the Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth as the book that first pulled them into reading YA but for me it was Cinder by Marissa Meyer. When I first read it I fell in love with Cinder and her story and that lead to me searching for similar books. Four years later now, having read it multiple times and reading hundreds of other YA and sci-fi books I can say that my original feelings towards Cinder have not changed and it is still one of my favorite books of all time.

Through personal experience I've found that fantasy books usually have the best world-building and settings (I can't mention the Throne of Glass series enough times) and while sci-fi is also strong in this aspect it usually can't match the level of fantasy. However, Cinder proved to be an exception to this rule through Marissa Meyer's in-depth creation of a completely unique world filled with cyborgs, advanced technology, and unique humans in the future. She filled the book with so many interesting and amazing places, people, and even politics (the relationship between Luna and the Earthen countries for example) that I simply couldn't put down the book. This only continues to grow in the subsequent books as we are given a tour of the rest of the "Cinder world" and Marissa Meyer's writing genius is seen again and again. It's rare that any book will reach the level of detail that Cinder has and that alone makes it completely worthwhile to keep reading after your first time (I've read it five times, around once each year).

Cinder was written as a futuristic retelling of Cinderella and that is portrayed just enough that you notice the Cinderella elements in the book without feeling like Cinder itself is a ripoff of Cinderella. Most of the characters have some kind of correlation with a character in Cinderella, most prominent being Cinder the main character as Cinderella (even their names are similar). Even with the characters modeled after Cinderella characters they were still completely unique and brought variety and more example of Meyers skill to the book. I don't want to delve too deeply into the characters themselves for spoilers sake but trust me that everyone from Cinder, to Kai, and Iki were some of the best written characters I've ever seen with realistic problems and decisions. The plot itself is also very interesting (especially because so many parts of this book are things that I'm interested normally, like technology and what the future might be like) and the characters interact effortlessly with it to advance the book. Simply put, the characters of Cinder were on the same level of the world-building and left nothing lacking (this is one of the few reviews I will say this, even with five star books I usually find minor details that hurt the book).

I may be a little biased since Cinder has a special place in my heart but even if I had read it for the first time now in 2016 I still would have loved it just as much if not more. Cinder by Marissa Meyer exemplifies all that I look for in the perfect book, the perfect blend of world-building, character development, and plot layout. I've reread Cinder four times already and the next four will be just as fresh and invigorating as the first time, this book and the whole series overall is a basis for all the other books I read. Cinder is perfect for anyone who likes YA, sci-fi, or good books in general regardless of genre.

5/5 - AMAZING Book

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