Cinder by Marissa Meyer

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RATING: 4/5

SYNOPSIS: Linh Cinder is the best mechanic in New Beijing, and she also happens to be a cyborg. When Prince Kai asks her to repair his android, Cinder is thrust into a world of politics and war as she discovers things about herself that the Lunar queen, Levana would use to destroy herself and the Earth.

I am so glad that I finally picked up this book! It has all the things that you want in a Cinderella retelling (plus a couple of hints at Snow White and Rapunzel), but goes on its own path that makes you excited for everything that comes next. Cinder and Prince Kai are wonderful characters! I love their interactions and their complexities. It is also refreshing to have two teenage characters that are allowed to act like teenagers, sure they have their moments of maturity but they both have their moments of rashness that get them into major trouble. Queen Levana is another great character. She is everything that you want in an evil queen and I can’t wait for her character to be explored more. There is also something about her that makes me think of the fairy tale, The Snow Queen. I might be making things up, but Queen Levana has an aversion to mirrors and her Lunar “powers” allow her to hypnotize people to bend her to her will, in The Snow Queen the Snow Queen hypnotizes a young boy named Kai into rebuilding a magic mirror for her and its up to his best friend, Gerta, to save him (which Cinder has to do for Kai). I think it would be really cool if these parallels become a bigger deal in the later books, but I’m not getting my hopes up. The supporting characters are also really cool and interesting (although I am still distrustful of Kai’s adviser thanks to multiple stories where the adviser betrays his king) and I’m excited for new things to come of them. My favorite has to be Iko, Cinder’s android, because she is just a little ray of sunshine and so full of love. It is so cute how she loves human things (maybe that’s a Little Mermaid reference). I also appreciated the fact that Meyer didn’t over explain the technology like some Sci-Fi writers do. I got what each piece of technology was meant to be based on use and name and everything seamlessly blended in with the magical fairy tale aspects as well.  My only problem is that it takes forever for questions to get answered. The first chunk of the book piles questions on you and then you get a massive information dump later in the book that almost made my head spin! I think a slower release of information would’ve been better. If you are a big fan of fairy tale inspired stories like me, this definitely something you should read! Although just a heads up, be sure to have Scarlet handy because there is a cliffhanger at the end!

If you want to read along with me check out #rachaelreadscinder on Twitter (beware of minor spoilers)!

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