My rating: 5 of 5 stars!
If you like Science Fiction and classic fairy tales, read this book!
Cinder is one of the most interesting characters I’ve read in a while. Unlike her fairy tale counterpart (Cinderella), Cinder is smart, brave, not helpless, and lots of common sense. I liked her immediately. Cinder also has a fantastic voice that drew me in and kept me wanting to know what would happen to her.
Set on Earth in the post-WWIV future, the story takes place in New Beijing, the plague-ridden capital of the new Eastern Commonwealth. Make no mistake, this isn’t another futuristic dystopian fantasy; this story is pure Science Fiction where cyborgs, androids and netlinks abound!
While there are places the writing could have gone much deeper into world-building: fleshing out the intricacies of this new futuristic society, its complicated politics, its culture, etc., I for one appreciated Ms. Meyer’s light touch. Even so, there’s plenty of world-building here to set the appropriate tone for a story that has real emotional power.
Initially, I simply enjoyed the clever ways Cinder mirrors the classic elements of the original Cinderella fairy tale (no spoilers), but the deeper I got into the story, the more I appreciated how much work went in to crafting this unique retelling. Although the novel uses the well-known Cinderella tale to organize the high-level plot structure, the story that unfolds from there is nothing like what you might expect and still manages to hold some delightful surprises!
I read a lot in the young adult space and I’m always on the lookout for a well written story I’d feel comfortable in recommending to my 14-year-old daughter, who loves both classic literature and classic fairy tales. Cinder is one book recommendation I’d happily pass along.