|Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Release Date: January 3, 2012
Publisher: Macmillan Audio (Feiwel & Friends)
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound
|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.
This is my first review of an audiobook because I’ve only recently delved into them and because this is the first one that I felt I truly could review. Although I loved Gayle Forman’s If I Stay (which is fabulous on audiobook) I didn’t feel like I got enough out of it (the audiobook) to write a full review. Cinder deserved it on so many levels because not only was the narrator fantastic (Rebecca Solaire is a genius!) but I could actually get a feel for Meyer’s writing, for the characters and the universe that she created. It’s truly a great universe that she’s created, especially for a sci-fi universe, which I’m not usually a fan of in general. It was almost like a great melding of sci-fi and fantasy, this fabulous universe that Meyer’s created.
Although this is a retelling of Cinderella, Meyer only takes the most basic plot points from the original story and makes the rest entirely her own. Cinder is living in New Beijing with her guardian, Adri, and her two daughters Pearl and Peony where she works as a mechanic to pay for the lifestyle that Adri and her daughters want to maintain. Cinder’s most well-known secret is that she’s a cyborg. Sounds spooky, right? When this little tidbit first came out, I was kind of nervous but then Meyer totally sold me on it 100% somehow. There’s an explanation that’s just plausible and straightforward — it’s not too muddled like so many sci-fi stories can be — and Cinder owns being a cyborg even while she hates it. She stores things in a compartment in her calf — that seems totally legitimate and so something I would do if I were a cyborg! Let’s make the most of being half-robot, right?
Enter Prince Kai.
Total dreamboat. Total prince — soon to be emperor. Totally cuckoo for Cinder. Too bad he has no idea she’s a cyborg or that she’s hiding another pretty big secret. Plus he’s got the weight of the Eastern Commonwealth and the world on his shoulders. Not only does Queen Levana want to marry him as a means to a peace agreement between Luna (the moon) and the Earthen Union, but she’s got an antidote for letimosis that has plagued the earth and killed hundreds of thousands, including Kai’s emperor father. The best scientists in the world have been researching the plague since it showed up almost a dozen years ago but have gotten nowhere and the queen suddenly has an antidote when she really wants a marriage alliance. Convenient no?
The best part of this novel, for me, was the characters because Meyer totally captured them in the most fantastic way. From prince to cyborgs to androids. Each character has their own voice and it’s truly awesome and you get attached to each and every one of them. I’m even super interested in the few glimpses we get of Queen Levana behind-the-scenes. I’d totally read a novella about her if Meyer felt so inclined to write one. *wink wink* And she’s so totally evil and we see so much of her, that I’m super interested in her. She’s not this far off being that we only hear about in passing, we actually meet her and interact with her. I feel like that doesn’t happen a lot with villains these days. (I feel like a making a comparison to the Darkling here would be appropriate?) Meyer just did that good of a job with the characterizations though — to get you that invested in the the villain!
So even if you’re not a fan of sci-fi (I’m not) I would give this book a chance because it’s unlike most sci-fi novels out there. A fantastic melding of sci-fi and fantasy. It totally gave me faith in the sci-fi genre and made me a believer. Okay, so maybe not a believer but a huge fan of Marissa Meyer at least.