Cinder is a gifted mechanic in New Beijing, she’s also a cyborg hated by her stepmother. When her life becomes entwined with Prince Kai, Cinder finds herself caught between duty and freedom as the desires of an evil queen threaten to take over her home. Cinder must learn more about her forgotten past in order to not only learn who she is, but to also protect Earth’s future.
There’s been so much hype around Cinder and The Lunar Chronicles that I was a bit wary about starting the series but then The Book Addicts Guide set up the readalong and I thought it was the perfect chance to give it a go – I’m really glad I did.
Cinder, as you may be able to guess from the name, is a retelling of the Cinderella fairy tale and while that may be the starting point the story so much bigger and complex than the fairy tale. The world building is great as you learn about this future that’s plagued by an incurable illness and is under threat from a powerful queen, but at the same time it doesn’t forget about the characters, even minor ones get their time to shine.
Cinder is great as all she wants to do is be free but she still cares about her younger sister (who is very sweet and it’s nice to see that Cinder had experienced some kindness in her life) and even begins to care about Prince Kai. Having Cinder be a cyborg allowed there to be interesting things like her being able to tell when people are lying and to download any information she might need in her head. But Cinder also does a good job of showing how the general public are disgusted by cyborgs and how bigoted they are and how their actions make Cinder sometimes hate herself.
The queen Levana is a threatening villain as even though she doesn’t physically appear till the last third of the book, you’ve heard so much about her and how she can control people that she’s a strong presence throughout the book.
Some elements of the story I saw coming and there was the usual frustrating lack of communication between characters but that didn’t really lessen my overall enjoyment of it. Even though Cinder is inspired by Cinderella, there’s enough different that you’re never quite sure how the story is going to end.
Cinder is a unique story with great world-building full of interesting characters, it’s also a fast read that’s sometimes predictable but is no less enjoyable. 4/5.