Cinder is a futuristic, sci-fi version of Cinderella…except Cinder is a cyborg in China. She works as a mechanic to earn money for her evil guardian. When her sister contracts a deadly disease, Cinder tries to help the prince and his medical team find a cure. For a more complete summary, you can go here.
I think that this book would have more successful if it was more similar to Cinderella, or if it was disassociated with it completely. I think Cinder would have been successful as its own story, and that tying in Cinderella was an attempt to bring in more readers. The plot very, very loosely follows the original Cinderella story. You have an evil “step-mother” figure, a ball, a prince, and main character who is treated like a servant. It also takes place in New Beijing—which ties it back to its Chinese roots. That’s where the similarities end. There is no fairy godmother, no glass slipper (but there is a whole foot), there’s no animal helpers, no happy ending, and no beautiful transformation for the ball. However, there is an evil Queen from the moon trying to start a war with Earth. And there is a whole bunch of cyborgs, aliens, and android robots.
I had a really hard time getting into this book in the beginning. I guess I just was expecting more fantasy and not as much science fiction. There was a lot of technology jargon and political affairs. Those types of stories usually don’t interest me. I did get drawn into the story as it went on and I am actually curious to read the next book in the series, Scarlet. There was a twist in the end, but I guessed it pretty early on, so that was kind of disappointing. I also feel like there wasn’t really an ending to this book, which is probably so that we want to read the next one. I’ll be honest, if this had a more solid ending, I probably wouldn’t really have a desire to read the next book.
Also, for a book that takes place so far in the future, I didn’t think that there was much world building. I couldn’t really picture what anything looked like. Is it similar to modern day China? Is it more like America now? Does America even exist anymore? Is everything silver and shiny as in other futuristic stories? I’m hoping that some of those things will be clarified in the proceeding books. I also didn’t get any idea of what the characters looked like. Is Cinder actually Asian? What do the androids look like? There was too much left to my imagination.
Overall, this book was enjoyable and easy to read. I would recommend it to people who love remade fairy tales and sci-fi books. If you are interested in buying the book, you can buy it here. After you have read it let me know what you think!
*** 3/5 Stars