Book Review Wednesday: Cinder (5 stars)

Posted: April 2, 2014 in Book Reviews
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I’d heard a lot of good things about this book before I dived in, but I can say with confidence that it lived up to my expectations.

Let’s have a look at the blurb:

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.

Sounds neat, right? I love a good fairy tale revamp, and Cinderella as a cyborg? There’s no way I could say no to that.

There are so many things I loved about this book. The characters were awesome. Cinder was an interesting character full of insecurities (which make sense when you see how she’s treated by those around her), but she really grows through the book, coming out the other end a much stronger person.

The other characters are well developed. Prince Kai is the charming guy who struggles with having to take on a lot of responsibility at a young age. There’s some really good banter between him and Cinder. Their relationship struck me as friendship first, attraction second, which in a world full of YA insta love is awesome. There are way too many books where the main character falls head over heels for someone, and they don’t even try to get to know the other person.

The ‘evil’ step family were three dimensional. The youngest step sister Peony was actually really nice, while the other sister Pearl was not, but you could understand why she wasn’t. In many ways she was an older sister hating the disruption of the addition of a new younger sibling into her family (Cinder), and never getting past that because of her cyborg hating mother. And even the step mother I felt sorry for at times! She’s a penny pinching racist (do cyborgs count as a race?) pig, but deep down she’s just looking for someone to blame for her husband, and later her daughter being taken away from her.

And Iko! The android who thinks she’s a human. She’s awesome, I loved her. She’s just so darn human and funny. Think a teenage girl squealing about hot guys, except as a little pear shaped android.

The world was rich and descriptive, and in no way short of drama. So you’ve got this plague that kills a whole load of people, and everyone is scared they’re next. And you’ve got this evil mind controlling Lunar queen who threatens to take over the earth. And then you’ve got all this extra danger Cinder is under because she’s a cyborg, so has zero rights.

Then there’s the more human dramas, because in Cinder’s head she’s not a cyborg, she’s a teenage girl who wants to go to the ball, who wants the guy to like her without being repulsed by what she is. But she’s afraid to want those things because she’s scared and insecure. That’s what I like most about Cinder, she’s this teenage girl who hasn’t accepted what she is, but she doesn’t let it stop her having a kick ass personality and doing what’s right. She’s proof that a character can be vulnerable and strong at the same time.

The plot was good with lots of twists, including one big one I guessed pretty quick (but I usually do, so that’s not to say it’s too obvious). I’d say the best things about this book were characters, the world, the humor and the action. The plot was less good than those things, but still very solid and enjoyable.

I gave Cinder five stars! I say if you like YA then go try this out. Heck, even if you stick to more adult fantasy then still try this out. It’s a fun read.

As always, here’s the link to the goodreads page in case you want to read more reviews on this book:


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