"Vanity is a factor, but it is more a question of control. It is easier to trick others into perceiving you as beautiful if you can convince yourself you are beautiful. But mirrors have an uncanny way of telling the truth."
- Cinder by Marissa Meyer
If you haven't already guessed this book is a retelling of Cinderella however it takes an epic turn from the old original story and reveals instead to be set in a futuristic place called New Beijing. Cinder lives with her step mother Adri and her two step sisters Pearl and Peony in an apartment complex and works everyday at Adri's shop in the marketplace. Cinder's only companion there is her mechanical friend and assistant at work, Iko. Cinder is gifted when it comes to fixing and working with mechanical things and is known to be the best mechanic in the country, but still some how manages to live poorly (I wonder why...) however due to her skills as a mechanic she gets an unlikely customer, Prince Kai, who comes to her disguised as a normal civilian rather than someone of royalty. He asks her to fix his android and of course being the Emperor's son, agrees to do it for him but after he leaves Cinder hears a scream and realises that someone has the plague. The plague is a huge issue that ravages throughout the six Earthen countries (Eastern Commonwealth = New Beijing) and is commonly known as the letumosis. Letumosis is lethal, anyone who is infected with this disease dies a painfully slow death, it is highly contagious, and there is no cure for it. So when the plague hits someone in the marketplace the emergency crew seal off the area for quarantine. Cinder manages to sneak out and gets home, after this and that one of her sister gets the plague and her stepmother blames Cinder for it. Enraged Adri volunteers Cinder off to the research labs for the development for the cure and what frightens Cinder most is that no one ever survives the test labs.
- Cinder: partially a cyborg due to an accident when she was young, since then a lot of her body has been replaced by mechanical parts including an awesome computer overlay over her eye which can detect when someone is lying, handy. She is kind yet flawed in many ways that makes her such a real character, she is intelligent, and so independently strong as a character.
- Prince Kai: the dashing "prince charming" but not so perfect in this story, not in a bad way of course but in a way that makes him feel like a real character and not some annoyingly perfect male being who happens to be rich and powerful. Well he is rich and powerful, I mean he is The Prince of the nation but he is flawed as well and struggles daily, and is burdened continuously throughout the book all for the his people and his kingdom (he will be a great ruler one day if he is mentioned again in the books to come) a great male lead indeed.
- Iko: an old robot who continuously malfunctions but has an amazingly hilarious personality, she was such a cute and loveable character who is probably Cinder's best friend and only friend.
- Adri: Cinder's evil stepmother yet she wasn't as evil as I thought she would be, surprisingly. I kind of ended up pitying this woman towards the end but of course she did make some horrible decisions and wasn't all that "nice" but still wasn't someone I hated.
- Pearl: one of Cinder's stepsisters, this girl was annoying as heck at times but since Cinder wasn't bothered by it as much I wasn't either. She wasn't as evil as I would have imagined her to be but she was still a bitch at times.
- Peony: Cinder's other step sister and my my what a surprise she was, I was amazed at how nice this girl was especially towards Cinder. Peony was quite possibly Cinder's only human friend in this book, she was just such a lovely character, I loved her.
- Dr. Erland: is the scientist who takes care of Cinder when she is sent to test labs. He was by far one of my favourite character in this book. He was kind of the "fairy Godmother" for this retelling, always advising and keeping Cinder out of trouble, always helping her whether it be secretly or knowingly.
The world building in this book was amazing, Marissa Meyer did an incredible job in bringing this place and futuristic setting alive. Her writing style was were beautifully written in way that depicted the settings so well yet could be easily read without being too poetic.
The only real problem I had with this book was that some aspects of this future world was not entirely explained properly like the other five colonies, this book is focused within the Eastern Commonwealth however we get no information on the other countries of the Earthen world but I can forgive Marissa for that as this is the first book in the series and the rest of these countries are bound to be answered in the books to come. We also have the divide between the Lunar people (a hated alien race who live on the moon and do look human but have a seductive ability in manipulating the feeling and sight of humans) and the Earthens, how these Lunar people came about and why they are separated from Earth were not clearly explained but these again can be answered in the next books in the series so I wasn't too upset about that either.
Overall I highly enjoyed Cinder, flew through the damn thing, the pacing was amazing and fast (definitely a page-turner), I loved the new take on Cinderella, so many things happen in this book and there are so many problems that need to be solved throughout this book making into an epic adventure even though everything happens in one city, it was amazing. This book is was so good and I highly recommend it to you all.