“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.”
I picked up Marissa Meyer’s ‘Cinder’ back in the summer before I even went to university and I remember reading this book in a matter of days. The connection with this book was instantaneous. I have always had a love for fairytales and fantasy books, they are the major theme that I love to read, so this book seemed perfect for me.
‘Cinder’, by Marissa Meyer | ★★★★★
Cinder is set in the far, far future after many world wars have been fought and the world has split into some larger ‘countries’. The novel focuses on one of these countries, specifically the town of New Beijing, where a mysterious disease called ‘Letumosis’ has riddled the land. Letumosis attacks people through 3 majors stages, and it progresses through the body quickly. When someone gets sick, they are sent straight the quarantine never to be seen again. No one survives it. A draft for all cyborgs – oh yes, there are cyborgs, usually those who have suffered devastating injuries and have relied upon modern technology for survival – has been created to test the newest ‘cure’. We follow the story of Cinder, who is a young cyborg mechanic in New Beijing, and her cinderella tale.
Although this novel is based around the classical fairytale that we all know and love, it’s so well adapted and edited, that the whole ending took me hugely by surprise. I really enjoyed this book, so much so that I’ve now read the entire series and recently bought another, stand alone book from Marissa Meyer ‘Heartless’. Though I found this book in the young adult section, and probably wouldn’t suggest this to anyone below the age of 13, I would say this is a book for pretty much every age. It focuses so much around life struggles, while still sitting comfortably in the romance and sci-fi themes. But the most interesting thing is how the story raises questions that are so poinient in today society, that it can be quiet disturbing. The cyborgs are seen as far less people than the everyday humans, and Cinder goes through so very hard hitting discrimination throughout the series, especially in this book. She’s goes through all the stages of anger, acceptence and finnaly definence, until finnaly we see the real Cinder.
The character of Cinder from the beginning is a pretty strong protagonist. She is strong, sassy, hot-headed, but most of all she is flawed. In the novel Cinder has accepted that she is less than the rest of her family, because of her prosthetics, but after some devastating events, she becomes this amazing character. I honestly can’t tell you enough how much I appreciate a strong main female character who is imperfect. She is messy and almost always covered in machine grease, with her being a mechanic, and the imagery described in the book is enough to bring her to life in front of you.
I really don’t want to ruin this book, since there are so many huge twists that just make this book, so I will stop there. But I can’t tell you how wonderful this book is. If you like to try new books or enjoyed the classical fairytales as a kid, I would strongly suggest this book and the rest of the series. In all there are 4 books in the series, each introducing new characters based around other fairytale characters (Red riding hood, Rapunzel and Snow White) all of which have their own storyline which ties into the main plot. Seriously though, go check out this book, it’s easily one of my all time favourites.