Reviewed by Sara Drake

First I need to admit that I love fairytales and fairytale retellings. Despite the predictability inherent in retelling classic tales, I can’t seem to break my addiction to them. A science fiction retelling of the Cinderella tale? Of course I had to read it! From the moment a friend told me about Cinder, I knew I had to get my hands on a copy. Having admitted my bias to the genre, I will proceed with my review.

The setting: a future where cyborgs exist but get treated as second class citizens. The basic plot: Cinder, a cyborg, struggles to earn money to support her step-mother and step-sisters. She lives the Cinderella life which includes a handsome prince and an anticipated ball. Within the basic outlines of the familiar tale, Marissa Meyer weaves a complex tale that includes an incurable disease, interplanetary politics, and one young woman’s growing knowledge of herself.

I enjoyed Cinder from beginning to end. Even with the predictability of the story, Meyer worked in numerous surprises which kept me guessing (including the ending). The main characters jump from the pages as real people which quickly engage the reader’s affections. The world building impressed me, which is fairly hard to do; Meyer provided details that created a consistent and believable environment.

My first reaction to Cinder was mixed but after a few days, I found myself still thinking about it. I decided I would reread it. I found I enjoyed it even more on the second reading. The elements of the plot that annoyed me as being unnecessarily predictable struck me the second time around as intentional on the author’s behalf so that the reader felt increased tension waiting for the characters to figure it out.

I enjoyed reading this book more than I expected. I recommend it for anyone who enjoys a good fairytale retelling or a good science fiction.

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Sara Drake has been an avid reader since a young age. She has both a Master’s in Mental Health Counseling and a Master’s in History.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Feiwel & Friends. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.