***** (five out of six stars)
cover - I absolutely LOVE this cover. The leg, the inner works, the Red SHOE. That's a damn sexy SHOE. OhMyGod, it's a hell of a cover. :)
'prologue' I don't think I can truly say that I don't read much young adult fiction anymore... When I met J.A. Campbell, I started reading her work, because she's a good writer and she concentrates on Young Adult. So I read her stuff - woman is writing faster than I can keep up, but I love her Clanless series, as well as her Doc series. Then I also became very interested in what kind of fiction Lilith Saintcrow would come up with for the young adult market. Under the name of Lili St. Crow she has written an amazing series (Strange Angels). Because I was familiar with Kelley Armstrong's adult fiction, I've read at least one of her young adult series...(plan to read more, one is waiting for me right now...). And then, because of J.A. Campbell, again, I've read Need, and a few other novels. Well, for the first time (discounting Lili St.Crow's work) I bought a young adult novel for myself to read ON PURPOSE. And it kept me interested.
Interested enough to finish reading. I am always wary of reading teen-age angsty type of romance along with the inevitable personality that I've come to expect with a teen character...but I think I haven't been totally aware of how much writers have brought along the average teen character. If other genres have been coming into the 21st century...if young people today are becoming mature faster than ever before, then why have I doubted that a teen character could also do so? Thankfully, this book has a teen character that is just mature enough not to drive me crazy, and yet young enough to feel like a teen. Yeah - I'm picky like that. Having never been a very innocent or naiive teen myself, I never really had much patience for the truly naive and innocent, or unaware.
But I'm getting off track....Cinder was a fun take on the old Cinderella fairytale. Of course Cinderella has be retold many times in a variety of ways, but I think I'm very partial to this SciFi cyborg version of Cinderella. Cinder is a cyborg - a human with computer programming and metal parts. Earth has undergone many changes - one of them being that the moon (Luna) has been colonized and is now treated as a planet, complete with an evil queen (the evil stepmother character). And the city is New Beijing, where a plague has been spreading that has affected the palace, leaving the prince in line to be emporer before he's quite ready. This is just a taste of what Cinder is about. There's so much more.
Cinder is living as a ward of woman with two daughters of her own. As a cyborg, and a ward, Cinder has less rights than a human. And she is expected to turn over all her earnings to the 'stepmother'. There is a twist on the stepsisters - only one really hates her, the other one loves her. Cinder is a mechanic, one who many people rely on to fix things that others can't fix - this is how she comes into contact with her prince (THE PRINCE! )
Enough of the recap, or summary. Marissa Meyer's narration is interesting. Her dialogue is pretty good, very believable. One of the things I really liked about the story is Cinder's anger - she wasn't the all suffering character that is usually part of a fairytale. Nope, this girl has spirit, and even though she's stuck at the moment, she does let her anger out once in a while, even when she knows she shouldn't. It's pretty fun.
The evil stepmother type of character is actually portrayed by two characters - Cinder's guardian and the queen of Luna. The people of Luna have powers, the power to use a type of glamour, and the queen is one of the strongest. This plays a part later in the novel.
The book was fun to read - I got through it in one day. I liked it enough to consider buying the sequel, Scarlett. I want to find out what happens with Cinder, since even though the novel had a good ending, it wasn't a quite complete ending. It's kind of left up in the air just how Cinder is going to get out of a certain predicament, and is she actually going to end up with the prince? might not.