Author: Marissa Meyer
Published: January, 2013
Characterization and badassery
This is Cinderella, and yet it isn’t. You really don’t know what is going to happen, because it’s so different than any other version of Cinderella. Cinder is a delightful heroine. Smart, tough, hardworking, and does not need anyone to make her over so she can catch a guy’s attention and get rich by marriage. She’s the anti-Cinderella. Let’s go with an analogy: Cinder is to Cinderella as Bruce Willis is to Clark Kent.
Plot and pacing
Okay, so the book drags a bit in places. The views into Prince Kai’s diplomatic efforts could have been removed entirely. And there are no surprises here. As it goes along, it’s easy to see how things are going to unfold. Usually these things would have me downgrading a book before you can say, “Bibbidi bobbidi,” which fortunately does not show up anywhere in this book. But I liked Cinder herself so much and the cyborg/classism angle that it still rates high for me. For the YA fairy tale retelling genre, this book does some cool stuff. Everything’s relative.
Prose and editing
There were a few awkward phrases, but no typo or grammatical errors, so still a professional read.
I like seeing a YA fairy tale story with such a strong female protagonist. There’s no fairy godmother per se, and she doesn’t rely on a prince to “save” her. It’s a paradigm shift in the right direction, and a fun read besides. I got through this in two sittings. Because of that, I’ve rated it quite high.