A Cinderella story with a Cyborg twist, Cinder is set among a dystopian future besieged by plague and threatened by war.

“It will be a miracle if you can find something suitable to wear that will hide your”—her gaze dropped to Cinder’s boots—“eccentricities.”

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As a cyborg, Cinder may be a second-class citizen, but she is also a top-notch mechanic— a fact that catches the attention of Prince Kai, who brings an android in for repair.

Why is this on our bookshelf?

Fairy tales and cyborgs combined? of course we’re featuring this!

Rating (4 stars)

I’ve been a fan of fairy tale retelling since Ella Enchanted hit bookshelves and I cracked the spine of Robin McKinley’s Rose Daughter.

Often, Cinderella’s problem is how meekly she submits to her awful stepmother. This retelling manages to subvert this somewhat. In fact, Cinder initially only plans for escape. But when she gets caught up in events with much further-reaching effects than her own dismal situation, Cinder proves her strength of character.

To be completely honest, I had fairly low expectations for this book. I expected it to be a fun read, entertaining but with little substance. In most aspects, this is true. I truly enjoyed reading it, but it is pure entertainment.

Under a thin veneer of science fiction, the pure fairly tale quality shines through. Expect to suspend belief, especially where the special abilities of Lunars comes in.

That being said, where Cinder distinguishes itself is in its imaginative approach to the fairy tale. It’s take on Cinderella’s tale is remarkably unique, not just because of the science fiction setting, but for the way the events unfold.

And don’t expect a neat and tidy happy ending to the book. Despite the Cinderella-like events, Cinder sets up for a sequel, which I’ll gladly pick up.