Oh… wow… I didn’t expect that at all. I wanted a book to lull me to sleep and its 3am now, so I guess that didn’t happened.
I had known about Cinder for months and I had a lot of books serials to catch up to that it took me awhile to get around this. Since its Cinderella retelling, naturally some things remained predictable. But I’m a big fan of Once Upon A Time since last year and after the season finale, I’m still sceptical about the sudden trend of Snow White’s retellings and Cinderella wasn’t my favourite character in OUAT so I’m still unsure about reading this book until I got bored while reading Pittacus Lore’s I Am Number Four that I switched to this book.
It’s really is a fast read since the story is linear and entertaining. Linh Cinder was not your ordinary Cinderella. She’s a cyborg mechanic who run a shop in the market district of New Beijing. Being a cyborg, she received prejudice by the people and wasn’t even considered as a human. It baffled me since Cinder is being modified with mechanical limbs due to trauma of all sorts, so in certain light, its very disturbing if you think of disabled victims that way. One day a curious visitor dumped an android onto her work desk, Cinder then found herself in the presence of the royal prince, Kaito. Right after he left, Cinder’s neighbouring shop owner was caught with a plague that Cinder and her android escaped the quarantine to her apartment where she lived with her mean stepmother, Adri and two stepsisters, Pearl and Peony. Peony was the closest friend to Cinder despite her sister and mother’s disapproving to their fondness. While seeking for some scraps and parts to fix, Peony found a lesion on her arm which alerted Cinder that her sister was infected by the plague. Peony was taken away and when her stepmother found out, she blamed Cinder and Cinder was forcibly sent to the palace’s scientific division as a guinea pig for the plague.
From the start to finish, the book was engaging and easier to read without fillers. The characterization were well developed and the world building was stunning. I’m curious on how the New Beijing has come to be since it was set in futuristic environment when space travels. magical moon beings, cyborg, android, hovers was possible. Curiously Cinder’s family name was Vietnamese, Kaito is a Japanese name (but I’m curiouser when he didn’t gain a new name like east asian royal naming tradition), the language used was mandarin, and some parts are like a mix of european-eastern-asian environments.
I don’t really think the story is specifically enough to be Sailor Moon-level since I grew up with stories of moon princess and moon rabbit so it is a refreshing tale especially with the amount of mechanical lingo that was prevalent enough through the books (well, Cinder is a mechanic) and the politics of the country against the impending invasion of the Lunarian Queen.
Unfortunately, I found only one copy of the book when I was at a bookshop in Tropicana Mall, but I’m avoiding the bookstores for the time being, ever I saw a huge stack of published twilight fanfiction in local bookstores.
Goodreads rating : 5 stars cos its that awesome