"Cinder" got on to my TBR pile because I gave in to the hype. Everyone said it was fun. So I bought but didn't read it because, well it's a retelling of Cinderella. It's an affirmation of the Patriarchy. Handsome Prince rescues poor-but-worthy girl. In space! How exciting could that be?
A few chapters in and I knew the hype was right, it was a lot of fun. This mostly because it kept surprising me in amusing ways that kept the story fresh and because the writing is well done
"Cinder" reimagines the Cinderella story in a way that changes the dynamics of the relationships and offers new challenges.
Cinder isn't waiting to be rescued. The Prince is charming in cute but in a charismatic and self-deprecatingly egalitarian way.
Then there's the evil Queen, far, far more evil than any stepmother, gifted with the power of compulsion unfettered by conscience and amplified by narcissism.
And the relationship with the stepmother and the steps sisters isn't so black and white, it's a complicated mix of love and pain and deep damage, the way families can be.
And there's the plague and the death and suffering it brings.
And the stigma of Cinder being a cyborg and the examination that brings of what it means when some lives are judged less worthy than others.
And the relationship between Earth and Luna. And the mystery of Cinder's origins.
And and and...
It was a book I stayed up late with and returned to eagerly. It was fun but not silly fun. It was creative and humane and dramatic.
I'll be back for the rest of the series.
I recommend the audiobook version performed by Rebecca Soler. Click on the SoundCloud link below to hear a sample.