“Even in the Future the Story Begins with Once Upon a Time.”
Ahhh! I’m only 105832 years too late, but I finally jumped on TLC train!! And wow, what a ride this series is. Fairy tales, science fiction, action, and romance. What more could a girl want in a series?? Sadly, I’ve only read Cinder and Scarlett, and here’s Cinder’s review (stay tuned for Scarlett soon!) I’m still waiting on Cress, which I’ve already convinced myself will be my favorite because I love Rapunzel and from what we’ve seen about Cress I feel like she’ll be super relatable. And then there’s Winter, and then those other two books? And I’m not sure how those fit into the series but I’ll figure it out!
WHAT A GOOD FIRST BOOK OF A SERIES. Sometimes the first book is pretty slow because it’s gearing up for the second, but this book as so action packed it could’ve been it’s own book except you would want more of your babies. This goes for both Cinder and Scarlett, but the writing is just exceptional! It flows so well and is both simple and beautiful. And there really is a distinct voice for each character, which I love.
I also love how while this is a Cinderella retelling, it isn’t super obvious. One of the things I hate about some retellings is that they stick exactly to the original story but just change the names or setting or something small like that. This story is definitely inspired by Cinderella, and there are nods to it here and there, but it is it’s own story!
Cinder takes place after World War 4 in a city called New Beijing in the Eastern Commonwealth. Just a little world background, all of Earth is basically allied together against this country on the moon called Luna. Cinder is a cyborg mechanic with some pretty awful family members. One day Prince Kai needs her to fix a royal android, and this starts a series of events that ends with Cinder crashing/arriving at a royal ball in order to warn Kai. And yes, there is romance.
“I’m sure I’ll feel much more grateful when I find a guy who thinks complex wiring in a girl is a turn-on.”
And now on to the characters. CINDER BREAKS MY HEART. She’s so badass and fierce and smart but sometimes she just gets me in the feels. I hate how she hides her cyborg self because THAT MAKES HER SO COOL and I hate all the people that hate on her for it. And I HATE her evil stepmother and sister. It was to be expected since this is a Cinderella retelling, but DON’T MAKE MY CINDER BABY FEEL LIKE SHE’S WORTHLESS AND LESS IMPORTANT THAN YOU. AND DON’T INVALIDATE HER FEELINGS BECAUSE SHE IS A CYBORG. Even though she is part machine, she has such a huge heart. And it breaks mine that she can’t cry when she’s sad because she feels sadness, but she has no release. But really this girl is so strong she can get through anything. And her brain is amazing it’s resourceful and smart and being a mechanic is so freaking cool like she knows so much how!!!!
“We have the ability to love each other, no matter our differences. To help each other, no matter our weaknesses.”
Also Kai is precious. He’s such an awkward little prince/emperor baby. And his snark is ON POINT. All his internal thoughts about Queen Levana (BOOOOOO) made me snort with laughter. I love how he’s a prince/emperor and should be all stately and sophisticated, but really he acts like a teenage boy who is awkward and has a crush and doesn’t know what he’s doing with his life #relatable. I do have to say I think Kai and Cinder’s romance was a little insta-love on Kai’s part, but I’m still rooting for them! The way they left off makes my heart hurt 😦 I understand why both are upset but KAI JUST GIVE CINDER A CHANCE TO EXPLAIN.
The side characters in this book were also amazing. They were all so fully developed that I actually had feelings about them. I JUST LOVE IKO. I need her in my life to just give commentary about what happens. And Peony is so sweet like I love that she loves Cinder. Pearl and Adri are THE WORST and I hate them. Queen Levana is also THE WORST but pretty entertaining at the same time.
Moving off of characters, the plot in this book was also so developed. I love how there were so many plot twists! Granted, I saw most of them coming, but that doesn’t mean I enjoyed them less. It was just all so curvy and I couldn’t put the book down because every moment was action packed and intriguing.
And this setting was just wow! New Beijing is just so beautiful and so interesting. Meyer’s world building really begins here in the Eastern Commonwealth, and it’s interesting to see how current day Beijing mixes with science fiction New Beijing. I loved the addition of all the cyborgs and androids and even the discussion about cyborg inequality.
So overall this book is a must read! It combines romance with alien moon people and science fiction and action and fantasy falls into so many different categories that it’s so hard to dislike. And the writing is terrific and the whole concept just so so good.
This is not related to the book review but related to Cinder. I JUST FOUND THESE REALLY COOL LEGGINGS AND LIKE IDK IF I’D WANT TO PAY $70 FOR THEM BUT I THOUGHT I SHOULD SHARE BECAUSE TLC. Click on the picture for a link to buy.
Have you read Cinder? What did you think?