Cinder: A Young Adult Sci-Fi Book for Fans of Fantasy



A young adult sci-fi book that’s more like fantasy than you would think…


Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless Lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . . Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg.


I finally picked this one up after hearing it described as 'soft' sci-fi. As I am not usually a sci-fi reader, this made me feel like it might be closer to fantasy and like something I would read.


And I’m glad I gave it a shot!


If you’re into adorable, funny sidekicks, chosen one, sci-fi 'science' that is more like magic, and a really sympathetic main character, plus a charming prince and diabolical villain, this is the book for you.


Not Your Average Retelling

Cinder turns the story of Cinderella on its head as the sci-fi elements of cyborgs, the more tech-advanced society that emerged in the aftermath of huge world war, and strange, beautiful beings that live on the moon are introduced.


Plus, plot twists galore—a must in my mind for retellings of any kind.


Possible Triggers

It was a little weird reading about a pandemic after actually going through a pandemic. It struck a little close to home, but it drew me into the story more as well. So bizarre. But be warned this may be triggering for you.


The Characters

Cinder as a character was very likeable. She thought of others before herself and got the short end of the stick many times. I felt for her, I wanted to be her at one point—she was great.


Prince Kai was a bit immature at times, but the way he treated Cinder, with fairness and warmth, was just so charming ;)


I know she’s the villain, but I quite enjoyed the lunar queen. She was the perfect amount of monster, magic, and manipulation.


The Science/Magic

There is a lot of clever science and mechanics in this story on account of the robots and cyborgs of this futuristic society, but the abilities of the lunars…sounded like magic to me. It’s explained away as sort of the power to manipulate perception, which is more science-y sounding. The fantasy lover in me is still going to go with magical power, which was the perfect addition to this story.


The Lunars themselves are fascinating. Who wouldn’t be fascinated with manipulative beings who portray only their best-looking selves (using ‘magic,’ of course) and seek to dominate the world?


The Ending

The ending wasn’t as satisfying as I would’ve liked, but I also think it was appropriate as a lead-in to the rest of the series. I won’t say anything more for fear of giving away spoilers.


Final Thoughts

Overall, a much better read than I expected and a page-turner. If, like me, you are not that into sci-fi but love fantasy, give this book a try.


Official blurb

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless Lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . . Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.



 

This article was written by Allison Rose.


Allison Rose writes YA fantasy featuring magic and otherworldly beings. Her current series feature a truly unique world of Faerie. Click the covers below to check them out.



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