My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
I am in love with this series, all over again. I have been wanting to re-read this series for a while and my recent-ish read of Wires and Nerve reignited my love of this series. It had been a while since I was in the world and I had forgotten how much I loved these books.
I love fairytales and Marissa Meyer’s retellings of the classic tales we’ve all grown up with are fantastic. She turns the mousey girl from the original fairytale into a relatable character that we fall in love with. Cinderella is not one of my favourite fairytales because I prefer my heroines to have a little more spunk and backbone, but Cinder is just perfect.
Kai is one of those characters that is just so good. He is incredibly kind to Cinder, even when he believes that she is just a mechanic with a grease mark on her forehead, despite his station in life generally lending itself to an air of superiority. Prince Kai only wants what is best for his people and the Commonwealth, willing to sacrifice himself for their well-being if need be. He is definitely one of my favourite male characters, although if I’m being honest I probably have a lot of those.
Most importantly, we meet Iko the droid with the faulty personality chip that we couldn’t fall in love with more. Her loyalty and pure desire to just be a person are heartwarming. (And also sad, because she is a droid and not treated like a person by anyone but Cinder.)
We don’t see much of the world that Cinder lives in beyond New Beijing aside from small, throwaway comments. The world building that is done though is vivid and allows the reader to see the city grow in their mind. As this is a re-read, I am also aware that the world building is expanded extensively over the course of the novels and can understand the more rudimentary foundation being laid here.
I appreciated the effortless melding of elements from the classic fairytale into this unique science fiction world. It is wonderfully done and the story is well written. I would highly recommend this series to young adult/teen readers who enjoy fairytale retellings, science fiction, and intricate, interconnected stories.