I'll admit, I had almost no expectations when I picked out this book. I'd heard good things from BookTubers, but they were fans of YA love stories. I've never enjoyed them. I've also never found a version of Cinderella that I cared for. But, hey, where there are cyborgs, there is hope. That being said, HOLY WAH! This book had me feeling for characters! I was shaking for an HOUR after reading this!
Okay, let me take a step back. This book is not primarily a love story. Yes, it's another telling of Cinderella with all the same elements, but there is so much more to this book than just Cinder and Prince Kai. There is prejudice against cyborgs. There is a disease spreading that has neither cure nor any publicly known cause. There is the constant threat of war with the Lunars (people living on the moon). There are international and interplanetary politics at play. This is not just a love story! This is a fully developed world with a LOT going on!
But what is really amazing is that I felt invested in these characters. I was strongly interested in whether or not Cinder and Prince Kai end up together or if he caves to political pressure and marries the Lunar Queen. I actually said to my husband "I can't get dinner right now! I have to find out if the prince is going to marry the evil empress!" I never say stuff like that! I haven't been interested in love stories for years! To be fair, it isn't just the characters in love that tug at my heart strings. I almost cried when I found out what happened to Iko. I wanted to punch the Lunar Queen in the face. I wanted to slap the evil stepmother. This book got to me in all the best ways.
Aside from the "twist" at the end being predictable, the ending of this book is a well paced cliffhanger. Cinder is still in danger when the book ends.
It should come as no surprise that this book gets 5 hoots! Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go reserve the NEXT book in the series.