Series: The Lunar Chronicles #1
Published by Feiwel and Friends on 3 January 2012
Genres: YA Retellings & Fairy Tales, YA Science Fiction
Source: Owned Book
Sixteen-year-old Cinder is considered a technological mistake by most of society and a burden by her stepmother. Being cyborg does have its benefits, though: Cinder's brain interference has given her an uncanny ability to fix things (robots, hovers, her own malfunctioning parts), making her the best mechanic in New Beijing. This reputation brings Prince Kai himself to her weekly market booth, needing her to repair a broken android before the annual ball. He jokingly calls it "a matter of national security," but Cinder suspects it's more serious than he's letting on.
Although eager to impress the prince, Cinder's intentions are derailed when her younger stepsister, and only human friend, is infected with the fatal plague that's been devastating Earth for a decade. Blaming Cinder for her daughter's illness, Cinder's stepmother volunteers her body for plague research, an "honor" that no one has survived.
But it doesn't take long for the scientists to discover something unusual about their new guinea pig. Something others would kill for.
So I know this book review is way over due. I’m way behind on this series and just now read Cinder by Marissa Meyer — the first book in the Lunar Chronicles.
The book actually started out slow for me. I loved the world and the story’s overall idea. Cinder as a cyborg is awesome. It brought me into Scifi again even if this was more dystopian. I was also super excited to read a fairy-tale retelling. I’m such a sucker for those stories. I guess I’ll never really grow up from my Disney roots 😉 Anyway, I was a little surprised to see myself feeling a bit uninterested in the story. I couldn’t really bring myself into it. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been reading a lot of action-packed novels lately or what. The beginning (and most of the first half) just didn’t do too much for me. However, once the action picked up I was hooked like everyone else. I think I honestly really started loving it once I got to the end. I’m thinking it might be first-book woes that has me not giving this book a full A (or 5 stars). I believe that the next installment will definitely be better as I was left with a great cliff-hanger and a large-scale storyline/mission/enemy to follow through the next couple of books.
Cinder was written very well. I was routing for her from the beginning. I wanted her to get the guy, save her sister, “defeat the step-mom,” and realize her awesomeness. Meyer was a genius in making her a cyborg and placing Cinder in this world. Cinder is not your typical “Cinderella.” Hell, she’s A LOT more badass, which I totally love. It’s nice to see an less Disney-fied version of the familiar character. As much as I know Cinderella was a kind, beautiful and somewhat independent character, Cinder brought on a realness to the role. She was flawed, not perfect, loyal, loving, and a survivor. Those characteristics really made Cinder stand-out for me.
Prince Kai was a pretty good love interest for Cinder. He was under a lot of pressure for his age and wasn’t a pompous ass because of his title. He had to deal with his own struggles, besides trying to rule a dying country. He has some learning to do, but I’m only expecting better things from him as the story continues. I’m hesitant to say that I love Prince Kai. I feel like I don’t fully see him as Cinder’s equal just yet, but I think that’s because he’s coming from a political life and a political point of view sometimes. Although, he’s compassionate and was just a great guy to Cinder throughout the novel. Plus he has to fight the enemy from a different angle than Cinder does. He has his country to worry about. He does hold his own against Levana–the “evil queen” of the Lunars and he’s desperately trying to save his people. So all things considered, I’m still rooting for him and for his and Cinder’s relationship. I just think that he needs a bit more development as a character which I’m hoping to see as the series continues.
I think one of my favorite things about the novel was the setting. I loved the idea of “New Beijing.” Plus a lot of dystopian novels take place in an American-like setting, so this was a refreshing look. I also enjoyed the details of the “high techs” and the old-world “market” mixing together in Meyer’s world. Introducing the Lunars who live on the Moon was also a brilliant creative move for this novel.
Overall, I did end up enjoying this book. I think that once the action started I was hooked for the series. The beginning was slow for me and it took me a while to get into the story, but I loved Cinder from the start and she kept me going until the finish. I wouldn’t even really say that this is a full on re-telling of Cinderella. I think Cinder is so much more than that. It brings in a whole new world with stronger characters and a creative plot. Meyer’s did a great job of rethinking Cinderella’s story. I can’t wait to read more of the series 🙂
Thanks for stopping by! Let me know your thoughts on Cinder and The Lunar Chronicles!