Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Format: Owned, hardcover
Rating: 4/5 stars
Part of a series? Yup! This is the first in the Lunar Chronicles series.
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.
*Warning: Spoilers ahead!*
The Lunar Chronicles is one of those series where I feel like I was one of the last people who hadn't read it, so of course I was a little bit skeptical going into it. What if it doesn't live up to the hype? What if I hate it? You know, the typical I'm-about-to-read-a-really-hyped-book struggle. But it turns out that I didn't need to worry because I ended up liking Cinder.
I knew nothing about this book except that it's a Cinderella story up until a few months ago. My friend pitched it as a book club read, and she said that the Cinderella character in this book is a cyborg. Who could resist a book like that? Psh, I couldn't. So I added it to the top of my to-buy list, and it ended up in my possession for Christmas.
Aside from the premise being the most original that I've ever read for a retelling, I think my favorite aspect of the book is the world it's set in. It's a sci-fi-ish novel set on dystopian Earth who knows how long in the future. The continent system is set up differently, as is pretty much everything else, and there is even a different species of people living on the moon, called Lunars, who are ruled by the evil Queen Levana (crazy, diabolical, FANTASTIC villain). And the best part about the futuristic greatness that is the setting? The technology. Androids and cyborgs and hover cars, oh my. It's pretty awesome.
I also loved the moments between Prince Kai and Cinder (because he's all prince-y and attractive and semi-awkward around her, and it was adorable.) and the relationship between Cinder and Iko and her sister Peony. It was a punch to the feels when they were gone and Cinder was alone. Why did you have to kill off the nice stepsister, huh? *cries* The character interactions were a huge part of what made this book work for me because there were definitely parts that I did not dig.
There was something off with the pacing for me. There were slow sections that gave me eh feelings, and there were a lot of events that seemed abrupt. I had to go back and reread whole pages sometimes because things happened so fast that I missed what was happening.
Overall though, Cinder was an enjoyable read, and it really set the stage for the series. I'm excited to meet a new cast of reinvented fairytale characters when I read the rest of the books in the series!
What about you? Are you a Lunar Chronicles fan?