Title: Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer
Genre: YA Dystopian Science Fiction Fairy Tale Retelling
Goodreads Book Summary:
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, the 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.
Rating: 5 Stars
Who were the Characters?
In Cinder, there are two main characters: Prince Kai and Cinder of course! I think Cinder could quite possibly be one of my favorite female characters in YA fiction. She is strong, but isn’t perfect, outspoken, but not snotty, and vulnerable, but not weak. The cyborg parts of her make such an interesting character. The author included little parts in the story where you could see written words that were being typed across her vision, just like a computer rebooting. Every time this happened, I wanted more. It made the story more real. She feels very alone being a cyborg, but personally that is my favorite part of her. The reader got to see the viewpoint of Prince Kai a few times, but I still feel like I did not get to learn a lot about him. He is still a bit of a mystery to me. I do love the relationship between him and Cinder. He seems to be a very open, caring, down to earth person even though he has a Prince status. It is also very attractive that he cares for the well-fare of his country and people so much. I feel as if the relationship between Cinder and Kai is just beginning, and was not rushed like most YA fiction. There are also many smaller characters which include the evil stepmother and two step sisters which is just like the classic Cinderella tale. The twist to this is that one of the step sisters actually gets along with Cinder. They have a close, endearing relationship that was great to see in the story and added many great elements to the plot. The other three side characters are a silly, comedic android named Iko that adds cute little quips in well placed places, a scientist that helps Cinder out, and of course the EVIL VILLIAN Queen Levana. One of my favorite things about this book is that the characters are beautifully presented. I think my second favorite character in this story after Cinder would have to be Iko. I want more Iko!
What was different?
The thing that was different about this story was the setting. I have never really read a science fiction story about a cyborg-half human, let alone seen one that didn’t seem corny or stupid. Through Marissa Meyer’s writing, this idea is a form of genius! Even though the story was based upon the classic tale Cinderella, the setting of the story was the exact opposite. The futuristic setting of the story was elaborate and always left me wanting more. I am usually a reader who likes the setting to be laid out at first, but then often read over those parts in the middle and end of the story because I am so involved in the action and conversation between characters. In Cinder I eagerly digested every little tidbit of information about the setting that is included like it was my first taste of cheesecake. I loved it, absolutely loved it. I have to say I have never enjoyed a setting so much! Also, the realistic pace of the romance in this story was far different from in other teen reads.
What was similar?
What was similar was of course the basic plot of the story is much like the plot of the original Cinderella. Going through the story I often could predict what was going to happen. The thing is, I really didn’t care! The setting is so well interwoven throughout the story that I didn’t even mind that I sort of knew what was going to happen. The setting made it a brand new story.
Where was the setting?
The setting was a futuristic New Beijing after the WWIV. Everything is very computerized with floating cars with most people owning their own android to do their dishes and such for them. Meyer created such a great view of her world, that it felt like a movie. Which, in fact, I would love to see. This book would make a GREAT movie, not just because I love the plot, but because the city and world would be so fun to see created.
When did this story take place?
As I said before, this story is in the distant future. WWIV has happened, and left many parts of the world including the original Beijing, destroyed. The city has been rebuilt along with society.
Why did I like/dislike it?
I absolutely loved this book. The author also gave us the information that there will be a new book in this series of four released what looks like every year. I am so psyched about this! I can’t wait to get into the world again. I don’t know if I would every reread this book because of the plot, but I would definitely reread it because of the setting. As you can probably tell by now, I fell in love with it! I guess some people may wish that the plot would be less predictable, but I didn’t really mind. Despite the predictability, I gave this book a rating of 5, because I loved it that much. Meyer’s writing is so beautiful, and I feel like it will only get better with each installment. This book was a breath of fresh air to the Dystopian genre, and I can’t wait til the next one.
Review by Connie