Title: Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1)
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends (Macmillian)
Release Date: January 3, 2012
Acquired Via: Publisher
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.
This review was originally posted on Goodreads on November 10, 2011, before this blog was active.
Marissa Meyer’s debut, Cinder, is not your typical young adult novel. Yes, it is science fiction. Yes, it is based on a fairy tale. Yes, it is dystopian. It is indeed typical to see all of those genres hitting libraries and bookshelves lately. What is not typical is for the mash-up of all three genres to work well together – and it does.
The heroine, Cinder, is a cyborg who is just trying to make a living in post-apocalyptic New Beijing. Cyborgs are second-class citizens that have no rights and live at the mercy of their owners/guardians. She is owned by and lives with her adoptive mother and two “stepsisters” (only one of them being nasty), doing all of their work. The difference from the original story is that instead of doing actual household chores, she is one of the country’s best android mechanics and all of her income supports her family. Cinder is able to mask her cyborg nature from common knowledge by wearing gloves on her refurbished hands and covering her other metal parts, but things complicate when Prince Kaito comes to her booth in need of her service and develops an interest in her.
There are quite a few similarities between Cinder and the versions of the Cinderella fairy tale with which most people are familiar. However, do not expect it to be a mirror image (no mirrors at all if Queen Levana can help it!) of the original tale. There are quite a few interesting variances, not least a plague sweeping through the kingdom, and the happily ever after you’re looking for may not be waiting for you at the end. There are three more projected books in Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles, so it may be quite some time before things head down the path to happiness for Cinder.
I’ve been lucky to read quite a few amazing books lately, but this is the first one that I stayed up all night to read and put down all of my other books for (I usually read 2-3 at a time) since The Hunger Games. It was funny, enchanting, and magical. Scarlet – book two in the Lunar Chronicles – cannot come quickly enough.
You can read my reviews of Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2) HERE and my review of Cress (The Lunar Chronicles #3) HERE.
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To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received a digital advance copy of the novel from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review. It has in no way affected the outcome. All expressed opinions are awesome, honest, and courtesy of me.