Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Published: January 3rd, 2012
Genre: Young Adult Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Fairy-tale Retelling
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
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 centre 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.
Never in a million years would I picture myself reading a fairy-tale retelling of the famous Cinderella featuring her as a cyborg. Even when I bought it and heard all of the good things being said about it, I still had my doubts. I actually haven’t read too much sci-fi so the thought of this book incorporating these sketchy moon people who plan on waging war against earth was a little questionable for me. When I finished Daughter of Smoke & Bone last week I really wanted to dive into something equally as entertaining, and also start hacking away at my TBR pile, so Cinder seemed like the obvious next choice. Honestly, I don’t know what it is, I’ve either been reading some pretty stellar books lately, or I’ve just been in a really good mood while reading because I don’t remember the last thing I rated that wasn’t 5 stars…
This book was fantastic. It was funny, it had action, it was suspenseful… It was seriously just an awesome read. I took a class last year in University called “Fantasy and Fairy-Tales” and since then I have been on this fairy-tale kick. I’ve watched Grimm, I just recently marathoned all of Once Upon a TIme, and now I honestly cannot wait to continue on with The Lunar Chronicles. It was such an interesting, unique way to retell the classic (sometimes boring) tale of Cinderella. My absolute favourite thing about this book was the characters, so let’s chat about them shall we?
First of all, Cinder is awesome. She is so kick-butt, so sassy and just a really great character to follow. But, not gonna lie, her sidekick and android Iko might seriously be my favourite. Her personality is hilarious, she’s so funny, adorable, and such a good friend. The interesting thing though is people claim she has a “faulty personality chip” because, unlike other androids, she seems to have the closest thing to feelings/opinions that androids can get. She is just so loveable and the book definitely would not have been the same without her. As for Cinders family. I like the idea that one of Cinder’s stepsisters like her. Peony is so cute and you can tell she really loves Cinder, and that Cinder really loves her (contrary to her stepmothers belief). It’s really unfortunate that her sister falls ill with this plague, but I think it made a really good driving point for Cinder. AND AS FOR PEARL AND ADRI. Ugh. UGH. I can’t even. Let’s quickly applaud Marissa Meyer for making characters that are so very, HATEABLE. Every single scene with Adri and Cinder made my skin crawl. I wanted to reach into the book and give her a punch right to the esophagus. I actually have to stop thinking about them for a second because I seriously can’t.
And last but certainly not least, Kai. Prince Kai deserves his own paragraph, and not because he’s royal, but because he’s a pain in my ass. I guess at the beginning I was like aaaah Prince Kai, so cute, so handsome *swoons*. Then I was like hmmm this is definitely not gonna end well. Then I thought it would. Then I thought it couldn’t. Then I KNEW it wouldn’t. And oh dear it didn’t. But seriously, was anyone else like “what a JERK?!”. The boy should be HONOURED to have a romance with a kick butt lunar-cyborg. Are you really SO REPULSED by her metal parts? Because if you are, she deserved better anyways. I seriously hope he has a difficult future because he had his chance and he blew it.
I intended for this to be brief, but apparently I cannot contain myself from ranting. Last thing I wanted to touch on was the fact that everyone seems to rate this book high on predictability. Honestly, I don’t know if I just suck at predicting things or something (I absolutely did NOT predict the ending of We Were Liars), but I really didn’t automatically know where this story was going. Of course after a while with her visits to the doctor and him threatening her to absolutely stay away from the Kingdom while Queen Levana is there because you’re a lunar “shell” oh wait nevermind you aren’t a shell but I won’t tell you what you are. Yeah, after that I kinda understood who she was, but still it’s not like you knew how it was going to end. Maybe Marissa Meyer wasn’t trying to be sneaky and hide it, because whether or not you suspect Cinder’s true identity, it doesn’t change the crazy, action-packed ending. Also, I do like a little bit of predictability, because it kind of makes you feel like you’re in on a secret, like you know but the other characters (sometimes even the main one) don’t, so you get to be excited in the background like “COME ON DOCTOR JUST TELL HER” or “COME ON KAI, SHE REALLY DIDN’T KNOW”. It’s just fun.
Clearly, if you haven’t noticed this book gave me a lot of feels. So if you haven’t yet read it, or you weren’t too sure about it, I suggest you pick it up and give it a go. Even if you don’t LOVE it, it’s a really entertaining read and you definitely won’t be disappointed. Also, since I’m on such a fairy-tale kick, if anyone can recommend any other good retellings I would appreciated it!