Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles #1)


Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Publication Date: January 3, 2012
Publisher: MacMillan
Page count: 387 pages
Summary: 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.

In the novel Cinder, Meyer gives us the story of Cinderella but with lots of twists. First, the novel is set in a dystopian type world where the countries are split between commonwealths. Cinder is set in the commonwealth of New Beijing. Cinder is cyborg (strange I know but it's amazing!), and because of this she has to face discrimination and class difference because of how others perceive those who are part machine. Cinder's identity is a mystery from the beginning, with her original guardian (her stepmothers husband) gone, she has no idea why she was turned cyborg or where she came from and the origin of her parent's. I liked this part of the story the most, with her discovery of her past and just how important she is with the help of Dr. Erland.

Some of the common attributes of the fairytale kept in the book were the stepmother and stepsister from hell. However, her other stepsister Peony was kind and Cinder considered her a friend. Cinder works as a mechanic for the people of Beijing to make money for her family. She's loyal to a fault even with such a bitter guardian. And the prince. Of course, we've got the prince, but one much more swoon worthy and amazing than any before. Prince Kai is charming from the start, and I love that while Cinder had a hard time not falling for him, she didn't simply fall at his feet. She keeps her wits about her, and she's good at surviving. It kept to the original fairytale with Cinder being below Kai in class but this wasn't a book focused just on the struggling romance; the problems that Kai has to deal with to help the people of the commonwealth and to try to successfully build an alliance with the Lunar Queen.

The Lunar Queen...what a doozy. It's not often Young Adult authors create a foe so deadly and capably of destruction with such ease as this one. Kai and Cinder have to walk a fine line to keep New Beijing safe but it's difficult when the Queen wants the impossible from the Prince and who knows If it's all a ploy to further advanced her true intentions. She drove me insane with just how cunnin and evil she was, but it made for a much more interesting story.

Then, there's the ball. Yes, there's still a ball! But lets just say this was a ball much more eventful than you'd expect it to be. The equivalent of the glass slipper scene in the end of the book was much more heartbreaking to read than anything Disney could create. I just wanted to hug Kai and take away his sadness. Meyer really gets you wishing that things could work between Cinder and Kai, but there's much to do to save the world and Cinder becomes as much a part of that fight as Kai does, and I can't wait to see how that will go!

I fell for the world Meyer created from the beginning, and I love the imagination behind the first installment of the Lunar Chronicles. There's so much going on in the background of Cinder's story but it's not distracting, it works with the scene of Beijing and the troubles that she has to face.

1 comment :

  1. Isn't this book just the best? Cinderella as a cyborg just seems like such an alien idea, but it works so well in Marissa Meyer's hands. You're so right that the background distracts from the plot. :) Oooh, you're gonna love where the series goes from here! Great review!

    Rachel @ Paper Cuts