Cinder (Lunar Chronicles, # 1)
By: Marissa Meyer
Published: January 3rd 2012 by Feiwel & Friends
Source: Personal Library
Goodreads description--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.
I'm not accustom to reading too many fairy tale re-tellings, but after reading, Cinder I might have to make that more a part of my norm. Even knowing how the fairy tale goes and how it ends, I still found myself wondering with intense curiosity how Marissa Meyer was going to pull all of the fair tale aspects that can't be overlooked into this modern re-telling. Specifically for Cinderella: the carriage, the crystal/glass slipper, the fairy-godmother, crazy stepmother and stepsisters. And I was impressed with it all.
Cinder did have a smidgen of a slow start for me. I'm not sure if I'm burning out from this stretch of books I've blown through recently, or if it was just a slow starting book. But the pacing was steadily increasing throughout the novel and culminated in an ending that I wanted to skim through any sort of description whatsoever just to see what happens. That's a good thing.
Marissa Meyer did a wonderful job of making the world of the Commonwealth simultaneously historical and futuristic. And this fabulous world building has started my 2013 year off with high expectations for any other book worlds to come. I wasn't sure about the concept of Cinderella being a cyborg and all, but it works wonderfully with the world created by Marissa Meyer and would have fallen completely flat without the setting to back it.
Cinder herself was an extremely likable character. The fact that she's honed a skill of which she can be proud of even when she's not proud of herself for being what she is--cyborg. It allows her moments of self-deprecation not to take over completely and takes a unique spin off Cinderella being basically a servant of the evil stepmother.
Prince Kai was equally likable--though I keep running the phrase Charlotte Lucas makes in Pride and Prejudice over and over in my head. "There are very few of us who have heart enough to be really in love without encouragement." And Cinder truly gave zero encouragement. I mean I understand why, but it makes it hard to believe that Kai was able to develop too strong of an attachment to her himself.
The ending was left wide open for the continuation of the story. Though I am somewhat disappoint to hear that the main story of book 2, Scarlet, deviates somewhat from Cinder and Prince Kai, it sounds like they will have active roles in book 2.
Cinder gets 4 stars from me. Have you read Cinder? What did you think? Let me know!