Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer
Published Year: 2012
Genre: YA Fantasy/Fairy Tale Retelling
"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 andbetrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future."
Let me just start with thank goodness for the Lunar Chronicles (Re)read Along, because I forgot how much I freaking love these books. If you don't know, for the Reread Along, anyone who wants is reading Cinder in August (down to the wire!), Scarlet in September, Cress in October, squeeze Fairest in there, and then Winter in November since it's released on the 10th (edit: thanks, wordsweheart)! I was already excited about Winter, but now that I'm back into this world and these characters, my already thin patience is completely shredded. November 10th is a lifetime away!
Now, back to the book I'm actually reviewing today...Cinder! This book is loosely based on the Cinderella fairy tale and has most of the obvious parallels with that story. However, it's where this book differs from the original that really wins it for me. Cinder has the evil stepmother and two stepsisters. But one of the stepsisters isn't horrible and makes life tolerable for Cinder! Instead of having mice and birds for friends, Cinder's BFF is an android with more personality than usual (and if you don't love Iko as much as I do, I don't know that we can be friends). There's a ball and some slipper drama of course, and I can't explain the differences here, but just know that it's better!
In the traditional Cinderella tale, we get zero context of the country or life outside of Cinderella's immediate circumstances. Not so with Cinder, MM weaves a very complex and tumultuous political context for the main events in Cinder. My heart was with Cinder and her problems, but my mind wants to know how the bigger picture problems are going to be resolved. (Surprise! It's a series, so no conclusion on the big stuff!).
Cinder, as a character, is fascinating. She's a cyborg and she simultaneously hates her cyborg parts and uses them to the best of her ability. She's not the best mechanic in New Beijing for nothing! There is a pretty obvious twist about her background that was a little too obvious for my tastes, but I'm too excited about the rest of the story to care too much! Cinder really grows throughout this book. She's very downtrodden and taking things as her cyborg dues at the start, but she really comes into herself and her value as we move through the story.
I don't want to spoil anyone who hasn't read it yet, or who hasn't read it in awhile, so I'm going to stop here!
Love, love, love this book.
5 out of 5 stars.
Scarlet (the Lunar Chronicles #2)
Cress (the Lunar Chronicles #3)