Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Series or Stand Alone: Book One in the Lunar Chronicles
Summary: Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, the 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.
Cinder was getting a whole lot of buzz before it came out, which makes total sense considering it’s a fairy tale retelling in which Cinderella is a cyborg. Straight up curiosity provided the push for me to read this one. It had the potential to be entirely fantastic or the strangest thing ever.
Linh Cinder is a cyborg, a second-class mechanic stuck living with the stepmonster (for the record, not an actual monster) that never wanted her and treats her like a slave. When Cinder’s beloved little stepsister Peony falls ill, Cinder ends up donated to the imperial research facilities working towards a cure. Her time at the Imperial Palace brings her closer to the handsome Prince Kai, a dangerous enemy from the skies, and secrets about her past that she must uncover before time runs out for everyone.
I really enjoyed Meyer’s first installment of the Lunar Chronicles. Cinder herself was an awesome character. In my memory, Cinderella isn’t exactly the strongest of characters. Cinder was snarky, resourceful, and strong. She stood up to both her stepmother and the leader of the Lunar Empire, even when threatened with arrest and death. How’s that for bravery?
The world that Meyer created was well constructed. The characters would refer to aspects of their world as if the reader already knew it, which I appreciate. It makes it seem more whole and real to me. From the marketplace to the Imperial Court, New Beijing felt like a real place with its deep history.
I would definitely recommend Cinder to fans of fairy tale retellings and sci-fi. Meyer created a strong female character, a broad spectrum of fully realized supporting characters (like the young, benevolent Prince Kai), and a world that felt real even though it was unlike our own. If you go into this one with an open mind, you won’t be disappointed!
Rating: 4 - good!
Macmillan Audio was awesome enough to give me a sneak peak of the Cinder audiobook! Check out the first chapter below!