Review: Cinder

Title: Cinder [The Lunar Chronicles #1]
Author: Marissa Meyer


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.

My first reaction, honestly, was:

CYBORGS! /PicturesThis.
“When there’s trouble you know what to do, CALL CYBORG!
He can shoot a rocket from his shoe, ‘CAUSE HE’S CYBORG!
Do, do, do, do, something like that, OH YEAH!
Na, na, na, na, big fluffy cat, THAT’S RIGHT!”

Yes, yes, call me a loser but this was seriously my first thought when I saw this book and its description. My second thought was Cinderella. Unfortunately, I got more princess than shoe rockets.

Cinder is a cyborg within a world of humans and androids. In this society, being a cyborg was like having the plague (something that was a growing concern throughout the novel). However, because she was a cyborg, it gave her the ability and the knowledge to  become the best mechanic in New Beijing. Working the market one day, Prince Kai, dressed like a normal citizen (very, Princess Jasmine -like, male version), goes to her in need of reparations of an old android, claiming it was “a matter of national security”, but Cinder, equipped with a lie detector in her retinal interface, knows there something more to it. However, her work is hindered (basically put to a halt) when her ‘adoptive’ mother (even though it was said mother’s husband who had adopted her) volunteers her as a Plague research subject, basically shoving her into death’s hands. When the tests were run, though, Dr. Erland discovers something, well someone, he’d been waiting for, for a very long time.

This concept is quite imaginative, and the world Meyer created is interesting at most. As much as I loved this story, because it really was well done, I wish Meyer would have added more of the new world into the novel. This is year 126 T.E.. For one, I don’t really know what T.E. stands for… I may have missed it, or it could’ve been left out, I don’t know, but in this time, unknown to any of us, I’d have liked to see more of the world, more of the newfangled gadgets in that time, more of the altered food, the machinery, the people, the fashions, if anything the changed Chinese culture (I mean it’s in China…). When you think of The Hunger Games, you get a vivid picture in your head of Panem, even before the movie. Cinder’s world lacked this realistic feeling.

However, setting aside, you still got a basic idea of the new world, the trouble its under. The thing I loved most about this concept of Meyer’s was the Lunar people. Yup, people living on the moon. That was definitely something different, and unexpected in this warped retelling of the classic Cinderella. Cinder is the heroine of the story: confident, defiant at all twists and turns, spunky, and every now and then spouts witty remarks and offhand comments that really add to her character. The evil stepsisters ended up being the evil stepsister for more reasons than one. Adri, the horrid mother, was definitely horrid, and a well done character. Nothing says witchy more than sending off your adoptive daughter, the one your husband work so hard to bring home, to die. Prince Kai was a cute character. Inexperienced in governmental issues, and conflicted on a thousand levels, Kai has a lot to deal with, but he still got a few humorous lines that made me grin like an idiot for a moment.

So although the world hadn’t been fully created in my opinion, the characters were strong and definitely something to remember. Although there weren’t any cyborg weapon fits, or rockets shooting out from Cinders shoots, or detaching from her fingers, it was definitely a great, totally engrossing read that kept me captivated from beginning to end.

I also think that there definitely will be a cyborg fight eventually, I’m just saying.

In Scarlet, the second novel of the Lunar Chronicles, Meyer will be creating Red Riding Hood’s world, but don’t worry, Cinder and Kai are in there too! As per usual, I am totally excited for the next book~! (Though it won’t be out until February 2013..)

Plot: 5/5
Characters: 5/5
World Building: 3.5/5
Cover: 5/5
Overall: 5/5
GoodReads Rating: 4.06/5

Kai tucked his hands into his pockets, seemingly satisfied. “Right. In that case, I’ll leave you be and hope to see a report cross my desk any day now.”
“That could be difficult, Your Highness, considering you do not have a desk.”
-Kai and Dr. Erland

“She wants to come here? Now? It hasn’t even been fifteen minutes!”

“I-I don’t know. I mean, no. No, I’m sorry, I’m not going to the ball.”
Kai drew back, confused. “Oh. Well… but… maybe you would change your mind? Because I am, you know.”
“The prince.”
“Not bragging,” he said quickly. “Just a fact.”
-Cinder and Kai

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