Series: Lunar Chronicles #1
Genre: YA Sci-Fi
Publication Date: January 3, 2012
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Source: Won from publisher
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 this thrilling debut young adult novel, the first of a quartet, Marissa Meyer introduces readers to an unforgettable heroine and a masterfully crafted new world that’s enthralling. (goodreads.com)
I had no idea what to expect from Cinder. I am not too familiar with the original Cinderella tale, and I know pretty much nothing about cyborgs, but despite my extremely limited knowledge, Cinder has the most kickass premise I've read about in a long time. Add to that the wonderful things I've heard about it from my favorite bloggers and I was extremely siked to start reading it. I wasn't disappointed at all! This novel introduces a unique world, amazingly sassy characters, and an exciting, original plot. I can tell that this book is the beginning of a fabulous series.
Let me tell you about Cinder. Having only the Disney Cinderella movie to refer to, I expected the main character to be a lot different. I thought she would be weaker, whinier, more boring. Imagine my surprise when Cinder turns out to be this tough, sarcastic girl who doesn't let anything get her down for too long. Seeing as she was a cyborg, which are not looked upon kindly in her society, I didn't think I'd be able to really connect with her all that well. But guess what...I did! She's not an unfeeling hunk of metal and wires - she's only about 38% cyborg. She has real emotions and fears and desires like any other human being. She gets butterflies from the charming prince, she is desperate to save her sister from the plague that has begun to take over her unit, she fears that everyone will find out her true identity and completely shun her, she wants to escape from her step-mother's constant demands and wicked accusations. Cinder is determined and even though her family (besides Peony) is absolutely awful, she lets it all roll off her shoulders. It's helpful that she cannot cry and her face cannot flush when she gets angry. Seriously, I loved Cinder. She's a unique and marvelous addition to the YA heroine pool.
Then there's Kai. The prince. I wasn't particularly swooning over him, though I was rooting for a relationship between him and Cinder. He was sweet, very outspoken, pretty down to earth. He knows he has to do what is best for Commonwealth, even if what is best is not always obvious. He's young and has to make some really tough decisions. I really admired his character and sympathized. I hope to see a lot more of him in future installments. Cinder's step-mother, Adri, and sister, Pearl, are horrible. They are rude and just horrible. I hope for a gruesome death for both of them. Iko and Peony were both amazing characters and I adored them. I hope for good things for them, but the worst stuff always happens to the best characters.
The idea of the Lunars is really cool and provides a very unique twist, but I would have loved to learn more about them. Like when they came along, how were they discovered, etc. I have a feeling more of that will be revealed in the next books, considering some of the events that occurred in Cinder. The same thing goes for the society and the androids. We know that the present-day society crumbled due to the Fourth World War, but other than that we don't know much. Like when did androids and cyborgs become a common thing in the society? How were certain government leaders selected? If everyone hates cyborgs so much - why make them? While the world was super neat, I would like to see it develop a lot more. However, I did love how unconfusing the political aspects were presented. Nothing like confusing politics to hinder my enjoyment of a book.
The plot was amazing! It's not particularly action-packed or filled with romance, but every page is riddled with excitement and tension. There's a deadly plague, inevitable war, cyborgs, and creepy moon people. What isn't perfect about those things? The ending indicates there will many more tough and epic adventures for Cinder. She has more information about herself than she ever planned - or probably wanted - to have, and she's got a new "strength" that I'm certain will be used in interesting ways. I am practically peeing myself for the sequel already.
I know there is an awesome trailer for this book somewhere, but I can't seem to find it :'(