(Lunar Chronicles #1)
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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.
Cinder is a wonderfully fresh young adult, sci-fi, fairy tale retelling. Is that a sentence you ever thought you would read? New author Marissa Meyer retells the classic tale of Cinderella using cyborgs and androids - and I was captivated every moment.
Cinder is set far, far into the future in New Beijing, a part of the Eastern Commonwealth. The Commonwealth is one of the six countries on Earth now, after World War IV basically led to continents coming together as united countries. Somewhere along the line, people from Earth colonized the moon and have since evolved into more than regular Earthlings. The Lunar people, as they are called, are cruel and possess the power to bend other people's thoughts.
Cinder is a cyborg, someone who used to be a regular human but was in a near-death accident, after which she underwent a surgery that combined metal parts and computers with her human body. She lives with a horrible stepmother and one just as horrible stepsister. Her other stepsister, Peony, is sweet and kind to Cinder (I loved Peony). Cinder's only friend is her android, Iko, whose unusual personality made me smile. One day, while manning her mechanic booth in town, she meets the prince of the Commonwealth, Prince Kai, and agrees to fix his old android that stopped working recently. Prince Kai is dealing with his own issues. His father, the Emperor, has come down with the plague that has been attacking Earthlings. And the sinister Lunar Queen is making life even harder.
What really drew me into this story was Cinder herself. She is treated awfully, just as the original Cinderella. She's not annoying and she doesn't make stupid choices like some other young adult heroines. Cinder is smart, strong, caring, and sometimes funny. Her stepmother and stepsister treat her like a possession, not even allowing her to have the proper mechanical body parts. I felt so terrible for her and my heart strings were pulled many times throughout the story. I also really loved all of the interactions between Cinder and Prince Kai. There was no "I just met you but I love you". Cinder repeatedly refuses his attention since she doesn't think he will still be interested when he finds out she's a cyborg. I can tell that their budding romance is going to continue to build over the course of the four book series and that makes me very happy. I admit that I wasn't really shocked by any revelations during the story, but I found myself not really minding. I was enjoying the story so much that some of the predictable elements just made the story more fun! The way Meyer's story unfolds is surprising and exciting. During the last few chapters of the story I was practically holding my breath!
With believable characters, a plot that somehow feels refreshing despite the fact that it's a retelling, and an ending that makes me WISH the next book was coming out anytime soon, I highly recommend Cinder!
5 / 5 stars