Book Review: Cinder

Title/Author:  Cinder by Marissa Meyer
(Lunar Chronicles #1)

Genre:  Young Adult, Science Fiction

Published:  January 1st, 2012 by Feiwel & Friends

Hardcover, 387 pages.

How I Got This Book:  Put it on pre-reserve at the library and anxiously waited for my hold notice.

Why I Picked It Up?:  I stumbled upon the giveaway of ARCs of this book a few months ago on Goodreads, LOVED the cover, read the synopsis, and QUICKLY added it to my TBR list and radar.  First, Fairy Tale retelling using futuristic cyborgs? YES PLEASE!  And Second, deadly viruses and cyborgs!???!  Yup, I’m down for that.
             Oh, and this is a debut novel.  DOUBLE GREAT!
Book Jacket Blurb:  “Sixteen-year-old Cinder is considered a technological mistake by most of society and a burden by her stepmother.  Being cyborg does have its benefits, though:  Cinder’s brain interface has given her an uncanny ability to fix things (robots, hovers, her own malfunctioning parts), making her the best mechanic in New Beijing.  This reputation brings Prince Kai himself to her weekly market booth, needing her to repair a broken android before the annual ball.  He jokingly calls it “a matter of national security,” but Cinder suspects it’s more serious than he’s letting on.
Although eager to impress the prince, Cinder’s intentions are derailed when her younger step-sister, and only human friend, is infected with the fatal plague that’s been devastating Earth for a decade.  Blaming Cinder for her daughter’s illness, Cinder’s stepmother volunteers her body for plague research, an “honor” that no one has survived.
But it doesn’t take long for the scientists to discover something unusual about their new guinea pig.  Something others would kill for.”
My Review of the Work:
With all of the ranting and raving about this book, I must say…I had high expectations, especially when you add in my own excitement after stumbling upon this book myself months ago.  The anxiety was KILLING me.  And then it was time for me to pick up the book and read it.I sit down and begin reading at 10:30 pm.  By 3:30 am, I am closing the book in completion.
This book is a cute, quirky read with elements of something much bigger than a simple Cinderella retelling )and by Cinderella retelling, think more of Ever After and less of Disney’s Cinderella).  Yes, you have the lowly girl (or in this case, Cyborg) who is at the will of her stepmother.  You have the Prince, who meets said girl and is drawn to her for reasons he doesn’t understand, and he knows nothing or her real position in society.  And then the truth comes out.  But that’s not all that this Cinderella story holds.  With the cutesy and whimsical also comes the dark and destructive forces:  1.  Rampant killing epidemic that has no known cure, and 2.  War-hungry Moon Queen.  These two elements add a very interesting flavor to this fairy-tale retelling, making Cinder its own unique story.An interesting world is being set up with the first book in the Lunar Chronicles series.  After a devastating World War IV, which destroyed much of the known world via Nuclear warfare, those left standing joined forces to rebuild the world, trying to live in harmony.  This novel takes place about 100 years or so after this world.  Cinder lives in New Beijing, which is the city built after Beijing was completely destroyed.  But the culture associated with Beijing and Eastern Asia that we know today seems to be non-existant in this futuristic city–either it is not important to the story line, or after WWIV continental and regional cultures ceased to matter and exist.  In this futuristic world, there is also a colony on the moon (refered to as the Lunars), though not much detail is given on them in this first book.  We don’t know where they came from or how they got there; all we know is that they are wanting to form a coillition with New Beijing so that they can make Earth their slaves.  I hope that the next 3 books really expound upon the Lunars, because they are an interesting facet that I would like to know more about.Cinder herself is an interesting character.  Because of her place in society, she does not think very highly of herself, yet from the beginning readers can tell she has a strong heart and is not afraid to stand up for what she thinks is right.  She is a character that compells the story forward in a way that both  makes you enjoy the story and leaves you wanting more.  Her relationship with Prince Kai is sweet and innocent; sometimes it makes you giggle, and sometimes it leaves you in frustration.  From the whole fairy-tale thing, you know what is supposed to happen with them and you know what will happen, but as the relationship unfolds you experience the ups and downs with both Cinder and Kai.

As a fairy-tale retelling, the plotline does become really predictable, and even the elements outside of the retelling become easy to guess.  But, in my opinion, that does not stop the reader from thoroughly enjoying this story.  You open this book knowing the story already, so the predictability should not hinder you from liking this novel.  And I think that the rest of the series will follow a different track, and I am really excited to see what is instore for the rest of the Lunar Chronicles.

My Bookshelf Rating:
A Fourth Shelf Book!
Okay, if I had half shelves, this book would definitely get a 4.5!  This fairy-tale retelling is done in a very unique and intriguing way.  Cyborgs, Lunars, deadly epidemic, a Prince…all of these things add to a familiar story and allow Cinder to be more than just a retelling.  Cinder is the beginning of the Lunar Chronicles, and I for one am excited for the rest of this series to be published.  Definitely a book I would implore you to add to your TBR list!
This book will definitely be a front-runner for my favorite reads of 2012!Love and Losing your Foot,

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