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 centre 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 is the first book in the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer and I’ve only heard praises about the series. So, I thought, why not give the series a go? Since I am a huge fan of fairytale retellings and Marissa Meyer’s forte seems to be giving fairytales a breath of fresh air and setting her stories in the very futuristic setting.
Cinder, as the title suggests, follows the tale of Linh Cinder, a renowned mechanic in New Beijing, a city in the Eastern Commonwealth (Beijing after the Fourth World War). The thing is, Cinder is half-human, half-machine: a cyborg. When she agrees to help Prince Kai fix his android, Cinder gets sucked into the palace politics and into an intergalactic struggle for power between humans against the Lunar who are cold, gifted and terrifying in every way possible and whose responsible for the deadly plague that has threatened the existence of humans on earth.
I am rather ashamed to admit that I’ve never seen Cinderella, the original Disney film. However, I’ve seen a fair amount of films that were adapted or inspired by the original and it’s safe to say that I have quite an understanding of how Cinderella’s tale goes. And of course, Lily James did look really pretty in that flowing dress and she twirled and twirled, I wondered if she was actually dizzy afterwards. I digress. As I’ve mentioned, I am a sucker for fairytale retellings and Cinder gave me everything I wanted in one! I wasn’t completely sure that I’d enjoy the book, but I am glad that I gave it a chance.
Marissa Meyer’s incredibly crafted plot and her flawed but highly likeable characters made reading the book a total thrill. Her writing was totally on point and it blended so well with the setting of the book – all the futuristic, scientific jargon would have made my head roll 360° but somehow, it worked for me. Cinder is definitely a book that I’d recommend to fans of Star Wars and dystopian YA. I loved how Marissa Meyer chose to set the first book in China, where she beautifully describes the Chinese cultures as well as the traditions. It’s refreshing and different.
Since it’s a four-book series, I feel that Cinder has set up the platform for an amazing series that Marissa Meyer has in store for her readers. Well, I’m late to the party, sadly. The second, (Scarlet)and third (Cress) books are already out and the fourth and final book, Winter is out next month! I can’t wait to read the other books because after reading Cinder, it has whet my appetite for sci-fi/dystopian YA! And I need to know what happens to Cinder and Kai after Marissa Meyer dropped a huge revelation in the conclusion of Cinder. A truly magnificent Cinderella story with a heroine you’d root for and a forbidden romance that is equally enticing as it is spellbinding.