Monday, January 23, 2012

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles No.1) by Marissa Meyer

Title: Cinder (Lunar Chronicles No.1)
Author: Marissa Meyer
Pages: 390
Published: January 3rd, 2012
Summary: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 Thoughts:

A futuristic tale of cyborgs and Cinderella, Cinder is more than just a retelling, it's a layered and fantastical story of pain, loss, love, racism and creativity in a world where everyone is holding on to survival by a fingertip.

In futuristic Beijing, Cinder works in the marketplace, fixing and caring for the mechanical items people bring her way, all in support of the horridly unappreciative step mother and step sister she is supporting. The bright side is her other step sister is wildly loving of her and while her step mother can't stand the sight of her, the youngest step sister cares for her deeply.

Cinder is used to the mean looks thrown her way from most people. She is after all a cyborg. Part human and part machine, Cinder struggles to live a life in a place where cyborgs are not only looked down upon, but it seems they are also on the cusp of following involuntarily into medical testing for the sake of humans. There is a plague raging around the world and the king and queen will do anything to find a cure, especially when the king succumbs to the disease himself.

Cinder is shoved into the harshness of this reality suddenly and painfully on a road she never expected. Because, no matter how bad life seems, there are just some things we think will never happen to us, never cross our paths, we are immune. Through a surprising turn of events Cinder's life takes her in a completely different direction than she ever thought possible. Along the way she meets a series of sub-characters who charm their way through the story and into our hearts making us giggle and question all the little details, lifting secrets and laying lies, all in attempt to flip our minds around a different world and different time.

A story that is more than a beauty who falls in love with a beast, Cinder is the story of loneliness and loss in a world that doesn't give one wit for her feelings because of her high percentage of metal parts. She is human, but she is also machine. Does that make her less important, less human? Strong and witty, Cinder scavenges her way through a a dirty world, polluted, dying from plague, hungry, poor and still she fights for life. The bright spots like Prince Kai and the good Doctor make for small bits of kindness and joy in her life, but she always doubts herself because of her cyborg side. Painfully aware of the metal running through her body and the marring imperfection of it causes her grief in an entirely different way. It's a daily reminder that she doesn't know really who she is and where she came as those memories have been lost.

I must say that the interactions between Cinder and Prince Kai were enjoyable and fun. Prince Kai isn't used to a girl who doesn't fall all over him and Cinder isn't used to anyone showing her the lease bit of attention. It's quite a fun exchange because their reasoning behind the actions aren't quite what we expect. Cinder doesn't fall all over Kai because she is too insecure in herself and her cyborg parts to show them to him. Instead she hides what she is. Prince Kai is young and naive and I enjoyed watching him learn that sometimes you aren't lucky enough to get what you want.

My only real complaint with the book is the ending. It wasn't really a cliffhanger, but it was like the story just ends. Yes, there is going to be more books in the series, but it was a really weird feel to have no sort of falling action to the climax and have the story just end. For that I'm marking it down, but otherwise, I loved the story and the writing and the characters. I give Cinder a 4 out of 5 and recommend it to fans of Young Adult, Dystopian, Fairytale Retellings, Sci/Fi Fantasy fiction.

17 comments:

  1. I loved this book! I think it hit the Steampunkery & science notes for me. Plus I had the added bonus of reading this one shortly after coming back from Beijing.

    Thanks;) Love the review my dear!

    MS

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    1. I knew you would! It really was like the perfect book for you! I'm so glad you were able to read it! *hugs*

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  2. Great review, Jen! Looking forward to reading this one as soon as I can grab a copy of the book. I've heard such great things about it!

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    1. I really hope you like it, it was very different. At first I wasn't sure how to feel about the whole story and some of the subplots, but then, by the end, I had really enjoyed it.

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  3. YAY! Really wonderful review Jen, you hit on so many of the points that I thought made this book so interesting, and highlighted beautifully why it's more than worth a read! I agree with you on the ending, it's definitely kind of abrupt (reminded me of the ending of Enclave) and leaves you just sort of shaking your head and mumbling "noooooo". Can't wait for book 2!

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    1. Right?!?! It was such a surprise when the book ended. I just kept going back and double checking that I didn't miss anything. It just seemed a weird way to end the book.

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  4. Okay, I have to admit, the story of a Cyborg doesn't exactly sound appealing to me, but who could resist a classic tale like Cinderella? Also, the way you described Cinder and her struggles and what is happening in her world reminds me of that movie Ai. Robots have feelings, too, damnit! LOL

    I'd definitely be willing to give this one a try, though I might wait until the next book is out because I'm not liking the sound of that abrupt ending.

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    1. Let's be honest, when I think Cyborg, I think Star Trek and it was actually really hard to reconcile the 2 images in my head. I just kept imagining a robot turned human or something. But, after a while they give a better description of how she became a cyborg and it was a bit easier.

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  5. Dude... I just don't think I can get past her being a cyborg. I see cyborg and I'm immediately looking at the next book... No matter how gorgeous the cover is. Or how amazing you make the book sound! I fail.

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    1. Yah, it took me until a scene where she ends up in the hospital and they do a full scan of her genetic makeup and then talk about what about her isn't human for me to actually think of her AS HUMAN. I just kept thinking Star Trek and it was messing with my image of her, LOL!

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  6. Oooh, I want to read this. I felt somewhat blah about it, just because I got tired of seeing it on SO MANY blogs, but then I got to read a prequel chapter online and got completely hooked. Can't wait for Cinder to come in at the library!!

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    1. No, I totally get what you mean. I tend to not want to read books that I've seen every where, too. It just so happens I read this last year, October so that was before it was huge. I enjoyed it. It was a fun retelling and I'm looking forward to the next in the series.

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  7. I hated the ending too. I also didn't like the way the Prince fell for her too easily. True, she was different, but still was a bit too fast. I think I just needed more interaction between the two. I do agree with you that he was sweet, I just needed more! LOL

    ...oh and and ending that didn't stop suddenly! ;)

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  8. I just found your blog via your review of Demons at Deadnight on Goodreads.

    Great review and I agree with many of your points. It took me a little bit to get into the book, the whole cyborg thing was a little creepy in the beginning, but after she ends up a "science project" it got real interesting for me. I also didn't care for the ending but now I'm even more excited for the next book in the series.

    New follower

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  9. Hi Jen! I agree I loved this book up until the end. I also was a bit disappoimted in the way Cinder kind of backed down to her stepmother at the end. It was contrary to her previous behavior. I also wish the book had been a bit more descriptive. I did really enjoy it though!

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  10. Great review, I can't wait to read this too. I hope I'll like it as well :)

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  11. Nicely reviewed. The way you describe this book makes it sound so deep and nuanced :) I'm afraid my thoughts have been a much shallower jumble! I'm all ew cyborg parts! yay romance! *sob* sad parts! :P

    But, more seriously, I really like how you described the emotional parts and how Cinder related to Kai and the world because of her insecurities. I felt bad for her.

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XOXO Jen the Bibliophile

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