Monday, April 1, 2013

[Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer]

Author: Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #1
Pages: 387
Genre: YA, Fairytale Retelling, Sci Fi, Dystopian
Date Published: January 3rd, 2012
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Format Read: Large Print Addition from The Library


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:
I honestly can't tell you why it took me over a year to read this book.  Now that I've read it I have to admit that it's one of my new favorites.  A favorite that I didn't get my hands on until now.  Why?  I'm not sure, but I'm glad that I finally did.  I swear that I haven't been this excited about a book in a long time!

See Cinder is made up of all the things that I love!  It is what you would get if you put Cinderella, Firefly, Star Trek and Star Wars in a blender.  Instead of ending up with some odd tasting, metallic mess, you end up with this book!  It's a fairytale retelling that isn't afraid to veer from the original, while still staying true to the tale we all know.  You still have balls and orphans and evil stepmothers and even pumpkins.  But on top of all that goodness you also have political intrigue, a plague, cyborgs, androids and super creepy, alien like creatures from the Moon!

Meyer tampers with Cinderella by making her part machine and placing her in New Beijing.  The setting is brilliant and Meyer's writing brings the streets of this fictional version of Beijing to life in a way that makes you feel like you are walking the streets with Cinder and Iko (her android).  The streets and palace and quarantined sections of the city all have their own strong atmospheres.  And the details about the plague were grotesque and perfect! 

The intergalactic parts of the novel are well written.  Leaving a ton of mystery and loads of political intrigue to be discovered as the novel unravels.  Who is everyone and how will this book end, where things that I kept thinking to myself the entirety of the book.  Though I have to admit that I spotted the ending from a mile away.  I wasn't actually bugged by the fact this time around.  I think we were supposed to know, in the back of our minds at least.  It takes a gifted writer to pull that off in a way that doesn't bug me.  

But it was really Meyer's characters that took center stage for me.  She brought life to hunks of metal and gave her human and cyborg characters personalities that kept you wrapped around all of their fingers.  Even Iko the android had a personality that made you like her, if not love her.  I liked the use of a sympathetic stepsister in the form of Peony and how she contrasted with her older sister Pearl.  And that evil stepmother Adri was a wicked one.  And the DR. added a new twist on things as well as The Lunar Queen!

But I LOVED Cinder herself.  She was much more of a badass than any other Cinderella I have ever heard of.  A mechanic cyborg who unwittingly falls in love with a Prince.  Who wouldn't love that?  It was her strength mixed with her fear of the unknown being so well balanced that made me like her.  She was layered in a way that made you want to hug her and high five her at the same time.  The tough girl who literally could not cry and had no idea who she was.  I liked that she was dipped in mystery just like the rest of the book.

And Prince Kai was delightful.  Young and slightly clueless, which ended up working to his advantage on multiple occasions.  It was fun to watch him try to figure out Cinder and also run interference with a crazy ruler from the Moon.  I'm hoping that we get to see him in action more in the other books of the series.  I think I like him a lot, but he wasn't quite as fleshed out as I would have liked, but then again, it wasn't his story.

I was also delighted that Meyer pulled in other fairytale characters as the book went on.  You saw some other favorites recreated in ways that are going to blow your mind and make you smile.  It's really something to be read, or seen, or both!  

All in all I have to give Marissa Meyer mad props for writing one of my very favorite fairytale retellings that I've ever read.  That's saying something, as I read a lot of them.  I NEED to get my hands on "Scarlet" the second book in The Lunar Chronicles!

           5 Unicorns = Get your hands on this one now!    


Amy said...

I'm glad that you enjoyed this book!! I really loved it too. I listened to it on audio and it was amazing!! The reader was fabulous for it. I have Scarlet, but have yet to read it. I heard that it's just as awesome, if not better. Great review!

Tammy Sparks said...

I ADORED this book too! I have Scarlet sitting on my shelf waiting for me to get to it, and I hear it's even better.

Jenni @ Alluring Reads said...

I totally agree with everything you have said here. This was such a great story because it wasn't afraid to be different. I loved how you knew you were reading a retelling because all of the important elements were there but it was so out there. Just perfect. I can't wait until you read Scarlet, that book, man. I have to say that I loved Scarlet even MORE than I loved Cinder and that's saying a lot!

Audrey (Bibliosaurus Text) said...

I was kind of dumbfounded by how much I wound up liking this book. I went in with low expectations and was super pleased by how much fun it was to read! I need to read the sequel :-)

Erika said...

Yes! So glad you liked this. Get yourself a copy of Scarlet if you can. It's just as delightfully fun :)

Ashley said...

YAY!!!! I am so glad you liked it!! Now read Scarlet and see how awesome <3 Wolf is! I don't say it frequently, but the I enjoyed the second one even more :)


Ashley @ The Quiet Concert