Author: Marissa Meyer
Genre: YA Dystopian
Series: The Lunar Chronicles (Book 1)
Publication Date: January 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover, 390 Pages
ISBN-10: 0312641893 (Feiwel & Friends)
ISBN-13: 978-0312641894 (Feiwel & Friends)
Reviewed by: Kiwi
Even in the future, the story begins with once upon a time
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.
Quick & Dirty: Not your average fairytale. Quick and easy read. You’ll enjoy it, I promise.
Opening Sentence: The screw through Cinder’s ankle had rusted, the engraved cross marks worn to a mangled circle.
Audio Excerpt: Yes
Welcome to the world of the future, and things are a bit different. After two more world wars, the countries have been conglomerated into fewer but larger empires, and are again ruled by a monarchy. In this time frame, the world’s people are also again fighting against a viral pandemic. It seems that a new form of the plague is touring the globe, taking everyone it infects. Interesting twists are put on what the symptoms are and where the contagions originated.
We have also learned how to construct true to life cyborgs, and we didn’t even need the help of the Borg. Yes, I do know that statement dates me a bit, and pretty much makes me seem geekier. Live long and prosper.
Oh, and I forgot one more major thing. There is a whole separate race of people living on the moon. A people who come complete with “magical” powers and a ruler who puts Hitler to shame. And now she wants to rule the Earth.
In the city of New Beijing resides, Cinder, a some-teen-year-old female cyborg. I know it says her age in the book, but I can’t seem to find it again. Anyway, Cinder is the local fixit girl, so good even the Prince has heard of her. And the rest of this story gets really hard to tell without a ton of spoilers. So I will only say that Cinder meets the prince, and after a few minutes spent together, they fall madly in “like”. There is also another major story arc involving the plague and Cinder’s being forced to be a subject in cyborg testing of vaccines, in search of a cure. And finally, the Lunar Queen shows up and there are conflicts surrounding her presence and her terms regarding a peace agreement between the Earth and the Moon. For the rest of the gory details, read the book. It’ll do you good.
Following along with the traditional fairytale line, Cinder has the usual name(ish), the evil stepmother, two stepsisters (one not so evil) and similar duties, and let’s not forget Prince Kai. Not so traditionally are the plague, the deaths and the whole biological family storyline, which mixes in a bit of the tale of Anastasia.
It’s nice to take in the occasional YA novel. Keeps my speed-reading muscles limber. I literally went from beginning to end in one session of preschool…2.5 hours. That is also a testament to how good the storyline was and how well it was written.
By no means am I a YA connoisseur, but I did indeed enjoy this book. And I call dibs if we get the privilege to review the coming titles.
The guard pulled away, releasing Cinder’s wrists.
Planting her feet, Cinder barely caught herself from toppling forward—at the same time that her hand reached back as if with a mind of its own, and snatched the gun from the guard’s holster.
She stiffened, feeling the heavy gun so abruptly, unexpectedly in her steel hand.
Her finger slipped over the trigger as if it were an extension of her. The gun felt comfortable in her gloved hand. But it shouldn’t have. She’d never held one before.
Her heart thudded.
Cinder lifted the gun, pressing the barrel against her own temple. A shuddering cry escaped her. A strand of hair clung to her parched lips. Her eyes darted to the left, unable to see the gun or the traitorous hand holding it. She looked at the queen, the crowd, Kai.
Her whole body was shaking, but for the confident arm holding the gun poised to kill her.
“No! Leave her alone!” Kai rushed for her, grasping her elbow. He tried to yank it away, but she was immobilized, solid as a statue. “Let her go!”
“K-Kai,” she stammered, terror seizing her. She urged her hand to drop the gun, urged her finger to pull away from the trigger, but it was useless.
The Lunar Chronicles Series:
FTC Advisory: Macmillan provided me with a copy of Cinder. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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