Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer (2012)
YA Fiction | Sci-Fi | Fairytale
“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.” -Goodreads
pooled ink Review:
Meyer’s futuristic retelling of Cinderella was a truly fun and unique story to read. Cinderella as a Cyborg mechanic? People living on the moon? 126 years of peace since WWIV? This story takes the beloved tale of Cinderella, infuses it with Asian culture, and shoots it into a future filled with androids, killer queens, and space travel.
This four-book series recently concluded and yet I have only just read the first book, Cinder. The idea had always intrigued me but I was more into The Hunger Games, Divergent, and other dystopian books at the time. But over the years I’d see it on the shelf in a bookstore and wonder. Finally at the last book launch event I attended a group of people there were avidly discussing the Lunar Chronicles and their excitement and love for the series was the final push. I bought a copy at a sleepy beach new & used bookstore and plunged into reading.
Fairytale retellings often get some of the most mixed reviews. I mean, there are those who live by the most ancient original tellings, and those who have eyes for only the Disney versions. Regardless as to the author’s choice of inspiration or source material, retelling an extremely well-known story can be a daunting and challenging task. Cinder, however, did a splendid job in my opinion.
This book had many well-written characters including infuriating villains and swoon-worthy heroes. I found Cinder incredibly likable as well as the perfect balance between girly and tomboy. I also enjoyed her humor, which tended to lean towards the sarcastic side. Kai is written as an ideal character and prince but weighed down with the realities and Catch-22 decisions that come with ruling a nation. Having one of the stepsisters be Cinder’s friend was a refreshing choice. Most people think of the Disney movie where both stepsisters are hateful but I loved Meyer’s decision to make Peony a giggly comrade. Overall I definitely enjoyed the character work in this book.
The plot kept up a good tempo and the world building was exquisite enough to keep me engaged but loose enough to allow my own imagination to fill in any gaps or add my own personal touch on this futuristic world. The ties to the Cinderella fairytale were prominent enough to have no question about this book’s inspiration but the notes were subtle enough not to overwhelm the uniqueness of Cinder’s story. Rather than being a blunt retelling this book uses Cinderella as a springboard to launch its own fantastic tale.
Cinder is a thrilling, whimsical, and startling tale of Cinderella if she had been born in the future, turned into a Cyborg, and worked as a mechanic. Fun, biting, mechanical, and unique, this book goes beyond a simple retelling of an old tale and drafts its own spectacular take wiring together a saga in the stars. Meyer has written what is sure to be the beginning to an excellent adventure.
Purchase here: Cinder, The Lunar Chronicles #1
Meet Marissa Meyer!
I live in Tacoma, Washington, with my fiancé and our two cats. In addition to my slight obsession with books and writing, I’m big on road-tripping, wine-tasting, and hunting for antiques. I’m represented by Jill Grinberg.
CINDER, my debut novel, is a futuristic re-envisioning of Cinderella in which Cinder is a cyborg mechanic. Release date: 3 Jan 2012.