Series: Lunar Chronicles #1
Published by: Feiwel & Friends on January 3, 2012
Genre: Dystopian, Science Fiction
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Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, the 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.
Oh my god, this book is amazing! This is the kind of book you never want to end because it’s just so… amazing! It’s fresh, original, and totally unique. It meshes two completely different worlds — fairy tales and machinery/science — and it does so miraculously.
Before I go further, I have a confession to make. When I first heard about this book I was like, “Uhh it sounds kind of weird,” so I didn’t buy it. It was several weeks later that I finally got a copy… and only because I had the opportunity to get a signed copy from my local book store. That’s what prompted me. Ladies and gentlemen, doubting this book and waiting so long to buy it was the worst mistake of my literary life!
Cinder is Cinderella meets cyborg meets plague meets other worlds meets politics. Talk about an incredible combination. The different elements of this book are what it make it so incredibly fascinating. First, this story is set in a futuristic Beijing. That immediately drew me in because it’s such an original setting. I have literally never read a YA book that takes place in Beijing! Moving on.. Cinder is a cyborg who lives with her evil stepmother and her two stepsisters. Her stepmother only keeps her around for the extra income — Cinder is an amazing mechanic! But naturally, all of her income goes straight into the greedy stepmother’s pocket.
In this futuristic world, a terrible plague is taking lives. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to where the plague starts or how it chooses its victims, and therefore there is no cure. When Cinder’s stepsister becomes infected, her stepmother offers up Cinder to become a lab experiment. Cyborgs are taken in and experimented on in hopes of finding a cure for the plague.. but so far, no luck.
And amidst all of this, there is a super delicious spark brewing between Cinder and the prince of New Beijing: Kai. YUM! These two are seriously the cutest couple ever! There’s no annoying drama, no “I’m going to tell you what to do” attitude, no “guy is a jerk/bad boy” nonsense.. it’s just beautiful! I was constantly rooting for them and hoping things would work out.
There are so many incredible themes and emotions riddled throughout Cinder that I barely even know where to begin. It’s really about a girl who is treated like an outcast. Since she’s a cyborg, she’s viewed as a freak, and she has to try to find a way to live with that. Part of how she copes is actually by trying to hide her true identity. With enough clothing to cover up her parts, she can actually pass as human. Cinder is also about friendship, family, independence, and loyalty, and sticking with someone through all the difficulties — no matter what. Then there’s everything with Kai. He’s the prince of an entire nation and has a huge weight on his shoulders. He has to make difficult decisions and incredible sacrifices, and he’s still only a teenager.
Cinder is super fast paced and there is never a dull moment. I was glued to my book all day until I finally got to the last page. Marissa Meyer, you are now one of my favourite authors and the Cinder is right up there with my favourite books of all time!