by Marissa Meyer
The Lunar Chronicles #1
Category: Young Adult
Genre: Sci-Fi (Dystopian), Fantasy
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: Jan 3, 2012
Page Count: 387
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.
Review: I had been hearing about this book and series for quite some time now, but I had not actually picked it up until quite recently. I was sure that it had to be good since so many people spoke about it, but I had so many other books already that it got put on the back burner. However, then a friend at work finished Cress and told me I really needed to start the series. That following weekend I picked up Cinder at the library and started reading. I have to be honest, I really was not sure about it at first. A couple chapters in and I felt a little bored, unsure if I would be able to finish. Luckily, it quickly picked up and then I had trouble putting the book down at all.
I was not sure what I would think about Cinder's character. A cyborg version of Cinderella? It would certainly be a big change! I think that Meyer did a wonderful job setting up Cinder's character, though, and how different her life is just because she is part cyborg. I love how her body is described; how she has metal body parts that she is constantly trying to hide under her gloves and boots. How she has a chip that seems to control different things about her. I like that her retina displays information for her so that she knows when to take deep breaths and calm down, that a yellow light pops up when someone tells a lie. Now THAT would be a nice thing to have. Ultimately, it seems Cinder is pretty great, so it is disappointing that she is treated so horribly by some just because she is cyborg.
Prince Kai is a character that I feel most people would sympathize with. He is going through a lot, with his father being ill from the disease killing many people in their Commonwealth, and has the pressure of possibly becoming Emperor on his shoulders. That is a lot for a young man to take in! Despite that, Kai is charming and has a sense of humor that I could not help but love. It is great when he takes interest in Cinder, too, even if he occasionally puts his foot in his mouth and makes her feel a little less special about his attention. Through the majority of the book, Kai is dealing with one issue after another, and it makes you feel for him.
As for the romance, it was nice, but not nearly as much as I had hoped for. I know it is just the first book in the series, and it had to be realistic (as realistic as it can be in the story, at least), but I had still hoped for more. I think that Cinder and Kai had great chemistry, and I loved the conversations that they did have throughout the book. I do hope to see more of the two of them in the future, but I suppose that I will have to wait and see what happens in the rest of the series.
Meyer did a great job of a creating a world who is obviously going through a lot. You have humans, cyborgs, and Lunars, Oh my! I enjoyed reading about the Lunars (no matter how horrible they may be) and the special powers that Meyer gave them. I am sure that things are just going to continue to get better with this throughout the series as well. While there is not a lot of description about New Beijing, I feel like there is still a pretty good feel about how the world is at the point of the story. It is a dystopia to begin with, so that usually tells quite a bit on its own, and then Meyer gives some details about the Common wealth as well.
Overall, I am pleased with the first book in this series. I was a little worried that it would not live up to the talk that I had heard about it, but I was pleasantly surprised. I look forward to continuing the story and seeing what happens with Cinder. The "twist" in the story may not have been a shock for me by the time I read it at the end, but I am looking forward to seeing how the whole thing plays out in the other books.