Monday, June 2, 2014

Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer

Release Date: January 3, 2012
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Publisher: Square Fish Books (Macmillan)
Pages: 448
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased by Reviewer
Goodreads • Amazon 

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.

Okay, there are a lot of things I like: dystopians, scifi, angelology, paranormal, etc., etc. And I assume you guys know this by now. I realize I tend to start out reviews with "I LOVE [insert genre here] books." So let's start this out properly:

I LOVE modern adaptations to fairytales. Especially Grimm's Fairytales--they are near and dear to my heart for obvious reasons. (I assume you guys have figured out my last name by now).

But a lot of times I feel like Cinderella has been over done. The adaptations have become trite, but, true to any five-star review, Cinder offers a fresh twist on this classic tale.

Meyer's  Linh Cinder is a mechanic in New Beijing. Adopted as a child after a terrible accident, Cinder becomes a serf to her step-mother after her adoptive father passes away from letumosis. She spends her days in her shop, repairing droids and port screens and earning her step-family a living. But despite her labors and hard-working attitude, she is loathed by almost everyone she comes in regular contact with. The reason: she is a cyborg, outfitted with mechanical limbs and synthetic optic nerves that allow her to tell when someone is lying.

So naturally, she is mortified when a dashing young man strides up to her shop as she is attempting to surreptitiously replace her mechanical foot with a better-fitting one... And that dashing young man just happens to be the charming Prince Kai, disguised in a ratty sweatshirt in the middle of summer. How embarrassing.

Thankfully, he doesn't seem to notice that she's missing a foot when he sets a broken android on her worktable. In fact, he seems to actually enjoy talking to her...even up until the point he accidentally let's slip that the android may have confidential information stored in it.

But then the marketplace she works in becomes ground zero for a letumosis break out. And that's when Cinder's mundane world lifestyle as a mechanic gets turned upside-down.

And I guess I should mention that Earth is in contention with Luna. Yes, the moon. The moon is now home to an alien race, the Lunars (name-drop!), who are evolved from the original colonizers of Earth. So I guess they're technically a subspecies and not aliens...but we're going to stick with aliens. Aliens who can control bioelectricity, which apparently means they can control people's thoughts and perceptions of themselves.

So magic. Magic in space.

Yes, please and thank you.

But anyway, Luna is ruled by an evil queen (because there has to be an evil queen), who uses her space-magic to make people her thralls. It's awesome. Well, unless you're one of her thralls. That sucks.

In short, I am completely smitten with this adaptation. I love Cinder, because she completes my childhood fascination of being a mechanic and she has just the right amount of snark.

Aaaand if I go on any longer,  I'll start to gush about the entire plot and you all will be mad at me for spoilers.

If you guys trust my opinion, then you'll read this series. It contains the perfect combination of the classic Cinderella tropes and futuristic awesomeness. It had me turning pages faster than I could read (which was really counterproductive, but you get my drift).


About the Author

Marissa Meyer is the New York Times bestselling author of The Lunar Chronicles. She lives in Tacoma, Washington, with her husband and three demanding cats. She’s a fan of most things geeky (Sailor Moon, Firefly, any occasion that requires a costume), and has been in love with fairy tales since she was a child. She may or may not be a cyborg.

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