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Cinder

Lunar Chronicles #1

by Marissa Meyer

genre: YA, science fiction

Synopsis from Goodreads

Cinder by Marissa MeyerHumans 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.

Initial Thoughts

Ever After is currently my favorite twist on the Cinderella story, but I have a feeling Cinder will come out on top by the end. The narration is excellent and the characters loveable (the ones you’re supposed to like anyway). One of the first things I picked up on is the different classes of people, i.e. human, cyborg, android. While I was expecting androids to be the lowest class, I wasn’t expecting quite the gap between the humans and cyborgs. The way Cinder hides her robotic foot sparked a correlation to how we sometimes treat the disabled as second class citizens. I can’t tell if cyborgs are considered property or if minors are, but I think it’s the former.

Final Moments

It can’t end there! Unacceptable.

I realize it’s the first in a series, but from the titles and covers, I thought it would be one fairy tale per book–separate stories intertwined a little if at all. This is seriously going to mess with my A-Z author challenge since Marissa Meyer can only count for M.

Review

I bounced back and forth between 4 and 5 stars. Because I like to round up, I went ahead and gave it 5 stars.

Ever After is still my favorite Cinderella story, but only because Cinder didn’t turn out to be a standalone novel. I loved it, don’t get me wrong, but… it’s a bit more like watching Once Upon a Time. There’s more going on and it’s a bigger story than just the Cinderella story.

Cinder had a bit of everything, almost to the point of having too much. A Cinderella adaptation, cyborgs, dystopian setting, aliens, a plague, and at one point I thought there was magic. It was later determined that the so-called magic was really a biology feat. The middle was a little garbled as though Meyer was throwing too much into the story trying to force it to work together.

The characters are endearing though I didn’t like how Prince Kai nearly stalked Cinder and didn’t want to take no for an answer. I absolutely loved Cinder! Pretty sure I figured out Snow White’s mother and Rapunzel but we’ll see.

Interesting Themes

One of the themes I picked up on from the beginning is the correlation between cyborgs and the disabled. Though we don’t treat disabled people like property, it’s sad how often they are seen as second class citizens. I’ve never understood why some people act like a limp or crooked spine is contagious.

Another interesting theme was that aliens essentially turned humans into Native Americans and gave us small pox infested blankets, killing us with something they are immune to.

I’m very interested in seeing where it goes, but have quite a few things to read first. Have you read further? Are the next books as good?

5 out of 5 stars

Eliabeth Hawthorne

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