Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Review: Cinder

Cinder (Lunar Chronicles, #1)Title: Cinder
Author: Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles
Volume: 1
Genre: Science Fiction, Cyberpunk, Fairy Tale Re-telling, Fantasy

Why I Read It: The premise is very interesting and the cover is wonderful. I tried reading it earlier, but somehow got distracted by something shiny and didn't finish before it was due back to the library.

A Quick Intro: Cinder is a cyborg mechanic. In a society where cyborgs are considered second class citizens, she lives with her "stepmother" who is actually the wife of the man who adopted her- she doesn't know where she came from, before he found her, her memory is basically blank. She is a gifted mechanic, and the sole breadwinner of the family, who, with exception to her stepsister Peony and the house-droid Iko, never allow her to forget that 34% of her is not human. When Peony falls ill with a plague that cannot be cured, Cinder is blamed for causing it and her stepmother volunteers her as a test subject for possible cures. At the palace, where testing takes place, the King is dying of the same plague, and Prince Kai is in line to succeed him, in spite of being only Cinder's age.
While the world fights what seems to be a losing battle against the disease, the entire planet faces another threat. The powerful, inhuman Lunar people, descendants of lunar settlers, have set their sites on Earth. And Earth might not be able to fight.

What I Thought: This is the first Cinderella for whom I have really felt a much liking or sympathy for. (Unless you count Poppy from Princess of Glass, and she isn't really the Cinderella of that story- she just wears the slippers once- and she definitely doesn't want your sympathy). Cinder has no reason to expect kindness from anyone in the world, is basically bound, legally and financially to her stepmother, and in the story she does start attempting to get free. This is one of those books that it is difficult to say too much for fear of spoiling. The Lunar court a ruthless, and the Lunar are an interesting concept, though they seem to almost bridge into fantasy. And, again I fail to mention romance... I'm terrible at mentioning that sort of thing. It was there, in a subtle way- Cinder has a lot of mental blocks in that respect, since she basically considers herself to be unlovable because she is a cyborg. It wasn't, to me, the part that really held my attention. There is a lot to this book, and I really enjoyed reading the twist on Cinderella.

Fun Fact: Cinderella was actually an originally a Chinese story- the slippers weren't originally glass, that took a couple language barriers (Chinese to French to English via multiple retellings, I do believe). What is interesting with Cinder is it takes place in a futuristic China, so it's almost going back to it's roots.

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