Cinder by Marissa Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles #1) / ★★★★☆
One sentence summary: Cinder is a cyborg mechanic in New Beijing, where a plague outbreak threatens the life of her stepsister and the royal emperor, and a colony on the moon threatens war against Earth.
She was a cyborg, and she would never go to a ball.
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Young Adult
I feel like I’m super late on the bandwagon with this one, and it’s for the dumb reason that I never liked the cover of this book so I mentally banished it from my TBR. Luckily the fates deemed I give it a chance, because I loved it! Cinder, the first book in the Lunar Chronicles, is definitely one of the best retellings I’ve ever read. Now I’ll admit, I’m not a diehard Cinderella fan, and that’s another reason I initially didn’t have much interest in reading this. So I loved how inventive this book was, and how it wasn’t afraid to stray from and stretch out the Cinderella story, and put such a fantastical sci-fi twist on it. It hardly felt like Cinderella because Meyer made it so very much her own story. This book packed so much into its 380 pages, but the plot remained fantastically consistent. Never did I feel like it was growing too fast, or dragging. Cinder balanced so many different elements effortlessly. This book was so much fun and so interesting, and purely an enjoyable read.
My one criticism is that I wish we could have had more cultural exploration surrounding the setting of New Beijing. Not often do I ask for more setting description, but for this book I would have loved to see it painted out for us, and the culture explained beyond technology.
Ummm what the heck, I love Cinder and I love Prince Kai.
Cinder was so wonderfully…understated, I guess is the word I’m looking for. She’s very headstrong, but she does what she needs to do. She wastes no time, even when she’s afraid. I loved this side of her, and I adored the teenager-with-a-crush side of her as well, tender hearted and wickedly sarcastic. I loved the conflict of human vs. cyborg in her identity, and I look forward to seeing how it continues to play out and expanded on in the rest of this series.
And Prince Kai. Oh my, I loved him. Never have I found myself actually caring strongly about the prince in any version of Cinderella that comes to mind, but Meyer made him such a wonderful character. Like Cinder, he was such a great balance of headstrong sarcasm and kind hearted boy. He was a fantastic, level headed yet powerful prince character, and I loved the way his and Cinder’s relationship developed over the course of the novel.
My only critique is that I think it would have been interesting if Cinder’s stepmother had been a bit more fleshed out. And I loved Iko.
If I had to choose one word to describe the writing of this book, it would be succinct. Nothing was overly embellished, and it told the story with great clarity for a plot that had so much happening. Other than the fact I would have liked a bit more description of setting, purely because I would have found it interesting and fleshed out the surroundings in my mind better, I have no complaints and really liked the writing style of this book.
Was I satisfied?
Yes! This book was so much fun to read and is such a fantastic and unique twist on the Cinderella story. I’ll definitely be reading the second book in the Lunar Chronicles, Scarlet.