Series Details: The Lunar Chronicles #1
Author: Marissa Meyer
Imprint: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: January 03, 2012
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Retelling
Blurb from Goodreads:
Sixteen-year-old Cinder is considered a technological mistake by most of society and a burden by her stepmother. Being cyborg does have its benefits, though: Cinder’s brain interference has given her an uncanny ability to fix things (robots, hovers, her own malfunctioning parts), making her the best mechanic in New Beijing. This reputation brings Prince Kai himself to her weekly market booth, needing her to repair a broken android before the annual ball. He jokingly calls it “a matter of national security,” but Cinder suspects it’s more serious than he’s letting on.
Although eager to impress the prince, Cinder’s intentions are derailed when her younger stepsister, and only human friend, is infected with the fatal plague that’s been devastating Earth for a decade. Blaming Cinder for her daughter’s illness, Cinder’s stepmother volunteers her body for plague research, an “honor” that no one has survived.
But it doesn’t take long for the scientists to discover something unusual about their new guinea pig. Something others would kill for.
It’s about time I pick up this book and see for myself if this is as good as the tons of reviews says. I would say it was a fun book to read, but it didn’t wow me that much. Cinder is Cinderella modernized. Its general idea was unique and refreshing but, at the same time, it has a lot of tropes. The storyline was a little too predictable which could be a deal breaker for some. But somehow, I still find the journey enjoyable.
The pulling factor of this book, for me, is the unique blend of sci-fi and fairytale retelling. I always find it amazing seeing fantasy and science fiction being tossed into one book and blended seamlessly. This book also has awesome conflicts. Aside from living with a family that makes her feel inferior and less human, Cinder also has to survive being in a country plagued by a life-threatening disease. And on top of that, they all have to try to stop a powerful evil Lunar queen who plans to invade the world. So, everything’s pretty heavy where external conflict is concerned.
The characters felt real but each of them has this big cliché on their foreheads. Cinder is a badass mechanic. She’s independent and resourceful. She doesn’t wait for a fairy godmother to solve her problems for her. She finds ways herself. Most importantly, she knows how to stand up for herself in a society that loathes and despises cyborgs like her. But there are also times when Cinder’s character felt like a tired trope. She was a nobody who later turned out to be someone special. She’s like the one key that solves everything. And this is something I see in YA a lot of times. I was just hoping to experience a different taste from this book.
Kai is also a very generic character. The moment he showed up, I knew that he’s going to be that prince who will put his people’s safety before his. That despite being the most eligible bachelor in all of New Beijing he would ask a mechanic to the ball. It’s a little disappointing that he stayed exactly within my expectations and not once did he surprise me. I would have loved it if he was more cunning and less naïve especially because he is a leader. I still love him though.
The supporting characters were also awesome and well-developed. No one was left behind in terms of character development in this book. Each of them has their own unique personality—even the android Iko has her sarcastic personality—and they all grow together with the main characters.
Overall, Cinder is still a great start to a series. It is Cinderella with refreshing twists and a touch of unique to it. It’s enjoyable although it does lack impact. This book could use a little bit more weight and power to it. The main characters are okay, but I wished for characters that are less transparent so their actions won’t be so predictable. If you’re looking for a fun read and if predictable plotline doesn’t bother you that much, do check out this series.