Sunday, June 10, 2012

Review for Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1)

Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1)
Author: Marissa Meyer
Genre: Fairy-Tale Retelling
Pages: 400
Source: B&N Gift Card

Summery from Goodreads…
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, the 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.

The Good
Wow, Cinder has everything I could ever want from a fairy-tale retelling and more! While the story is still recognizable as Cinderella it definitely adds its own twist to the story that has you turning the pages wondering what’s going to happen next. I bought this book back in February and it has been sitting on my bookshelf ever since mocking me (well, sitting there except for when my sister aka Caaleros read it) because I had too much schoolwork. When summer came I was so ready to read this book and it didn’t disappoint =) Romance, tension, mystery, it’s got it all.

Cinder, despite whose status is basically that of a slave, is a strong willed girl who just happens to be a cyborg, which contributes to her skills as a mechanic. She’s resourceful and smart and just wants to be left alone. The life depicted in this book for the cyborgs is harsh; I couldn’t believe some of the stuff her adopted mother put her through. She wasn’t a member of the family, she was property. Sometimes she would question why she was saved as a child just so she could live as a subhuman. It didn’t help that her memory before coming to her adopted mother’s home at age 11 is nonexistent except for some fuzzy dreams. She’s able to find some solace though in her best friend who is a robot, sorry android, and one of her adopted sisters who actually treats her like a human being.

            Enter stage left the main hot—em, Prince Kai. Yeah, he’s a babe; almost every guy in these types of books is but that hasn’t turned me off yet. Kia is so sweet and knows how to laugh even with the weight of the world on his shoulders (which I mean pretty much literally.) Whenever they’re not running for their lives, keeping peace with the moon, or fixing androids there are a few cute scenes between the Prince and his mysterious lady mechanic. One thing I liked about Kai is that he wasn’t the broody, mysterious, bad boy that seem to over populate the YA world (again, not that I’m complaining to much). He’s a kid forced to lead in a time of great hardship and he doesn’t let it get him down. He’s still got a smile for the girl in the grease stained cargo pants.

            This is definitely one of the better retellings. I think the plot was fairly strong and the pace was quick but not fast which is nice sometimes. The author brings you into the story almost immediately, introducing you to the Prince and one of the major conflicts right away.    

The Bad
            Well, one thing that bugged me is that I guessed the huge twist very early on; it almost smacked me in the face. Maybe that’s because this is a fairy tale that it seemed so obvious to me but I spent the rest of the book saying “well, maybe it’s not what I think,” then “it’s what I thought.” It didn’t diminish my liking of the book at all but sometimes I hate guessing things so early on.

            I also was wondering about the believability of the Lunars powers. They all seem to have a type of “persuasive” power (like some Jedi mind trick) that not only works on humans but their own kind as well. And apparently they have to use the power regularly or else they’ll go krazy. My question: how can their civilization survive if everyone is automatically persuading everyone to their own point of view? It’s one of those si-fi/fantasy questions that give me a headache trying to figure out…

The Krazyness
Discussion Question: Fairy tales are coming back into fashion (YES!) so tell me what are some of your favorite retellings so far?

Krazy Elf’s Answer: I’ve read quite a few retellings in the past couple years, most of them from the Once Upon a Time series, but I have to say it’s a tie between Cinder and Sweetly (Jackson Pearce).
 5 Elf Cookies


  1. I'm a judge again for the 2012 YA Book Battle, and this year's theme is retold fairy tales! I thought of that when I read your discussion question. :) If you want to check it out, Sarah, HERE's the intro and HERE's the longlisted titles!

    1. Yeah, I saw the list the other day while browsing blogs, it looks amazing! I've only read about 5 or so on the list but I've heard of some of the others. Fun contest to judge, good luck! I'm going to have to add a lot of those books to my TBR =D

  2. I am always so reluctant to pick up fairy tale retellings, but this book got high ratings from all my friends, which forces me to reconsider. Despite your issue with predictability (fairy tales usually are predictable, so it's what I would expect), I think this sounds wonderful and fresh.
    I just finished reading a recap of an event that included Meyer and she seemed so cool and funny.
    Great review, Sarah!

    1. Thanks!
      Yeah, some retellings I just won't pick up but this one looked alright and all the reviews were great. I was a little apprehensive about Cinder being a cyborg but I ended up loving it :)