I have been mostly mood reading this month, and I ended up finally grabbing Cinder by Marissa Meyers. I am so late to the party with these older books. I have been seeing them everywhere for years and I guess late is better than never?
Bookish Quick Facts:
- Title: Cinder
- Series: The Lunar Chronicles
- Author: Marissa Meyer
- Publisher & Release: Feiwel & Friends, January 2012
- Length: 400 pages
- Rate & Recommend: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Yes for fans of fairy tale retellings, YA, sci-fi, fast paced books, snarky princes, and villains
Here is the synopsis:
Humans 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.
So I finally, finally started The Lunar Chronicles. I saw a lot of criticism for the poor world building but honestly, I don’t come to fairy tales and fairy tale retellings for world building and I think it would have slowed the book down immensely had Meyer taken the time to explain how Earth got to cyborgs, spaceships, and magical terrorists from the moon.
That said, oh my god, Cinderella with cyborgs
This book was fun! Don’t read into it too much – Cinder is a cyborg with a vicious step mother and one out of two step sisters is also a jerk. She loses a foot instead of a slipper. The handsome prince, Kai, is snarky and funny. The book really does stay fairly true to Cinderella too but there are enough twists and turns and terrible things, as well as a vastly different ending, that I never felt too bored or too able to predict the story. Minus the big twist – that one I got straightaway.
There are darker themes of oppression and war, plague, medical testing and death too. In 2021 I don’t really want to read about death plagues and quarantine, but in 2012 I think this would have been an amazing book for me. I liked that the Meyer took those darker turns too though, she’s not shy, and I just LOVED who ended up being the silent hero at the end.
Happily ever after? No, not quite, Cinder is going to have to work for it
I liked Cinder, Iko, and Kai as characters, and the doctor too. There is plenty of banter and snark for days. The series villains are introduced – the Lunar Queen has mind control capabilities and is hellbent on war with Earthz whether or not she caves prince Kai into marriage. I assume we are done with the stepmother but gosh did I want to smack that woman.
I docked one star because a tad bit more micro world building wouldn’t have hurt the plot.
What I really don’t like are the new cartoon covers, but I love the old ones.
For fans of: YA sci-fi, romance, retellings, fast paced books, and everything above.
A brief note on the audio: at slightly over 10 hours, narrated by one of my favorites, Rebecca Soler – this is a highly recommended audio from me. Rebecca is great at the robotic voices. Soler is probably a name recognized by most since her repertoire is insane, may be recognize her from the narration of the Caraval series, Seafire, Ashlords, some James Patterson books, and so many more including Renegades and Heartless, also by Meyer. By Macmillan audio