13 March, 2014

Review: Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer


Goodreads Summary:

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.

Series: The Lunar Chronicles #1
Release Date: 3 January 2012
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Purchase: Amazon
Edition: Kindle
Review Written: 10 March, 2014

Cinder is a cyborg, something that you don't want to be in New Beijing or really the world. 'Owed' by a rather self-invested stepmother and the family's sole source of income, Cinder finds her life less than ideal. When a deadly plague strikes a fellow stallkeeper in the market, Cinder's world is quickly thrown upside down. To make matters worse, her younger sister Peony catches the plague as well, costing Cinder her only ally in the house and her freedom. Angered by her daughter's impending death, Cinder's stepmother Ardi volunteers her as a test subject for a cure to the plague.

Taken against her will, Cinder finds herself injected with the plague....and then a curious thing happens her body simply destroys the virus. Over the next few weeks, Cinder finds herself caught up in the most bizarre of situations, a tentative freedom with the provision that she return to the palace of New Beijing to be tested every so often. On top of everything else, she finds herself with a unique issue of being the main interest of Prince Kai, the only child of the Emperor and soon-to-be sworn in ruler of New Beijing. 

If things weren't complicated enough, the mysterious Lunars are trying to take advantage of things. When Cinder learns she's a lunar, will it change everyone's perception of her and her ideas of what needs to be done?

I have to admit a love of retold fairy tales, though it takes a lot for me to really get into a retelling. Meyer has a fascinating concept for this story, the science fiction is woven in very creatively. I was a bit confused of how the virus spread, since there seemed to be no clear cut reason as to how Peony became contaminated as it's explained later in the book the disease dies after a couple of hours without a host and it took Cinder well over two hours to walk home. A bit more explanation about the Lunar culture would have been nice for background aspects, however I suspect there will be more of that in later books.

All in all, this book was a nice, quick read that I enjoyed thoroughly and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a classic fairy tale retold.

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