Series: The Lunar Chronicles #1
Published by Macmillan on January 8th 2013
Genres: retellings, romance, science fiction, young adult
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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.
I have a confession to make. Ever since the release of Cinder, basically everyone I know—even my IRL best friend that doesn’t read as much/is hard to please with books—has been on my case about starting this series, recommending it left and right, and I’d been extremely apprehensive to pick it up. To be honest, I didn’t think it’d totally be my thing. I just kept reading the summary and thinking “I don’t knowwwww…” and would continue putting it off.
Finally, I caved and picked it up. After about maybe the fifteenth or so person told me I just HAD TO read it.
Shit. What was wrong with me all those times I kept turning it away??
From the first chapter, I found an immediate attachment with Cinder—the book and the character. I couldn’t set it down for hours because I constantly had to know what was going to happen next. While this was an obvious fairytale retelling (Cinderella), there are notable differences and twists that make it stand apart on its own. Because of its own unique feel to the story, I didn’t get any ‘overdone’ sense and there were even some surprises.
What I really liked was the world-building and concept. Cyborgs are disliked for some reason among the humans, but I kept wondering why. I couldn’t figure it out—and sometimes I read so fast that I might miss or forget something small/quick. I don’t remember a reason really being mentioned as to everyone’s distaste of cyborgs. Eh. But I liked the display of how much of an outcast Cinder was, and her constant desire to learn and fight for all the right things. I felt so much sympathy for her.
The Lunar Queen gave off some serious creepy vibes. I felt scared for Cinder often, but I loved the detail in all the action and emotion between the characters and every description in the world. I felt like I wanted to know Kai more but every time I got a glimpse of him, I saw a potentially great character until toward the end when I couldn’t quite figure him or his feelings out any further. Maybe the next installment will give me more.
Yes, it’s true that it felt a bit too predictable in areas. I’d already been warned of it possibly feeling predictable and saw this note mentioned a few times in other reviews. That really didn’t bother me so much. Maybe I was more upset by a certain character’s passing (I won’t say so there’s not a spoiler just in case) because I grew attached quickly to that character. I was rooting for them. It sort of broke my heart. 🙁
But hey, what about that damn cliffhanger?!
At least I could immediately order Scarlet and Cress after I finished reading this because I don’t know how I could’ve waited. I kept turning the pages hoping it was a cruel joke or something in my book, but it just ended like that. How could it just end like that? Wow.
So yeah, now I’ve been kicking myself since reading Cinder for having just now read it. I’m sorry everyone for ignoring your recommendations for so long with this one. But better late than never! (Also, why aren’t they funding this to be a movie yet?)