Series: Lunar Chronicles #1
Published by Feiwel & Friends on January 3, 2012
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.
Cinder was such an amazing book! I’m kicking myself for not reading it sooner! When it first released in 2012, I wasn’t a blogger. I didn’t use Goodreads (well, not as often as I do now, at least). Yet, I had heard all the hype about this series and I was eager to check it out. I remember picking it up in Barnes & Noble and reading the book jacket… And discovering it was about androids and cyborgs and such. At the time, I couldn’t get past that. I had no interest in that type of book and no blogger friends to encourage me to read it, to urge me to look past the cyborg and android part of it. And, boy, was I stupid back then!
First of all, I LOVE Cinder. She’s sarcastic, snarky, strong. She doesn’t sit idle; she asks questions and she fights. Her situation isn’t great and she has a nasty step-mother. Her step-sisters vary from the original fairy tale, however, in that her one step-sister, Peony, is actually nice to her. I loved that. It meant that Cinder had at least one person who cared for her. I really loved that part of it. Of course, I hated her step-mother, Adri and her other step-sister, Pearl. But Peony was an amazing character and her fate made me so sad! One thing I did find interesting? In the original fairy tale, Cinderella’s step-mother is pure evil. But I actually found myself feeling bad for Adri at certain points. I always feel like a great villian is one you feel bad for, at least once in the book. So there’s that.
Iko was… A very STRANGE character for me. I was so, so confused. Because I had gone to a Fierce Reads signing and I met Marissa Meyer there. She had buttons and one of them said “Team Iko” or “I Heart Iko.” So going into Cinder, I assumed Iko was a guy – maybe he made up a love triangle with Cinder and Kai. And then I found out Iko was a girl! And an android, to boot. So… I was kind of mind-blown and confused, but once that confusion cleared up, I really enjoyed Iko as a character and I was sad we didn’t see a lot of her in the second half of the book.
In the beginning of the book, Prince Kai was great! He’s definitely NOT like the silly Prince Charming from the Disney versions. He’s strong, yet not always sure of himself. He’s kind and understanding and he had me laughing out loud several times. He stood up for himself, against Torin, against Queen Levana. But near the end, something happened and Kai’s reaction… He definitely lost some major brownie points with me. However, I’m hoping he’ll redeem himself in Scarlet and Cress. Plus, I still think he and Cinder made an adorable couple!
I don’t think I need to say much about Queen Levana… She was horrible and mean – the stereotypical “evil queen” from every fairy tale. So.. moving on. Dr. Erland was frustrating. But for good reasons, I guess. He was very cryptic and he had that “mad scientist” air to him. His revelations to Cinder near the end of the book were not shocking at all, though. I had all sorts of suspicions and theories starting only 65 pages in and going from there. They built with each new “hint.” Despite the predictable “revelations” in Cinder, I still truly enjoyed it. Whenever I sat down to read, I read at least 100 pages (or more) without taking a break. I just couldn’t put it down!
I especially loved all the sneak-peaks of future characters we got. I’m sure, for those who read Cinder when it first came out, these peaks didn’t mean much (at the time). But knowing what I know about Scarlet, Cress and Winter, I recognized Princess Winter’s name immediately, and I knew exactly who Cress was when Cinder first communicated with her. I love when authors turn minor characters from one book into major characters in subsequent books. It’s so fun to meet a character, then get to see the character more fully developed in either later books in the series, or their own book. Not sure if this method has a name, but I’ve seen it down in Harry Potter and in Katie McGarry’s books and maybe I’m easily amused, but I love it!
Overall, Cinder was so amazing, I basically read it in a little over two days (with big breaks in-between, because I had company over this weekend, but still!). I’m DYING to read Scarlet and I’m hoping to start it later on next week!
For those who love Fairy Tale retellings, I HIGHLY recommend this book. And if you AREN’T a fan of Fairy Tales and/or Fairy Tale retellings, then this book just might change your mind!
Thanks to the wonderful people at Macmillan, I have a clip from the Cinder audiobook to share with you guys!