by Marissa Meyer
Series: Lunar Chronicles #1
Published: January 3, 2012
Genres: Fantasy, Retelling, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Format: eBook (387 pages)
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.
When I heard this was a Cinderella re-telling with a cyborg sci-fi twist I thought the idea was weird. However, when I started reading it, I went from scratching my head at the idea of it to being awed by her creativity. It was like Cinderella meets Star Wars (the high-quality originals, not the prequels). Let’s be honest – the mixing of traditional and sci-fi is what made Star Wars great and Cinder does just that by mixing fairy tales with a futuristic world. The Cinderella elements are very loose making the story unpredictable because just when I thought I knew what was going to happen something crazy would happen instead. And just when I thought we had left the path of Cinderella, she would unexpectedly bring the fairy tale elements back. And then when you think it can’t get any better, she layers it with end-of-the-world type stuff and a mutated human race. MIND BLOWN. The world she created was unique and even though it was sci-fi, it wasn’t to the Star Trek extreme. The futuristic world had a lot in common with our world which I loved. This was one of those books where I was still reading it at 2 am with bloodshot eyes even though my kids would be awake in four hours – but I couldn’t stop reading! Despite Cinder being a cyborg, she was incredibly easy to relate to. And the love story with the Prince felt like a real relationship and not mooning over the cutest guy in town. Even if you don’t like sci-fi, pick up this book and watch the pages fly by – you won’t be able to stop turning them.
I had a hard time rating this book. I kept going back and forth between four and five stars. I loved the whole book but the very ending kind of fizzled out in a “To be continued…” way that reminded me of that one Jerry Seinfeld joke. HECK YES I’ll be reading the next one to find out what happens next, but I wish the ending had more closure to it.
Content Rating: Medium, for a few cases of swearing and some mildly graphic descriptions of illness.