Title: Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1)
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance, Sci-fi, Dystopia
Author: Marissa Meyer
Published by: Square Fish
Goodreads rating: 4.15 (as of writing)
This is actually the second time I read this book and I found that I loved it even more than I did back when I first read it in 2014. I didn’t think it was possible XD
Taken from Goodreads:
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.
Even in the Future the Story Begins with Once Upon a Time.
There’s just so many things I actually loved about this book! Cyborgs, Androids, Asian-centric setting, a deadly and incurable plague, and superior “magical” moon people and their evil moon queen. It’s sci-fi and fantasy, both genres I love mashed together into one single wonderful book. Though to be honest, it wasn’t much “fantasy” because the magic the Lunar people use isn’t actually explained as magic XD Rather, they gave it a scientific explanation. But still! To be able to control minds and wear illusions as disguises are pretty much magic to me anyway XD
The main character, Linh Cinder, is a cyborg which I thought was really cool but it is actually a source of distress for her because in their world, cyborgs are secondary citizens. Disgusting. Nothing more than slaves to most people and are expected to offer their lives first and foremost for the good of those who are still “fully” human.
And I thought that was really unfair and I couldn’t help but draw a parallel to the real world. Do some people think that way about persons with disabilities? Because that’s the closest cyborgs are to me. PWDs.
Do your kind even know what love is? Can you feel anything at all, or is it just… programmed?
I totally adore Cinder as a main character. She’s the type of protagonist that I can get behind with. She’s very sensible, responsible, stands up for herself even knowing it’s futile (but it’s the thought that counts), conscientious, actually kick-ass, and kind..
I also loved her dry sarcasm as well. It gave her a really distinct personality separate to the other Cinderellas I’ve read about. She didn’t wait around for a prince to save her. She tried to find her own ways to save herself instead. In fact, she was the one who tried to save the Prince in the end.
Go girl power!
And despite all those good things, she also had her flaws which made her relatable. She was still a bit selfish. She still has bursts of anger. Like any rebellious teenager, she talks back to her “mother” and for good reasons too. It actually pains me every time she wonders whether her stepmother actually cared about her even just a teeny-tiny bit or if she feels guilty about being mean to Cinder. Because it’s wishful thinking. Her stepmother is a despicable human through and through.
Cinder was undoubtedly still a human, with her own hopes and dreams. She wants to be free, still wanted for someone to see her as a normal person rather than a deformed cyborg. She wanted someone to care for her. 😥
Then there’s the romance. It was actually minimal but very cute. When I first read this book, the lack of a more lovey-dovey romance disappointed me. But now that I am older, I found that I actually now prefer the slow-burn type of romance rather than the fast-paced ones. Prince Kai was such a charming character if a bit dense. But he had good intentions and despite being young, he still tried to do what’s best, not for himself, but for his country and planet.
Imagine there was a cure, but finding it would cost you everything. It would completely ruin your life. What would you do?
Both Cinder and Kai are mature enough not to let “love” blind them into doing/thinking stupid things or make stupid decisions and I really, really, really appreciate that. This book showed that there are INDEED teenagers that can control their hormones and not let their emotions get the better of them. Kudos to the author for that.
Believe me, Cinder. You are a sacrifice I will never regret.
As for the villains, I hated Cinder’s stepmother with a passion. Such a despicable human! I hated Queen Levana and her minions even more so. They just grate on my nerves! I just wanted to burn them all to hell and I eagerly await the day they would all get what’s coming to them.
Then there’s also, Iko. This adorable android with a faulty personality chip. This android who keeps forgetting that she wasn’t a real human. I just adore her too ❤
What I didn’t like about this book much is how predictable it was. I totally saw the revelation at the end coming from a thousand miles away, even when I first read this book XD But I guess the author wasn’t really interested in a twist because she focused more on writing that ending 😥 Poor, poor Cinder and poor, poor Kai. So hurt. So confused. I love it.
You’re even more painful to look at than she is.
The author might actually be a genius. I really loved this book. It had great pacing, had some action and was a bit thrilling. The author put in just enough essential information to satisfy my curiosity and tease me into drawing my own theories and conclusions while still maintaining some mysteries to reveal in the other books. The characters are all done very well, making me root for them, adore them or hate them depending on their roles.
Best of all, I love the main character, Cinder. She’s such a strong and independent woman. I think she’s a great role model for young girls 😉 I can’t say this to a lot of main characters in other young adult novels. But Cinder? She has my full support ❤
This book gave me a roller coaster of feels and that’s why I love it so much.
My rating: (I gave it 4 stars the first time)
Recommended to: Fans of retellings. Fans of sci-fi and fantasy. Those not squeamish about a cyborg character with detachable limbs. (A saw some reviews of people who got turned off because of that so just noting it here)
Favorite character: Cinder ❤
Favorite quote: “It is easier to trick others into perceiving you as beautiful if you can convince yourself you are beautiful.”