Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer

Cinder (Lunar Chronicles, #1)
Good Reads 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.

My Thoughts

This is one of the more entertaining re-imaginations I’ve read of late. As is obvious from the title, Cinder is poor girl-sad girl complete with evil step mother. Only Cinder is a cyborg; Only they live in New Beijing that’s battling deadly plague of mysterious origin.

I thought the concept interesting. In fact, the story had my attention from go, yet I wasn’t as impressed with the characters. Simply, everything everyone in it had a role to fulfill and they did the same with not much more. Cinder, for instance, is pitiful. My heart went out to her, but just once I’d have loved for her to go all Terminator on her guardian’s ass. When she finally decides to go after what she wants, one thing after another proved just how much a victim of circumstance she was. It’s never her fault though. Things just were; things just happened (normally to her). And there’s the step mum, who’s almost laughably evil. Thanks to years of Disney, I imagine her thus:

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But not even the moments of her secretly crying or moments of her raging against Cinder could convince that there was anything beyond her being cruel (no hidden pain to make me understand what she was thinking). Even her step sisters turned out as expected with one bad, and the other good. I got little beyond the same.

Of course, our Cinderella has a prince. I liked Kai. I enjoyed him despite seeming rather un-Princely in how seemingly woefully under prepared for he was for what was to happen. (Don’t they groom this people for their responsibilities? Why all the deferring to the adviser?) Despite all that, he is a likeable sort and could be charming (being a prince and all). Still, the jump from like to love was rather jarring.

**there be spoilers ahead**
There were two things I LOVED in this one. (a) The baddies and (b) the rather obvious lost princess twist. As to the first, there’s a whole race planet of mind controlling, moon dwelling Lunars to worry about. I loved the concept. And I loved how fear inducing their Queen was. False beauty or not she was ruthless. As to the second? ‘Twas obvious where the story was headed early on, yet I have always had a fascination for stories of that sort.

I’m ready for book two.

THANK YOU NETGALLEY

3.5/5

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