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.
(Synopsis from Goodreads)
You can find a sample or order the book here
What’s it about?
First off some main info:
Author: Melissa Meyer
Published: January 8th, 2013
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #1
Version: Square Fish Paperback (387 pages)
Would I recommend it: Yes!! Definitely!!
Rating: 5+ Stars
This amazing story named “Cinder” takes place in a futuristic Beijing, called New Beijing, which was destroyed and later rebuilt after World War IV. In this future time prejudice and fright still rule people, partly thanks to the very deadly letumosis plague, and they still judge people who are slightly different from them. One of the main targets for those prejudices are cyborgs (and also androids but since they aren’t actual people let’s stick to cyborgs). Cyborgs are seen as second-class citizens and they are owned by people even if those are their “family”.
Linh Cinder is a talented mechanic but also a cyborg and her adopted family let’s her feel that whenever possible, except for her little sister Peony, that is. Cinder has to give away all her income to her “mother” Adri and still has to work for her at home without getting anything in return. By now you should be able to guess which fairytale this book is loosely based on… Cinderella!! Btw, all the books in this series are based on a fairytale, sorry I didn’t mention this earlier. After a dramatic accident, Cinder’s life takes a drastic turn…
Okay… let me breathe for a second. In. And out. I absolutely adore this book!! I think it’s absolutely perfect the way it is and I wouldn’t change a single thing… Well, you could’ve guessed that by the 5+ Star rating I guess… As I mentioned multiple times before, I love a good fairytale “remake” or one of any other old story for that matter and this one absolutely blew my mind. It was just incredible!! Also the scenario with the Lunars and intergalactic relationships in general was awesome! And I honestly have to say that I usually take a little while to read paperback books. And by that I mean any type of book that isn’t on my phone. So I usually take longer reading “real” books but this one held me captive and just wouldn’t let me go. I read it straight through within one day, which is the fastest I’ve ever read a paperback book.
Now let’s move on to the story, shall we? First thing that really had an impact on me and that I loved about the book was the way humans treat cyborgs in this time, which I hate… They treat them as if they owed their lives to humanity, just because at some point they had to have surgery, probably to keep them alive, and people thought they were worthy of being alive. So how can you treat them this way? Their survival, even if it is linked to some enhancements, should be reason enough to treat them as equals. I mean, if they can’t really live their lives without judgement, what use was helping them? Also, a lot of people have screws or other metal things within their body and how is that any different? An incredible example of this behaviour are the cyborg drafts, or rather the way people deal with those drafts, since they aren’t what they seem.
A thing that I really enjoyed about the writing style was the way the author had different story lines, from the point of view of different people, but still managed to keep the main focus on Cinder. But those chapters form a different point of view also helped immensely with understanding other people’s actions and opinions. One thing that I liked but at the same time didn’t was that from the moment a certain person was mentioned I knew that this person would turn out to be Cinder. I usually like these kinds of “hints” but here it was almost a little too obvious. One of the most important parts about this book is obviously how the fairytale is combined with the story. This was very well done here even though it was quite different from the original story which was really good because it just fit perfectly. It also added tragic to the whole story, with one of those situation being the part where I cried… *cough* Iko *cough*
Moving on to the characters! At first I didn’t really know what to think of Linh Cinder but that changed REAL quick. By now I absolutely adore this wonderful person that is the Cyborg Cinder. Two of the things I love most about Cinder are the pride she still has after being treated horrible her whole life. She doesn’t let anyone break her down, or at least gets up after being pushed down. The other fact is her ability to choose the battles she wants to fight. She knows when it is useless to pick a fight and has the ability to push down her pride to keep her strength for more important battles. I also just loved Cinder’s dry humor and her sarcasm, those just make any character awesome! 🙂 A side character that was really important to me was the Android Iko. I literally love every single thing about her but most of all her ability, not to accept her place in society, or at least the place humanity thought out for her. Iko doesn’t care that she is an Android at all and just behaves as if she is human and at the same time really has human qualities. Those are probably due to a “mistake” on her personality chip which amongst others makes her incredibly loyal to Cinder!
Now let’s address the royalty in the room: Kai. Prince Kai is mostly really good character, I think, proven by the way he treats Cinder even though she is just a commoner and another trait that makes him likable is the way he treats his status as a prince. He jokes about it and doesn’t take it all too serious. I kept on liking him, even though I didn’t like the decisions he made towards the end of the book. But no matter how unpleasant those decisions might be for all Cinder fans, they do show that kai is a worthy emperor and is able to make decisions that he doesn’t like himself but deems necessary to keep his country safe.
Ah, finally I can move on to those people I just love to hate! Those literally have to be in a good book! Let me just start with the one I hate least, a person that is just a little unpleasant in my opinion, who is the royal advisor. I can’t really put my finger on it but I just don’t like him. The people I absolutely despise are all Lunars that are part of the Lunar-government?-as well as Linh Adri. All those are horrible creatures that aren’t worth the ground they walk on!! Their cruelty reaches a new high at times and I just can’t figure out how humans (or Lunars) could ever be that way! I don’t even want to keep talking about them.
The end this review I would like to say that I can absolutely recommend almost anyone in my age group to read this series since there’s something in there for everyone. Therefore it gets 5+ Stars! Thank you for reading this review and I hope you enjoyed it. I would love hearing y’all’s opinions on the review and also what you thought about the book! Have a great night, day or whatever 🙂