Cinder is the first book in the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. No, not the Yahoo CEO. See the Meyer instead of Mayer? Cinder is her debut novel. Before debuting, she spent five years editing and wrote some Sailor Moon fan fiction. She also participated in Camp NaNoWriMo last April, outlining her upcoming superhero series. Though it’s her first time with Camp, She’s a NaNoWriMo regular, having wrote the first drafts of Cinder, Scarlet and Cress during a single NaNoWriMo. One.
Cinder is loosely based on Cinderella but it’s set in the future. It has cyborgs and androids and stuff like that. Set in New Beijing, Linh Cinder is the best mechanic in town. But she’s a cyborg. And cyborgs are looked down upon in this world. Her life flips about when Crown Prince Kai brings an android for her to fix and her young stepsister gets infected with the incurable plague.
Cinder’s PoV was an interesting one. Her cyborg nature meant that she couldn’t blush or cry and she always knows when someone lies. She has a strong personality that carries the book. Her confused feelings, the mistreatment at the hands of her legal guardian and the love she has for her stepsister made her a very interesting character.
I liked Iko, a lot. She’s this fun, dreamy little android that’s Cinder’s assistant/possibly best friend. I kept hearing Gorty’s (from Tales from the Borderlands) voice whenever I read her dialogues. There are some similarities between the two of them. Both are super optimistic tiny robots.
The world building was great. I never get the feeling that I was overwhelmed with information. In fact I wanted more. It’s doled out slowly throughout the course of the book. It helps that the two major point of view characters lived drastically different lives.
I had a problem with the ending. It’s an expectation problem. When the last part of the book started, I was thinking she’s going to do this. This is going to happen. Then this and this and this and then this! But this happened and then that happened. And then boom, the book ended. And it ended with a cliffhanger, sort of? I don’t think I’d necessarily classify it as a cliffhanger, but it did leave me feeling unfulfilled.
I didn’t quite get Kai’s infatuation with Cinder. It seemed a little too sudden to me, or maybe he was just flirty with everyone. Maybe he’s just trying to distract himself from the problems he was facing. Or maybe she’s somehow different? I don’t know. While I do have gripes with the start of their relationship, the relationship itself was fantastic
I’ll let you in on a little secret of mine. I watched Disney’s Cinderella every other day when I was a kid. I cried whenever the VCR player (yes, I’m old) broke, and it broke fairly often. So asking me to read Cinder should have been easy, no idea why I took so long to get to it. Well, at least I don’t have to wait to read the rest of the series.
Also, where was the fairy god mother?! Where’s my bippity boppity boo moment? That’s a huge disappointment! >_<
I’m currently reading
Okay, here’s the actual verdict – Cinder is great for anyone looking for a good YA novel with some Sci Fi element with a dash of fairy tale magic.