Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer

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 centre 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 (from Goodreads).

Rating:

Okay, so firstly I'm genuinely so sorry for the delay with this month's reviews. Have had lots of things going on (graduating, family visits - adult things, and what not). But now that's all finally over and done with, I can once again return to the happiness of reading. 

This month I set myself a challenge to read the Lunar Chronicles, a collection of four novels and two novellas. It's a series I've been promising one of my closest friends I would read for years now, one he has insisted I would adore, but kept putting it off. I actually bought them all around Christmas with the aim to read them. It's now May. But we've gotten here eventually. 

Cinder follows the story of a young girl in New Beijing who is a cyborg. She has grown up as the errand girl for her evil stepmother, and she dreams of being free. Throw in a pandemic disease she discovers she is immune to for reasons unknown, and a handsome future Emperor who is trying to overthrow a villainous Queen and Marissa Meyer really has something. Cinder is a strange mash-up of lots of young adult cliches, but it all combines to read something new. 

The world created in Cinder is very intriguing, and each character feels thought-out. The plot moved at the right speed, and the way Meyer interwoven the tale of Cinderella everyone knows into a very futuristic setting, adding layers of political and feminist tones, makes this book a delight to read.  

I actually read Cinder the first time years ago, all the back in 2012 when it was first published. At the time I had thought it was fantastic, but then I sort of forgot about it, having to wait around for Scarlet to come out. At the time, Cinder was a character I really connected with, and re-reading it assured me she was still someone I greatly admired. There were lots of things about her life that would have hardened her to the world, but there was this great vulnerability she still allowed herself to possess. 

Queen Levana was always a fascinating character for me as well. Levana is the ruler of the Lunar Kingdom (the moon) and her people are thought, by the primitive minds of our planet, to be magic. Whilst not magic as such, they do have extraordinary abilities, and those powers intrigue me. Levana's history intrigues me. Despite obviously being a villainous psychopath Levana, as a character and a concept, is interesting to comprehend. Typically in fairy tales, the wicked women are ugly, hated by their oppressed people. But Levana is beautiful, and adored. I want to see more of her strength, her cunning, in the coming books. I do enjoy a clever female villain, and there really aren't many out there. 

The next book in the series is Scarlet, and that review will be coming within the next few days. I am on Cress now (book 3) and am rather determined to finish the series by the end of May. 


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