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.
Cinder was up for a slow start, but after a while, things were happening more quickly, and while I was able to guess pretty early on who exactly Cinder was, I was still amazed at the way the story unfolded.
My Cinder review:
Cinder is part cyborg, and her adoptive mother treats her as a servant, so much so that all the money Cinder earns is deposited into Adri’s account rather than Cinder’s. As a gifted mechanic, with a stall at the market, she meets Crown Prince Kai when he needs help to repair his android. Meeting Kai is like a dream to her, but she knows he would be disgusted if he knew she was a cyborg, so rather than dreaming stupid day-dreams, she vows to repair his android and continue to do everything she can to escape New Beijing and Adri.
The world is not a great place to live in these times, the lunar people are sporting for a war, there is a pest killing more people every day, with no cure in sight. When Peony, the one person Cinder feels close to, becomes ill, Adri and Pearl blame her – as if every bad thing that could happen to their family somehow has to be her fault.
The plot is intricate, with politics, segregation of the cyborgs, death, and ultimately there might be a horrific war. And Cinder is in the center of it all! I have always thought that fairy tale re-tellings are either hit or miss with me, and Cinder definitely hit the spot! Apart from her name, the only thing that made Cinder a little like Cinderella was the fact that she was treated as a slave by her adoptive mother, and that there was to be a big ball where the prince was likely to choose his bride. Our main character has a lot of inner strength, though, and she is confident enough to stand up for herself when it is really needed. Twists and turns were able to show me how New Beijing works, and I enjoyed the way the story unfolded.
Written in third person point of view, from Cinder’s perspective in past tense, the story is both captivating and has a certain fairy tale feel to it, even if the world is bleak, different and quite possible deadly. I look forward to reading more books in the Lunar Chronicles series, and even if I wish I had read this earlier, in another way, I’m happy I waited so that I can read the next books at my leisure, without having to wait for them to be released.
Some of my favorite Cinder quotes:
Tossing the screwdriver onto the table, Cinder gripped her heel and yanked the foot from its socket. A spark singed her fingertips and she jerked away, leaving the foot to dangle from a tangle of red and yellow wires.
Clearing her throat, Cinder refocused on the android. She found the nearly invisible latch and opened its back panel. “Why aren’t the royal mechanics fixing her?”
Iko craned her head, aiming the round sensor up at the prince, who towered more than three feet above her. the light flared as her scanner recognized him. “Prince Kai,” she said, her metallic voice squeaking. “You are even more handsome in person.”
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: