Sunday, October 23, 2011
Meyer, Marissa: Cinder (Lunar Chronicles, #1)
Feiwel and Friends
YA Sci Fi/Fantasy/Fairy Tale Rendition, 400 pages
Acquired and read: Through Around the World ARC Tours in return for a fair, unbiased review; read within around three hours (I told you I love fairy tales)
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.
Where my tween-aged self found a soulmate in Ella Enchanted, I seem to have found it in Cinder.
The whole Cinderella oddball meets Wonder Boy Prince Charming might seem a little overdone by now, but really, Ms. Meyer does an awesome job of keeping the basic details of the storyline alive with her own little twists. First of all, there's the whole sci-fi cyborg thing. Of course, who wants to live with that - especially in Cinder's world where being half-robot makes you subhuman - but how cool of a character trait is that? And then there's the evil queen that lives on the moon, an android with a smart-mouthed personality, and of course...the Prince.
Who is very, very charming.
Cinder holds her own as a heroine. Who can't love a girl who can detect lies, has a dark, mysterious past (though, I must admit, the mind-bending twist the author throws in the last five pages was a bit of a far stretch, even for me...) and is loyal to a girl whose mother tortures her every chance she gets? No self-suffering, "someday my prince will come" warbling for this girl. She's like a matured, street-smart version of Ella, and she has the nuts and bolts to prove it.
Maybe I should have written this review a few hours after the "gah I just read a good book" high wears off. Do I sound like I'm babbling? Okay, in summary...
Sci-fi + fairy tale retelling + charming prince + high-wired heroine = MUY BUENO.
Go read. Right now.
Warnings: A heartbreaking character death (I'm not trying to give any spoilers, just letting you know that you might need a hanky on hand) and a sprinkling of innuendo here and there but NO PROFANITY. It's a miracle.
Final verdict: Yes. Yes. YES. (Why do all these books have to be part of a series?!)