I am participating in The Lunar Chronicles read along hosted by Brittany at The Book Addicts Guide. I have read this series a few times already, but I was excited to read it again in anticipation of the final book, Winter, which comes out in November. Yay!
August was the month to read Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer. I think this was my third time through this book. I read a hardcover copy from the library for book club in March 2014. After finishing it, I immediately got Scarlet and Cress from the library and read those in April 2014.
Before Fairest came out this January, I re-listened to all three of the books on my friend’s Audible account. But I listened while working, so I didn’t really absorb many details that second time through.
This time I listened again on Audible, but I tried hard not to work while listening. I wanted to try to remember some of my initial impressions of the book.
In case you haven’t read this book yet…
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.
This whole series is so creative! The world building is fantastic! This book a retelling of Cinderella, but Cinder is a cyborg living in futuristic Asia, the “Eastern Commonwealth”. Instead of Disney’s mice, Cinder has Iko, her android side kick, who provides comic relief and a means of exposition.
I LOVE Iko! For some reason I picture her as Monita from WiiU’s Nintendoland. It’s totally wrong, but that’s the image I get in my head. I just love that Iko, a machine, is in love with Prince Kai. It’s too cute!
Meyer hits on all the classic elements of the story: the horrible stepmother (Adri is perfect!), the stepsisters (I like that Peony isn’t awful and that she and Cinder are actually friends), the prince (Oh Kai – so noble, so willing to sacrifice for his people, how could I not love him?), and the glass slipper (Cinder’s cyborg foot instead – so clever!).
But she also adds wonderful Sci Fi elements. Queen Levana and her race of Lunars, highly evolved humans that live on the moon. Letimosis, a fatal disease threatening Earth’s population. Hovers, ID chips, port screens, etc.
The writing is amazing. Meyer is able to convey her characters anger, sadness, and fear so well. And the details blow me away, especially re-reading the series. She definitely planned the books out from the start. Her characters are so deep. Even the minor characters have motivation. She introduces some minor characters that won’t be fleshed out until later books, but she reveals enough in this book that actions make sense. I love how she’s setting the stage in this book to weave together different fairy tales in the later books.
Cinder is the most straight forward retelling in the series. And perhaps for that reason, it’s my least favorite. It is an amazing book, but the other books are that much better. It could also be that I’m not a huge fan of the Cinderella story. It’s just a love story. I like a little more depth and adventure, which Meyer certainly adds in this book.
I will need hold myself back to stay on pace with the read along. I’m planning on tackling the short stories on Marissa Meyer’s website before diving into Scarlet in mid-September.
My Original Rating: 4 Stars
Understand my ratings.