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Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1)
by Marissa Meyer 
390 pages
Published January 3rd 2012 
Buy at Amazon

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.

Review:

I’ll admit, I was hooked in by the words “cyborg” and “deadly plague.” Because of that, I didn’t really know what to expect.
Cinder is an amazing mix of science fiction, dystopian, and it even has a classic fairy tale thrown in. I’m crazy about anything sci-fi and I really think Cinder hits the mark with putting the right amount in it without being overly weird for those who don’t particularly like sci-fi.

Cinder, our cyborg Cinderella, didn’t really make a lasting impression on me. I think she’s a great character and I enjoyed reading about her, but something was missing that could have made the connection better. Cinder didn’t annoy me at all, she didn’t whine, didn’t do incredibly stupid things, honestly, Cinder is the epitome of what I wish every female character could be. Cinder is the kind of character you feel for. She makes you ache, makes you hurt. Her struggle with being a cyborg is heartbreaking, not only because she is a cyborg, but because of how cyborgs are treated- less than human, just because of mechanical parts.
Our Prince Kai is drool worthy as well. I’m glad, for once, there is a love interest who is not mean. Doesn’t say nasty things and snatch and grab on the heroine. Thank you Marissa Meyer for making him a gentleman!

As for characters I can’t stand, it would be, hands down, Adri. Adri is Cinder’s wicked stepmother. I have absolutely no nice feelings for the woman. Just reading about her made me want to pull out my hair! Her meanness to Cinder was astounding and I can see why Cinder was so desperate to escape.

I’m deeply in love with the world that has been created. A world of plague, a world where medical technology can create cyborgs, a world that has people that live up on the moon; it’s not the dream world someone would want to live in, but for story-telling purposes it really makes you think. I do think the main part of the story was a little obvious, I figured out what was going on early in the story and it was very easy to jump to the right conclusions. That said, it didn’t take any of the joy I felt reading away.

We are left with a major cliffhanger (!) and it’s a long wait until 2013, when Scarlet is set to publish. Definitely add this one to your list for the new year and be prepared to swept up in romance and deception.

Is anyone else wondering if other Asian cultures now reside in New Beijing (since Adri wore a kimono instead of a cheongsam)? I’m kind of wondering if Japan and such was wiped out. (Or maybe I just missed reading about it?)

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