Author: Marissa Meyer
Genre: Fantasy/Young Adult
Length: 390 pages
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.
After hearing a lot of hype about The Lunar Chronicles, I finally got around to reading the first book in the series, Cinder, after finishing up with school. I had actually really been looking forward to having some time so that I could begin the series. I’ve always loved the idea of cyborgs, and fairy-tales retold with a twist are probably one of my all time favorite premises. My first thought after finishing Cinder was that I needed to get my hands on Scarlet, the second book in the series, immediately.
Packaging: 5/5 Stars. I really, really love the packaging of this book. Although I obviously can’t display how it feels, the cover and back cover both feel very smooth, very silicon-esque, and the graphics and typography are gorgeous. It’s definitely more beautiful in person than it is in picture. It definitely hints about the contents of the book, and I love the cyborg aspect of it.
Writing Style: 4/5 Stars. I really enjoyed the writing style of this book! Marissa Meyer is a very talented author, and the writing style flowed very nicely and was very enjoyable to read. I feel like she handled the complexity of the plot very well, and delivered it in the best way possible.
Characters: 4/5 Stars. I loved the characters of this book. I loved Cinder, and how, although she definitely had character faults, she had such a strong voice and will. I loved all the characters that Marissa Meyer wrote with the intention of us liking, and I despised all the characters that she wrote with the intention of us hating (I fantasize about pitching Adri off a cliff).
Plot: 4/5 Stars. This plot was really, really great. It’s completely original and not similar to anything I’ve ever read. The sci-fi aspects of this book, such as ID chips, androids, and cyborgs, incorporated into a futuristic retelling of a fairy tale results in being a personal dream come true. While Marissa Meyer never comes right off explaining how things work in this world as many dystopian/sci-fi books tend to do, the book itself does such a great job showing instead of outright telling that it isn’t necessary. Although some twists are predictable, I credit that to really good use of foreshadowing. Although this book, as the first book of a series tends to be, spends a lot of time building up the world and leading to what will eventually become the actual plot, it doesn’t leave you with a wandering feeling that tends to be present when there isn’t a clear plot in a book.
Overall: 4/5 Stars. Cinder merits a strong 4 stars. Reading this book was everything that I expected and more, and I had my mom drive me to Barnes and Noble the day after I finished it so that I could pick up Scarlet. With strong packaging, writing style, characters, and plot, this book is strong in every aspect. Although it was lacking something that I couldn’t quite put my finger on, resulting in giving it 4 stars instead of 5, Cinder is overall a solid and promising read to what will be a revolutionary series.