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Saturday, June 9, 2012

Cinder, by Marissa Meyer

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.

Let's start with the positives. It's an interesting story line, seriously. Futuristic, semi-dystopian, cyborgs as 2nd or 3rd class citizens, a moon monarchy (not just a colony, a monarchy). I like the bit of almost romance, the intrigue, the ups, the downs, the twists. I like Cinder, Kai, and the doctor. And it was more than easy to dislike the evil queen. 

I like that Cinder is a cyborg, and that this can cause real problems down the road, because she's considered basically trash. Because she is less than fully human. All Cinderella stories tend to run that theme. 

But I had several issues with the story.

First, there is a race of people living on the moon, the Lunars. What's their backstory? How'd they wind up on the moon? How did they become a monarchy? Why are the constantly at odds with the kingdoms and nations on Earth now?

Then there's Cinder. How did she become who and what she is? There's a hint of a wreck, a weird take over of her guardianship, but she really has no memory before age 11. Where'd those years go?

After researching both Meyer's website and other reviews, I got some answers to these issues.

Then I had a problem with the Cinderella aspect. I just didn't feel like it mattered. Sure, there were some similarities to the traditional story, specifically the Chinese version--namely, a stepmother, an unwanted/unloved stepdaughter, a prince, and a ball.....but it didn't add anything to the story for me. Frankly, I didn't feel like all the hype I'd read in other reviews about this future-ized version of Cinderella was particularly warranted. Cinder's story just happened to have a detail or 2 in common with it, nothing more.

All that being said, I did enjoy the book. I'd love to get my hands on a copy of the ARC for the second book in the Lunar Chronicles series, Scarlet (which will be published early February, 2013), but I'm fine with waiting.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I purchased the ebook of this title for my personal collection. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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