Title: Cinder: Book One in the Lunar Chronicles*

Author: Marissa Meyer

Will be published January 3rd 2012 by Feiwel & Friends

Goodreads summary:

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 have literally been looking forward to this book for years. I grew up reading Meyer’s Sailor Moon fanfiction and followed her livejournal account of her writing adventues. She was one of my favorite fanfiction authors. I think I can safely remove the word “fanfiction” from that title after reading Cinder. Meyer’s become one of my favorite authors, full stop, with her debut novel.

As one could probably infer from the title, Cinder is a futuristic reimagining of the fairy tale of Cinderella. The tale begins when Prince Kai asks Cinder to repair his android and, in the very same day, plague strikes close to home. Enjoy the quiet peace of the first few pages of the novel. Things quickly turn into a roller coaster ride of a book.

The relationship between Kai and Cinder is one that you really have to appreciate. Unlike so many other books out there, it isn’t part of the insta-love phenomenon that is the bane of my existence a little unrealistic. We grow to know both Kai and Cinder in their own right, understand the various pressures that they both find themselves under. And then, we see that seed of attraction that we can spot early on grow.

There is definitely enough romance to make lovers of it swoon, but I also loved being taken along for Cinder’s ride full of self-discovery. She learns things about her mysterious past that I never saw coming, and Meyer threw twist after twist that just left me reeling.

And let’s have a look at Meyer’s world-building for a moment: It’s more than fitting that for a futuristic novel, the villains are ones that we can’t even find on earth. It’s fitting also that the unusual “draft” only affects cyborgs who aren’t considered entirely human because of technology, and that arguably Cinder’s closest friend is an android named Iko (I totally want an android like Iko to give me fashion advice, by the way. She was adorable!). The way that the day-to-day technology is written, such as “coms” or “netscreens,” makes it seem day-to-day. I was never wondering what exactly they did, every device just seemed like something that belonged there.

Fair warning, the book ends on a wicked cliffhanger. You will want Book 2: Scarlet in hand promptly and, if you’re like me, will want to thrash around on the floor, beating your fists, crying “WHY?!” as in “WHY don’t I have Scarlet yet?!”

But it’s worth it. Meyer’s writing has all of the charm of a traditional fairy tale with the extra zap! of technology and wonderful characters to give it pizazz.

Overall rating: 5/5. I have a new favorite series. Move this book to the top of your TBR pile NOW. But don’t come crying to me over the cliffhanger please. I’m just barely recovering myself.

*I am an Amazon Affiliate and if you choose to pre-order CINDER through my link, I will receive a small portion of the sale. This in no way affected my review.

**I received my copy of CINDER for free from the publishers via NetGalley. This in no way affected my review.