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.
OH. MY. STARS.
I REALLY REALLY LIKED IT.
I gotta say I was pretty excited about starting this book because I had it sitting on my shelf for jeez, at least a year. It was collecting dust, and while it sat there, I began hearing more positive feedback about this particular book and the Lunar Chronicles. So my expectations were pretty high for this one, not to mention, I love fairytales. I ran to my bookshelf and grabbed this book as soon as I was done with Dorothy Must Die. A futuristic retake on the classic Cinderella story was intriguing enough.
I think the main reason I ever bought the book was because there was a big red shoe on the front cover, and I love shoes.
The story takes place years into the future after they’ve already had two more world wars and it’s primarily in “New Beijing”. The setting is creative in the fact that China is now a leading empire in what’s left of the world but everything is very futuristic. I loved that it took place somewhere else that wasn’t in North America, like ungh. China has such a beautiful and colorful culture.
As for what language they were speaking, I’d like to imagine that it was Mandarin, but it could also just simply be English. WHO KNOWS.
However, the main protagonist is Cinder the young female, cyborg mechanic.
What bothered me most in the story was the fact that everyone treats her like a monster because she’s a cyborg, but when you really think about it, cyborg’s are still merely people with mechanical replacements for lost limbs and whatnot. So we essentially have cyborgs today. I know from personal experience what it’s like having to rely on technological devices to stay alive, since I have one myself ever since one of my organs decided to stop working. I’ve never physically seen anyone with prosthetic replacements discriminated because of that reason. I know it’s just a story but, GAH it really frustrated me. Like come on, she’s still just a girl who can’t cry or blush is all. LEAVE HER ALONE.
She’s a great character, Cinder. I loved her from the beginning because she’s sarcastic and spunky, and she kicks ass.
The plot is very familiar where the handsome prince meets the kind and beautiful commoner in public and she lives with her evil stepmother and sister (minus the one sister who’s actually nice to her), she has a minor character as a friend who guides her, and the fairy godmother, in this case the doctor, her stepmother forbids her to go to the ball, she goes anyway. With a good reason though.
The characters are great for the most part, Iko the little android is awesome and funny. Dr. Erland was funny as well as incredibly easy to root for as he helps Cinder through the book. Prince/Emperor Kai was, oh my. Well, he was hot. At least in my head I imagine he was.
Like, come over here Kaito.
Come to mama. I will build you a desk if that is what you want.
But honestly, aside from Kai and all his holy hotness, he’s a really good and strong character. He definitely loved his people and of course with his sweet infatuation for Cinder, he’s great.
I want to say that I loved to hate Adri, the stepmother. But I didn’t even love to hate her, I just strongly disliked her. I just kinda wanted her to fall off a cliff. Then put her daughter Pearl in an office chair and push her over the cliff as well.
Queen Levana I’d have to say is the most obvious and prominent villain in this one. She sounds so evil and deliciously malicious. I certainly hope she gets hers in the end.
SPOILER ALERT BELOW
As for the twist in the story, I must say that it didn’t even occur to me that Cinder could be the lost princess. I was just kind of thinking like, okay so there’s this girl Selene and she’s probably alive and Kai’s gonna find her with Cinder and eventually they’ll have to figure out how to organize the peace terms between Luna and the Commonwealth. I DIDN’T DARE LINK CINDER TO SELENE. But as soon as Dr. Erland kind of began talking to Cinder about being Lunar, it hit me. I sort of threw the book across my room and I was completely caught off guard.
As for Dr. Erland being a lunar, I thought everyone would have suspected that from the very beginning. That was a bit obvious for me.
But, uh. This book was awesome, awesome, awesome.
You have to give it a try unless you’re not into fairytales, robotics, and Asian culture. But I AM, therefore, I lahved it.
I give it a 4.5/5 stars.