Cinder

Author: Marissa Meyer

Reread: December 2017 and January 2018

This is the first book in The Lunar Chronicles. I first read “Cinder” a few years ago. I had chosen to reread it this time for a readathon I was participating in, but I didn’t get around to picking it up in time. I began reading it at the end of December and finished it on the first day of January.

“Cinder” is a young adult sci-fi retelling of “Cinderella.” I love retellings and especially ones about old fairy tales.

It is set on Earth, many (many) years in the future, and follows teenager Linh Cinder. She lives in New Beijing with her adopted family and works as a mechanic. Cinder is also a cyborg and so she knows quiet a lot about machines and androids. This is how she ends up meeting the Crown Prince. Prince Kaito, or Kai, goes to the market to have his android repaired and the Cinder and Kai quickly become friends and start to develop feelings for each other. Kai, being the prince, has other responsibilities and Cinder, being a commoner and a cyborg, knows it’s a bad idea to have any sort of relationship with Kai. Yet, they still get tangled up with each other and trouble ensues.

Throughout the novel there is also a sickness spreading. It has been around for a long time and it is called Letumosis, or the Blue Fever, and it has no known cure. The people of Earth are also at “war” with the Lunars, people who live on the moon. Lunars have the ability to glamour themselves and are also able to control people’s minds. This makes them a danger to the people of Earth who have no way to defend themselves against Lunars.

So, I love this series. The following books are also fairy tale retellings and I love them. I was never a huge fan of Cinderella and her story but it’s still one I enjoy. I think Meyer did an excellent job at creating a story that’s new and exciting, but still feels familiar. While reading it, it’s easy to forget that it’s a “Cinderella” retelling because of how many obvious differences there are. But when you stop to think about it, its such a good portrayal and it has all of the basic story points from the original source.

I like Cinder as a character. She is intelligent and strong and capable of rescuing herself (and the prince). Cinder is rough around the edges because, coming into a home where she was unwanted and unloved, she had to learn how to take care of herself. And being discriminated against because she’s a cyborg set her apart from people her own age (and basically everyone else) and she wasn’t able to create relationships with many people. In fact, her only friends included one of her adopted sisters, Peony, and Iko, an android with a “faulty” personality chip. (Iko quickly became one of my favorite characters in the series.)

The entire cast of characters are so well written and they just get better as the series goes on. I love the story and the way “Cinder” ended. It was a great first book in a series and leaves you wanting more from these characters and this world. I can’t wait to reread “Scarlet,” a retelling of “Little Red Riding Hood” and the second book in this series. While reading “Cinder,” I found that I had forgotten some things that happened. I didn’t realize how much is packed into this book until the second time around. It makes me excited about what secret tidbits I’ll come across when rereading the rest of the series!

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