Sunday, January 1, 2012

Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer

Cinder (Lunar Chronicles, #1)

Expected publication: January 3rd 2012 by Feiwel & Friends

My Rating Scores:
Cover Art Rating: ***** 5 out of 5 stars
Overall Content: ****.5  4.5 out of 5 stars

Quoted from GoodReads: 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. 

In this thrilling debut young adult novel, the first of a quartet, Marissa Meyer introduces readers to an unforgettable heroine and a masterfully crafted new world that’s enthralling.

I was so excited to get this ARC in the mail! I loved the book cover, it grabbed my attention right away.  I would have picked this one up in the book store based on the cover alone.   It was perfect reading during the busy holiday season.  Lite and fast read that was thoroughly entertaining. (One of the many reasons I love the YA genre.)

Cinder is based on the Cinderella fairy tale, but with a unique spin.  It's set in a futuristic si-fi type environment in "New Beijing" of all places!(There is not much of an Asian feel to the book and I do wonder about the author's choice of  this setting.)  The strangest part of all is that Cinder is cast as a cyborg. She has some really cool abilities as a result of being a cyborg.  Even one of her feet is mechanical.  That gives the glass slipper part of the fairy tale a whole new set of problems/possibilities.

Cinder has a wonderful "R2D2 type" of android sidekick with loads of personality. It seemed that personality in an android is considered an undesirable trait by this society and the personality of Cinder's android was considered a programming glitch making the android an outcast worthy of Cinder's company.

The defective android is Cinder's only friend until she meets Prince Kai.  That's when the story takes off.  Some of  the plot is predictable, but isn't that what why we love fairy tales in the first place?  This story does have some characters that are cast a bit differently from the original Cinderella tale, so don't expect a  si-fi regurgitation the original story.  The Cinderella tale is just a starting point for the plot.

My only criticism of this book is that New Beijing has many rules, laws and concepts that are presented as fact, but not fully explained to the reader.  The idea that cyborgs are considered  to have less rights than humans seemed to be a law that had a big impact on the plot of the story.  This was just presented as a fact. There is potential for some really  thought provoking situations within this story.  I say potential, because none of them were fully examined in this book. The author, Marissa Meyer, does lay the ground work to do so in the future books. I look forward to seeing if the other books in the series will take advantage of this. Did this affect my enjoyment of the book? No.  I really did have fun reading this story!

Now I have to admit that I peeked at some of the reviews already out there (and there are A LOT of them) before I wrote this review. It seemed to me that some of the reviewers forgot that this is a YA book. Not that YA is a genre to be discounted or considered less valid than any other genre of books. Just meaning that you need to remember the intended audience here.   It seemed like some reviewers were expecting more from this book.  Even though many adults are reading YA, it is still meant for young adults.

 My 15 year old daughter saw this book come in the mail and was begging to read it.  I handed it off to her as soon as I finished reading it.  She loved it and finished it in one day.  It is important to note that my daughter reads, but she has never read a book in one day.  I anticipate that my copy will be passed among all of her friends and coveted by others that are not lucky enough to be her list.  She and her friends ARE the intended audience. I predict that this book (and the others in the series) are going to be considered  a  "Must Read " among this group, and many of us more mature readers as well!

****1/2  ( 4 1/2 out of 5 stars)

Thanks to the author and publisher for providing me with an  ARC and the opportunity to read and review this book.

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