Cinder by Marissa Meyer
publisher: Feiwel & Friends
release date: January 3, 2012
hardcover, 387 pages
intended audience: Young adult
series: Lunar Chronicles, book 1
source: from publisher for honest review
description: 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.
Review: I've just discovered that there are four total books planned for this series---and I have one thing to say about that: Yippee!! :D What a fantastic way to start the new year. This is the first book I read of the amazing lineup of 2012 releases, and I could not have loved it more. If you're a regular reader here, you probably know how much I love a good fairy tale retelling, and Cinder was absolutely no exception. The basic bones of the classic Cinderella story are there, but Marissa Meyer refashioned it into a completely unique, highly imaginative tale of it's own.
The world of Cinder was incredible: a futuristic, overhauled China with little cultural touches of China's "past", like the peasant's marketplace and the towering tiered pavilions of the palace. An uncontrollable plague has everyone living in constant fear. Cyborgs are being used as guinea pigs to test cures, and very rarely making it out alive. An absolutely malicious queen who rules the colonized moon threatens war if she doesn't get what she wants from the earth's leaders...and in the middle of it all is Cinder. I loved this character. She's living under the harsh thumb of her stepmother who uses her as a slave and blames her for the death of her late husband. She is a cyborg, with more of her body than even she knows made of metal and machinery. She's been dealt a pretty hard hand, but through it all she stays determined to find her way out and into a new life with her best friend, a droid named Iko (one of my favorite characters!) and her kind stepsister Peony. Of course, it's never that easy or there would be no story!
The story immediately pulled me in, the characters were at once intriguing and compelled me to either love or despise them, but to also want to know as much as I could about them. Prince Kai was absolutely swoon-worthy and unpretentious. I loved that he and Cinder seemed to easily fall into a friendship, someone they each felt comfortable confiding in. The pacing, I thought, flowed beautifully in all aspects of the plot---the romance, the politics, the race to find a cure for the plague, all held my attention with a death grip to the very end. It was hopeful and heartbreaking, romantic and terrifying all at once. One of the major twists was something I suspected all along, but completely relished watching as the secret unfolded. And that ending!! While it was a breath-taking cliffhanger, it ended this installment at the perfect spot and left me craving book two.
Definitely not a debut to be missed, people!!
Check out Marissa Meyer's site here, she's just posted an updated list of her tour stops---she'll be in San Francisco soon and I will be there to say hello and get my copy signed! So excited!
Purchase Cinder at: Amazon • BN.com • BookDepository • Indiebound
SO I wanted to spread my love of this book! I'm giving away my ARC copy, because this is definitely one that I want to have in beautiful hardcover sitting on my "favorites" shelf!
Do you want my ARC? Fill out THIS FORM and I'll pick a winner at random!
•US only, sorry International friends!
•13 and over
•Ends January 14th, 2012