I got a copy of this as an ARC from the publisher
Bk 1 The Lunar Chronicles
Cinder is a cyborg, half human/half machine, this means she is looked upon as a lesser citizen, owned by her step-mother. Cinder is a very good mechanic and earns the family’s money working a stall in the market. Her skill results in the Prince bringing an android in for her to repair, he seems anxious to get some information stored in the droid. The excitement of of meeting the Prince is swept aside in the pandemonium that happens when a stall holder in the market comes down with the plague that is causing havoc across the land.
Things go from bad to worse when Cinder’s step-sister also shows symptoms of the plague. In a fit of rage Cinder’s step-mother volunteers for her for medical experimentation. This is when things really start to unravel for Cinder. The doctor is keeping things from her, the Prince keeps asking her to the ball and Cinder is planning her escape. With all that is going on another enemy shows their hand. The Lunar Queen, who controls her people with brainwashing and manipulation, is hungry for more power and has made her move on the Prince and his people at their most vulnerable. Cinder wants to stay out of it but when she gets some information she knows that that is no longer an option. She risks her life to tell the Prince what she has found out without knowing just how much that information, it’s consequences and the knowledge that follows, will change her life.
At the heart of this story is a tale we know well. A young step-daughter forced to work by her family, a prince and a ball. Really that is where the similarities end.
Cinder is a complex character battling to figure out who she really is. She believes that even though she has mechanical parts she is like a person who lives and feels. Her step-mother and others say she can’t be, in part because she cannot cry. Cinder is a character that draws you in even as part of you recognises that she will go to the ball with the Prince.
The path to destiny is not always so clear though. As events happen around her, Cinder is drawn into the greater issues of politics and plotting and her past begins to open up to her. This is a layered story and an interesting read. Meyer has done a good job of bringing the world of New Beijing to life in all it’s technological grittiness.
There was a moment or two of cringe factor, that moment when boy and girl are inevitably torn apart. I understand why it happens but part of me wishes there was a different way of doing it. As an overall read I admit to enjoying it and looking forward to seeing where Meyer takes things. If you like fairytales and sci-fi then I’m sure you will love this.
Publisher: Puffin Books
Published: 05 January 2012
Format: Paperback 400 pages
Categories: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Fairytale
ISBN 13: 9780141340135