This is a fairy tale retelling of Cinderella, where Cinder is a cyborg and works as a mechanic in the future New Beijing.
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: January 3, 2012
387 pages, paperback
series: #1 in the Lunar Chronicles
And this is yet another re-read! I have read Cinder in May 2014 and I loved it; my first review can be found here. I didn’t have the sequel, so that’s why I didn’t continue on with this series. Later that year I got Scarlet and still didn’t manage to read it. Now that I definitely want to continue with this series, I wanted to re-read it and I cannot believe I didn’t pick up Scarlet as soon as I have turned the last page of Cinder.
I am a big fan of fairy tales. When I was a little kid, my mother would read me fairy tales as bedtime stories. As soon as I learned how to read, I read fairy tales myself. I still enjoy fairy tales. And as soon as I heard about this fairy tale retelling I knew I had to read it (in this case: re-read it).
New Beijing fascinated me to no end. Although there wasn’t much backstory to how the world became like this, which I thought was a pity (but hopefully there will be more to it in the sequels), it was still a very interesting world the people lived in. The fourth World War is 126 years in the past, the people live in this world, where there is so much technical progress: androids, netscreens, hovercrafts, cyborgs. With this technological progress there is still an incurable disease, a plague that kills people within days.
Cinder is a seventeen-year-old girl who works as a mechanic on the market to fix netscreens, droids and other technical knick-knacks. She is part cyborg, but that’s not something she tells the people around her. She is ashamed of it because her stepmother and her stepsister are making her feel worthless. She has to do all of the technical repairs at the house as well as work in the market; not that she ever got a thank you or money for her work.
I loved Cinder and her cyborg parts. I just couldn’t understand how she didn’t think of herself as a superhuman, but a sub-human.
Prince Kai is the son of the emperor, who has also fallen ill with the plague. He knows that soon it will be his turn to rule the Eastern Commonwealth. He isn’t prepared for this at all and doesn’t want this responsibility. He feels too young for it, but he definitely wants the best for his people.
I liked Kai despite some things at the end of the book that he did. But as this is not yet resolved, I want to continue with the story and see what I think about him in the sequel.
Iko was the best android-friend that Cinder had. She had too much opinions for her own good, but that’s what made her so hilarious and likeable. I enjoyed how she fangirled about Prince Kai and how she wanted to go to the ball with the rest of the family. It was just way too funny.
Then there’s also the Lunars and Queen Levana. I couldn’t stand her from the beginning, but as a villain she definitely was a great character.
The Lunars are people who live on the moon and have established a superhuman power after generations have lived there. They have this glamour that can manipulate people to think and see and do everything the Lunars want them to do, which is quite scary.
I loved the technical aspects of the story as well as the political and scientific story line. It blended all very well together and I’m excited to see more of the above mentioned characters as well as the new characters and how each story will intertwine together.
The writing was smooth. Easy to follow and fast-paced. I loved how I had to read, read, read until I either had to really go to sleep or go to work. This was a rollercoaster of a story. Reading this for a second time didn’t make me want to slow down, I wanted to know what would happen next, although I still knew the main points of the story. It was a great start to a series and I really, really need to get on with the story.