GENRE: Sci-fi, fairytale retelling, YA
SERIES: The Lunar Chronicles, #1
Hi lovelies! My internet has been down, one of the risks of living in the country especially in late July/early August when we get a bunch of hail and thunderstorms. Lost time to make up for, so let’s get right to it!
Cinder by Marissa Meyer. The first book in a quartet of science fiction fairytale retellings. This one is loosely based off Cinderella (in case you hadn’t guessed that from the name.) I have been avoiding this series becasue I have this thing with robots, especially cyborgs, where they freak me out. But I really enjoyed this book! They aren’t cyborgs like I typically think of cyborgs being Frankenstein-ed out of human and robot parts, they are humans who got in accidents or had a disease they are just really super advanced prosthetics with a chip in their brain so they can feel in their robot limbs or see with fake eyes or hear or whatever. They have artificial hearts, lungs, etc, medical science has advanced quite a bit we are very far into the future. There have been 4 World Wars, people are living on the moon, Lunars, and they have evolved weird abilities isolated up there and now there is a world treaty of peace and they are in the process of trying to get the Lunars to sign it as well. I thought this was a bunch of companion novels and there was different characters in each just in the same world, but Cinder is a huge part in them all and more characters are just added on and I’m super excited about it! Spoilers beyond here so bye if you haven’t read the book!
Iko!!! I’m starting with her because she is absolutely my favourite character! She adds much needed light to this story because she is so funny and sassy and just enthusiastic even though she’s an android and supposed to be kind of emotionless. I found her more human than most humans in this book. When Cinder just found her personality chip and everything else had been sold for scrap, it was probably the saddest part of the book.
When we first get mention for Princess Selene I don’t think much of it, we’re illustrating the cruelty of the Queen. By the second time it was brought up we know that this is important and I’m thinking, ok clearly this is important and Cinder doesn’t remember anything before she was adopted so hey, Cinder is probably this lost Princess. She’s immune to the plague that no one is immune too it would make sense if she wasn’t human. Because obviously being a cyborg has nothing to do with it if all the cyborg test subjects are dying. The shell explanation made sense but I was still on Princess Selene, the two weren’t mutually exclusive in my mind. But it was very predictable that Cinder was this lost Princess who could come back and save everyone. Dr. Erland turning out to be Lunar didn’t surprise me either. Right off the bat when he made Cinder forget she wanted to hurt him with the wrench.
I absolutely love how “team Earth” happened. Everyone is fighting, as we do, then we get this possible threat from another “planet” (they keep calling the Moon a planet. IF PLUTO CAN’T BE A PLANET NEITHER CAN YOU!) and the whole world is instantly, “Treaty up guys! Treaty up! Team Earth!” Queen Levana is absolutely crazy though. The stunt she pulled with the mirror to “test” Kai. What was she even testing? If he cared about his people? What improve he’d use to get out of that situation? How he reacted to her show of power? All of the above? She has no regard for life. I can’t even say human life and she just views humans as below her, but she treats her own people the same way! It’s almost like someone gave a toddler infinite power, she wants what she wants and she’s not thinking about other people apart from “what can I make them do to help me?” Except she’s much craftier than a toddler.
So the love interest, Prince Kai. I don’t know, man. From a basic character perspective I honestly don’t want these two together. Kai I found too naïve and sheltered and judgmental. It’s not really his fault that’s just how he was raised. I was a bit annoyed at Cinder for not telling him outright that she was a cyborg but I completely understand why she didn’t and sympathize with her and I would have done the same thing. Even without the lunar thing, cyborgs are so taboo and fall even below androids. They’re test rats. Cinder probably gets enough shit for being a girl mechanic, she doesn’t need some pretty boy who’s never had to work for food looking down on her for a decision made for her body that wasn’t even hers. I think Cinder can do way better and deserves better. As far as the plot goes obviously they have to end up together. They’ll overthrow Levana and Cinder will become Queen and then she’ll marry Kai making peace officially between the Earth and Moon.
Peony, ok I lied. Iko and Peony are my two favourites. I was so mad and upset when she died! There was a whole Kai chapter between Cider getting the medication and arriving to the plague center, skipped all of that. Kai, I don’t care! I need to see Peony and fix her! I thought she was going to inject it. That would be my idea, forget making her swallow it! She’s almost unconscious and can’t swallow? Whatever! Get a needle and put it right into her blood stream. Would be more effective anyway. You’re in a med center! There has to be a syringe somewhere! Or have grabbed one from Dr. Erland! Maybe they don’t have syringes anymore, everything is android based. They might not have just a needle. Pearl and Adri, those two are pieces of work though. When Pearl showed up at the market and Kai was so rude to her! Yes! Haha!
The Ball. Waiting the entire book for this ball, we finally get it and we’re going after the Lunar contacts Cinder telling her the threat on Kai’s life. I didn’t see much point in that, I assumed it was a given Levana was going to kill Kai after they were married but maybe I’m just a pessimist and cynic for jumping to that. But we’re going to the ball in a wrinkly dress, stained gloves and too-small foot all in an ancient car. Subtly is key. It was so sweet for that moment that we thought Kai knew she was a cyborg and didn’t care at all, but he was talking about Peony. After that it was like watching one big, giant train wreck that wouldn’t stop! I loved how Cinder saw that it was going downhill and she just has a moment of “screw it! Go big or go home!” and then kisses Kai and tries to kill the Queen and then starts sprinting away. I very much related to that, I’m the same way, I’m very stubborn. If something is going badly go all out because you’re either going to make it better or it’s already bad so how much worse can it get? You might as well try.
That’s all I have for Cinder, I can’t wait to dive into Scarlet! Bye! Kisses!