Monday, January 12, 2015

Review: CINDER by Marissa Meyer

Title: Cinder
Author: Marissa Meyer
Series: Lunar Chronicles #1

Summary: 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 know 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. 

Why I read it: This is another one of those series that I had heard of when the first book came out a couple years ago, and wanted to read it, but for some reason didn't make it a priority. Now that I've become involved with the bookish community, this series is HUGE now. So I ordered the first two books from BookOutlet (yay, cheap books!) and bought the third from a local bookstore (yay, indies!) So I picked it up at the beginning of December because I just had to know if it deserved all the hype!

Thoughts: It does. It SO deserves the hype.

Each book in this series is a sci-fi retelling of a classic fairy tale, and obviously, this book follows the Cinderella storyline. But in this series, Cinderella is a cyborg mechanic. Isn't that fabulous?

The characters in this book are so wonderful. Cinder is a talented mechanic, but she is shy and uncomfortable in social situations. She only has two friends. First is Iko, an android with a faulty personality chip that makes her much more human-like. Oh, how I adore Iko and her massive crush on the prince. (An android with a crush? How precious!) And second, in a twist on the original tale, her stepsister Peony, who is just darling. Also, I love Dr. Erland. He's grumpy but wonderful, and I always picture him as John Noble. Anybody else?

Queen Levana is a fantastic villain. We don't get an opportunity to see inside her head much, and we barely have an idea of what she really looks like. But she is terrifying. She is Queen of the Lunars, the race of beings that live on the moon, and the main antagonist for the entire series. And sidenote: the Lunars are SO COOL. Everything we learn about them and their world (moon) is interesting.

And Prince Kai. He is so swoonworthy. (Spoiler alert: ALL the love interests in this series are swoonworthy.) He has the weight of the world on his shoulders, but he still manages to be charming and vulnerable.

One of my favorites things about this series is the development of relationships between our heroines and their love interests. Marissa Meyer certainly knows how to craft a slow burn romance. You will not spot insta-love in any of these books, nor are the relationships set in stone by the end of each book. They're always changing and developing in wonderful ways.

Marissa Meyer's world-building is perfection. These books are set in the future of our world, so while there are hovercars and robots and space travel, everything still seems a little familiar, which keeps this sci-fi tale a little more grounded. This makes it a perfect introduction into sci-fi for readers who aren't well versed in the genre!

The writing is great. It's fast-paced and keeps you entertained the whole way through, and you'll never want to put it down. I read the second half of the book in one sitting because I just had to get to the end! Once I got to the end, I had planned to read another book, but I couldn't put this series to the side yet, so I had to pick up Scarlet and continue the story!

Overall, I absolutely loved it. Easily one of my top five series I've ever read. And it's not over! Fairest, which comes out later this month, is Queen Levana's prequel story. Winter, the fourth and final novel, will be released in November. So if you haven't picked up this series yet, I highly recommend you do it soon, so you can get in on the hype and join the rest of us eagerly awaiting the last book!

If you have read these books already, come back and read my reviews for Scarlet and Cress in the next week or so! When those reviews are live, I will link them below as well.

Rating: 5/5 stars

Scarlet review         and          Cress review

Tell me: have YOU read Cinder yet? What were your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below! 

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