My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Original Publication Year: 2012
Genre(s): YA, Sci-Fi, Romance
Series: Lunar Chronicles #1
Format: In Print
Narrated By: NA
Recommended Subtitle: Cinderella is a Cyborg!!
Recently, everywhere I look this series is being raved about. The hype is definitely on. While frequently hype and disappointment go hand in hand for me this one looked pretty intriguing. It’s a retelling of the Cinderella fairy tale (one of my favorites) with a science fiction and mildly Asian twist. Sixteen year old Linh Cinder is a reviled cyborg working as a mechanic in the futuristic city of New Beijing. She works to support her hateful stepmother and two pampered step-sisters one of which she actually likes. Within the first few pages of the book, Prince Kai of the Eastern Commonwealth (as most of Asia is called in this post World War IV world) stops by her booth in the market to get an android fixed and the intrigues have begun.
This was so much fun and such a pleasure. Yay for hype not being completely misguided! It is the time of year when my job becomes completely overwhelming and I’m looking for a nice bit of escapism with a good story, good characters, and nothing too intellectually challenging. This book really filled the role nicely. I was completely sucked into the interesting future Meyer has imagined with deadly plagues and dangerous conflicts and a Lunar colony whose citizens have evolved beyond the people of Earth. The foundation of the fairy tale is there, along with its most notable components but Meyer has not just painted a thin veneer of “alternate universe” on it. The society is a blend of cultures, of old-fashioned and high tech and it still embraces many prejudices. It’s vivid and interesting – I loved it.
The characters are also easy to connect with. I loved Cinder's android and friend, Iko, with her teenage girl’s personality. Prince Kai is suitably dreamy and easy to like though his affection for Cinder does seem to develop fast and with little cause but, you know, it is a fairy tale retelling. Cinder was probably the character I felt took the longest to become interesting but by the end of the book I dug her and have hopes for her in the future.
My one “disappointment” is that I had gotten it in my head that this was a stand-alone. I imagined that each book in the Lunar chronicles was a retelling of a different fairy tale. It is in fact true that each book will tackle a new fairy tale but it will all be in this same universe and be a part of the larger story started here dealing with the people of Earth vs. the people of the Moon. This is and ambitious idea and pretty creative of Meyer and I’m intrigued, however, it resulted in me getting to the end of Cinder and being really surprised that there is no wrap up. I know, I’m an idiot. I dealt with this by immediately rushing out and getting book 2, Scarlet, from the library.
Final Verdict: Cyborgs! + Lunar people with glamours! + Cinderella! = Total Fun!
So I would love to hear A) what people's favorite fairy tales are and B) if you have any favorite re-tellings?