Title: Cinder, Book 1 of The Lunar Chronicles
Author: Marissa Meyer
Genre: YA Fantasy
Length: 550 pages
Where Stacie’s Copy Came From: Oshkosh Public Library
Plot Basics: Cinder, a cyborg inventor, helps rehab a favored droid of Prince Kai’s, and is pulled into intergalactic struggles that a poor girl from the slums is ill equipped to handle…even one with cyborg parts.
Banter Points: This title first caught my eye closer to the original publication date. The cover art is gorgeous. Unfortunately, this also was an reading era of gorgeous covers and bad content, especially in the YA market (for me, at least.) I would see this one, and wonder, but wasn’t willing to commit to reading it until a friend verified that it would be worth while.
I appreciated some of the twists of this Cinderella retelling. For example, the setting of China tickled me. There’s a theory that Cinderella stories with the unique and exacting shoe fit is related to the practice of foot binding. Setting the story here, with Linh Cinder’s cyborg foot, was a delightful way to open the story, especially as Linh Cinder is putting on a new foot when the Prince walks into her shop.
The idea of a cyborg being a society reject rather than a coveted option was interesting too. Often, in the fantasy books I read, this sort of hybrid human is envied, rather than scorned. The enhancements lead Cinder to hid parts of herself so that Kai will continue to like her. Being a cyborg also contributes to her success as an inventor, which impacts the plot as well. Having a few different threads of this nature kept me entertained during this reading.
Bummer Points: This was a fun, but not fabulous, read. I’ve got book two — Scarlet — on reserve, however I’m hoping it doesn’t suffer from the sophomore slump that can happen with the second installation of a series. The unique elements were not enough to carry a predictable plot. This was a standard set-up for bigger, better intrigues. It could be, also, that YA romances are only minimally entertaining for me.
Stacie’s Recommendation: Mostly entertaining, worth checking out for improvements in number two. Love the cover art.