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Cinder - A Cyborg Cinderella

Hey fellow book readers! For this week I have a very pleasant surprise with Cinder, the first installment from The Lunar Chronicles which I was pleased with.

I personally am a big fan of sci-fi and have always been since I was a little kid sitting in my living room at 2am watching Star Trek TOS reruns not wanting to go to sleep yet since I had too much trouble with tribbles bouncing around in my head.

Then there is Star Wars (which this book series has hints of). Yes, I'm both a Star Trek and Star Wars fan. Hard to believe right? When I started reading Cinder I could feel and picture in my mind the dirty yet advanced technology of Star Wars with droids running around similar to R2-D2 except with the ability to talk like C-3PO. Marissa Meyer did a great job bringing this book to life.

Kai, Nainsi (the droid) and Cinder
Then there's the aspect dealing with fairy tales which I am a fan of but not as big of a fan as I am of sci-fi. In the previous post on March 22nd The Lunar Chronicles - 4 Loved Fairy Tales Turned Into 6 Sci-Fi Books I wrote more about this. Follow the link to read more. 

Now onto the core of the review.

BookMattic's Review of Cinder

BookMattic's Rating: 
4 Stars

Goodreads' Rating:
4.15 Stars
Cinder jumps right in introducing the main character, Cinder, and supporting and comedic characters including, Prince Kai and her hilarious side-kick android, Iko.

Cinder is a cyborg mechanic situated in New Beijing on Earth many, many years in the future. While selling her talents at a local market, fixing netscreens and the variety of future technology in this book, Prince Kai comes along in a disguise asking Cinder to fix his android named Nainsi. He heard that she is Eastern Commonwealth's most renown mechanic and said that he didn't want the palace's mechanics to fix Nainsi. He wanted the best.

This is Cinder and Prince Kai's one of many interactions with each other and a very cute one at that. 

Side note: 

New Beijing is part of the Eastern Commonwealth which in whole is part of the Earthen Union. The Earthen Union was created after WWIV to unite the world as one with the Treaty of Bremen. The whole Earth consists of six nations. The Eastern Commonwealth is one of them. 

As this is a review I won't go into further detail about the world building, but as you can see from this short description Marissa Meyer took the time to build a whole political structure which is fairly easy to understand.

The sub-problem... 
of the book comes right after this awkward meeting where Cinder witnesses one of the other vendors coming down with a sudden case of the plague that has been ravaging the occupants of Earth for the past 12 years called, Letumosis or the blue fever. It gets its nickname from the blueish-purple bruise like marks it leaves on your skin. 

After sneaking away from the med-droids that came to take the infected away, Cinder finds out that her stepsister (one good one and one bad one, unlike in Cinderella where she has two terrible stepsisters), Peony, comes down with letumosis while at the junkyard with Cinder picking up some parts for the broken down hover which Adri, the evil stepmother ordered Cinder to fix before the upcoming ball (see the connection to Cinderella?) came around the following week.

Cinder gets mixed up and ends up being taken into the government's experimental lab, ends up meeting Kai again in a few amusing interactions without him finding out that she's a cyborg and all of this is because she is trying to save her kind stepsister. 

Side Note: 

Just to let you know in this future cyborgs are not seen as human, and yes, part of their body is robotic but their brain is still in tact. Nonetheless the people of Earth don't like cyborgs that much and feel that they have no rights.

But is Cinder expendable like the rest of the cyborgs that the government has experimented on trying to find a cure for letumosis? Something is special about Cinder. Can she save her stepsister and possibly the rest of the world?

The main problem...

While all this is happening with Cinder, the feared Queen Levana from Luna decides to come down to Earth to try and make a peace accord with the Eastern Commonwealth after decades upon decades of rulers from Luna never stepping foot on Earth. 

The problem with this is that Lunars have the ability to manipulate people's minds into seeing or thinking things that are not actually there (reminds me of the Jedi mind trick). Queen Levana is well known for having a glamour so beautiful that she is irresistible.

So why all the sudden after so many years would the Queen of Luna want to come to Earth during one of its most chaotic times? Does she have ulterior motives?

About the world-building

Marissa Meyer didn't just write a book, she really did take the time to build a world that seems familiar, that we all can relate to in a little way but has many surprises and questions we can ask ourselves or friends that have read Cinder. 

Here are some questions we might ask but are not limited to just these:

  • How did the people living on Luna develop abilities? 
  • How long have people been living on Luna and why are they separated from the Earthen government? 
  • Where does Luna get its resources?
  • Why are cyborgs so hated?
  • Where did letumosis originate from?
A lot of these questions are answered. Some, however are left to the reader to think about, and that's what makes this book not just appealing to young adults, but also to a wider range of ages. If you're thinking you're too old to read The Lunar Chronicles then think again. 

If you love Star Wars and old fairy tales of the classic prince and princess story then I really do encourage you to take a shot with Cinder. If you like it then move on through the whole series.


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