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 knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .My Thoughts: I am so smitten with this book. Between the twisted fairy tale references, the futuristic setting, and the strong characters, it just flat out worked for me. Cinder's world isn't always pretty. There's some pretty screwy social inequality -- between both the working class and the royalty and between Cinder and everyone who isn't a cyborg -- and the entire planet is teetering on the brink of war with the Lunars, but it's balanced by Cinder's strength and Kai's willingness to do the right thing even at a very steep personal cost. The entire world is so wonderfully imagined that I couldn't get enough of it.
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.
Cinder's life, much like in the classic fairy tale, is one of hardship. Her faithful companion is mechanical and her only real human friend is powerless to stop the abuse that her stepmother heaps upon her. She's trapped by what she is -- part human, part machine -- and disobedience is dealt with swiftly, sometimes in small, petty ways and sometimes horrifically. Even after Prince Kai and she come into contact, Cinder is practical enough to realize that daydreaming about him is a waste of time and won't help her get the places she needs to go. Except that she keeps getting thrown into his path and, gosh, maybe he's not such a waste of time after all.
I loved the idea of the Lunars and their crazy queen. Literally crazy, you know. The lady is sneaky and manipulative, dangerous and without mercy. The hints of what's brewing on the moon (and in later books) is creepy and sounds like we -- and Cinder -- are going to be in for one heck of a ride. I can't wait!
This twisted, futuristic retelling is wonderfully done. It's dark, sad, horrifying, and sweet all at once. Cinder has her work cut out for her and I'm ready to see where her journey takes her.
Books in this series
1. Cinder - Hardcover | Paperback | Kindle
2. Scarlet (2013)
3. Cress (2014)
4. Winter (2015)
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