Series: The Lunar Chronicles #1
Author: Marissa Meyers
Genre: YA Sci-fi Fairytale Retelling
Ratings: Craft—5, Content—3,
Overall—4.0 out of 5 stars
A cyborg mechanic is volunteered as a medial guinea pig by her stepmother when her stepsister is taken ill by the plague.
Excerpt from Chapter 1 of Cinder:
The screw through Cinder’s ankle had rusted, the engraved cross marks worn to a mangled circle. Her knuckles ached from forcing the screwdriver into the joint as she struggled to loosen the screw one gritting twist after another. By the time it was extracted far enough for her to wrench free with her prosthetic steel hand, the hairline threads had been stripped clean.
Tossing the screwdriver onto the table, Cinder gripped her heel and yanked the foot from its socket. A spark singed her fingertips and she jerked away, leaving the foot to dangle from a tangle of red and yellow wires.
She slumped back with a relieved groan. A sense of release hovered at the end of those wires—freedom. Having loathed the too-small foot for four years, she swore to never put the piece of junk back on again. She just hoped Iko would be back soon with its replacement.
The Craft: I wasn’t sure what to expect from this secular novel when I cracked the cover. I mean, the premise of Cinder is intriguing enough—a futuristic science-fiction retelling of Cinderella. But I’ve read enough novels who fail to fulfill their premise that I know this novel could easily go nowhere . . . or somewhere I had no desire to go.
I am pleased to say the story not only lived up to its premise, but did it in a way I could enjoy for the most part. Cinder is a strong but sympathetic female lead surrounded by a well-developed cast of characters.
All the major elements of the original fairytale are incorporated into the story, often in a fresh and unexpected way. I did become a little annoyed that Cinder didn’t figure out what was going on a little sooner, causing the middle to drag some. But other than that, pacing is solid and the plot has some nice twists.
I am still waiting for the happily-ever-after. However, as this is only book one, I guess I shouldn’t have expected otherwise!
The Content: Like the craft, Cinder turns in an unexpectedly clean read, with minimal objectionable material. There’s no sex, minimal violence, and the supernatural powers are attributed to genetics. The strongest gray comes from that of deception and manipulation, but even that is usually associated with evil or reaps difficult consequences. The end is still open too, so it will be interesting to see where book 2 will take us.
Summary: Cinder is a fun read with its unusual twist on Cinderella. Some caution should be exercised by those with deceptive or manipulative tendencies. Otherwise, highly recommended for those who like fairy tales and unique takes on them.
Ratings: Craft—5, Content—3, Overall—4.0 out of 5 stars