Author: Marissa Meyer
Series: Lunar Chronicles (#1)
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
How Received: publisher ARC
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. . . .
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.
I have a lot of feelings about this book, and most of them aren't ones that are going to send you raving to read it. So I'll start with the positive.
The characters - well, most of them - were absolutely fantastic and fun to read about. With the exception of our villain, they were all fleshed out and thoughtful and they had their quirks and they seemed real. Even when I was frustrated with Cinder's decisions, I understood that she was confused and didn't know who to trust. When Iko made a snarky comment, I couldn't help but laugh. When Kai tried to make a move on Cinder, I was legitimately torn that she wouldn't tell him that she was a cyborg.
And I thought the setting was really cool. I love the futuristic world, the marketplace, how the androids and cyborgs are integrated into the culture.
But the plot. The plot. First, the overall plot points are ridiculously transparent. Not just because it's a retelling of Cinderella (it's obvious who will end up with who), but the additions to the story are easy to figure out.
Not only that, but in a world presented as straight up sci-fi, you have people with 'magical' abilities that border on fantasy. If you're going to present them like that, explain how they ended up that way; don't just say it's because they live on the moon. I want details. I want to know why they are the way they are and how they're able to hide among normal people and how their abilities don't go unnoticed and why people aren't able to resist when they know people have the ability.
And I understand that the Lunar people wanting a war was an important part of the plot, but really, it could have been done in a much less 'magic-y' way. Not only are you making them seemingly impossible to defeat, but you're making them impossible to resist? If, among the Lunar people, there are people AGAINST the queen, couldn't you just turn it into religious fantatisicm? More realistic in a world of technology; they'd need something to cling to.
And come to think of it, that would make the villain more realistic. If they plan on revealing her true intentions and thoughts later, it's already too late; she's tried to murder people for a power play. I don't care if she wants power. I want something that can make me root for her if I wanted to. Take a look at Morgana Penderagon in BBC's Merlin; I don't agree with a single thing she does. But I pity her or I root for her anyway despite her evilness. I want strong villains who I CAN root for even if they're doing it for stupid and silly reasons. This one just does nothing for me. She seems flat and one dimensional.
I wish this was a standalone, or that each part of the chronicles took a different fairy tale and set it on the same world. (Thanks to the way the book ends, I don't see that happening.) I feel like the same story could have been told without all the drama and the fantasy-esque. Things could have been handled a lot differently and been so much more awesome.
Overall Rating & Final Comments: 4/10. I really wanted to love this. I love the main characters and I love the idea and I love the world. But the plot is predictable or silly, and the villains are flat and unbelievable. A lot of people are loving it, but I just don't feel it.
Have you guys read it? What do you think?