Sunday, 30 September 2012


I  first saw Cinder by Marissa Meyer as one of the top reads on Shelfari.  With not a lot else to read at the time, I found that a copy was available from the library, and thought, why not give it a go?  Full disclosure here: while I'm not, or at least try not to be, a YA snob, I seem to have a problem with picking Young Adult novels that are any good.  I'm often lured by beautiful, or strange, covers only to be disappointed by what I read inside.  So, I went in with low expectations for this futuristic tale of a young cyborg, as you can see by the picture that Cinder has a gorgeous cover.

A forbidden romance.
A deadly plague.
Earth's fate hinges on one girl . . .
CINDER, a gifted mechanic in New Beijing, is also a cyborg. She's reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister's sudden illness. But when her life becomes entwined with the handsome Prince Kai's, she finds herself at the centre of a violent struggle between the desires of an evil queen - and a dangerous temptation.
Cinder is caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal. Now she must uncover secrets about her mysterious past in order to protect Earth's future.
This is not the fairytale you remember. But it's one you won't forget.

In the beginning, although I found the characters intriguing, I wasn't a fan of how Meyer was deliberately forcing all the Cinderella aspects into her story.  For example Cinder's step-mother isn't really her step-mother, she's her adopted mother.  However, this annoyance changed once I noticed a familiarity to the Sailor Moon story and I was won over instantly.  Let it be known that I'm a sucker for a story with a Sailor Moon inspired plot.  Especially when said plot takes place in a futuristic New Beijing.  I loved the descriptions of the different settings; such as the castle and Cinder's workshop in the slum-like markets.

Cinder is the first book in the Lunar Chronicles, and Meyer states her intentions to keep the series fresh within the last few pages and also with what seems like a Kelley Armstrong 'Women of the Otherworld' switch of main narrator for the next book, Scarlett.  For me Cinder was an impressive example of when YA fiction is written well, and I hope Meyer's tales can carry on improving.

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