This past week, the latest installment of The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer was released to the public. Stars Above is a collection of prequel short stories as well as an additional regular short story addition to the stories that many readers have come to love. If you’re like me you were late to this luxurious party. Have no fear! I’m here to help catch you up one book at a time. In this review, I’m going to focus on Cinder, book one in the series.
Cinder is not only the re-telling of the beloved fairy tale Cinderella but it’s also a fantastic addition to the dystopian genre. I’m going to be honest right now that I loved this story slightly even more than the original fairy tale story. Please don’t think me horrible for my conclusion but if you haven’t read the book yet, do not judge before you do.
Linh Cinder is an orphan cyborg who was “adopted” by a scientist and his family and transported to live with them from Europe to now New Beijing. She wasn’t always a cyborg, though. She lost her birth family in a hover craft accident within the confines of Europe. Under the hands of her soon to be adoptive father, she received extensive surgery, transforming her into the cyborg she is today. Not long afterwards her “father” somehow contracted Letumosis while in Europe and succored to it, taking his riches along with him to the grave. Now Cinder is a well-known cyborg mechanic and offers her services at the local market on the weekends in order to support her stepmother/guardian Audri and stepsisters Peony and Pearl Linh.
Cinder’s world is a much darker world than ours. The gathering mass of countries gather together as a product of the devastating fictitious World War IV. They have re-adopted medieval political ways like arranged marriages, diplomatic strategies when it comes to war, and also respecting fully on treaties in order to keep peace. A Science Fiction element that is added to the story, other than hover crafts, cyborgs, and androids, is life on other planets. We are introduced to the new race entitled, Lunars, in accordance to the Moon/Lunar Moon. Much like when our history when Europeans brought diseases and other sicknesses to America, the Lunars brought the world a new disease named Letumosis or Blue Fever. The world relies on the providence of New Beijing to discover the cure. The country later announces the new testing on cyborgs instead of humans in order to find a cure. This aspect comes into play later on in the story.
The Emperor of New Beijing suddenly contracts letumosis which sends his teenage son, Prince Kai, into a mini-panic. He is not ready to become Emporer nor is he ready to face the possible alliance with the Lunars. It is said that the Lunars have ways to brainwash and manipulate others to do their bidding against their will. Rumors surround current ruler of The Moon, Queen Levana, and how she received the throne. According to the rumors, she had ordered her sister Princess Selene who was the original heir to the throne, to be killed along with assassinating the last queen and controlling her step daughter to maul her own face. Of course, to “Earthens” these were just rumors and no concrete evidence has been found. But another rumor lingers that Princess Selene is still living, only no one is able to locate her.
Prince Kai finds his way to Cinder’s market table in need of her services to fix his sabotaged android he was using for his secret plan that I will not spoil. Cinder hides the fact that she’s a cyborg to Prince Kai throughout the whole novel. That part drove me nuts! I will not lie. Every time she was close to be being honest, she’d back off. There were times I wanted to fling the novel across the room. Honesty is much better if you get it out of the way, but no, she had to keep silent. I digress but the rest of the novel is filled with more secrets, twists, and an unpredictable ending that sent me straight back to the library to get the sequel. Their relationship, though, was one that I myself would spin me into heated confusion. Prince Kai flip flops about his true intentions with Cinder and to me I wish he’d make up his mind. Then again, what guy is not like that in real life, ladies?
I give this book a 9 1/2 out of 10 Book Charms. I knocked it down half a point due to the honesty issue. Yes, some of you may argue with me on the point, but I still think that many issues could have been settled if she had just said something. I’m currently in the middle of Scarlet right now and it’s taken a whole new tone to it.
If you have already read this, what did you think of this novel? If you haven’t, why have you not read this book yet? Seriously? I asked myself the same thing before I read it. Now that I have, I wish I could have joined the fandom sooner but it’s better late than never. Totally Worth It!
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