(book one of the Lunar Chronicles) takes place in a dystopian world 126 years post World War IV. Linh Cinder is a cyborg mechanic in New Beijing, capital of the Eastern Commonwealth. This is where she meets Crown Prince Kai, when he comes in her shop to have his android fixed. There is a mysterious deadly plague called Letumosis that’s sweeping the world, with no known cure. The emperor has been recently infected, leaving the Prince desperate to find an antidote while also preparing to take over as ruler. Things are also tense between Earth and the Lunar people of the moon. The devious Queen Levana threatens war unless they could agree on a peace treaty. The only thing she wants? To be the new emperor’s bride. And the queen has her ways to get what she wants…
So how do I feel about this book? Well I am a bit conflicted. I did enjoy it very much but there were some things that didn’t quite work for me.The good:
-I loved the premise. Cyborg Cinderella in a dystopian future? It’s a very interesting twist on the fairytale classic we all know
-I liked Cinder’s spunk and wit. She could hold her own, and didn’t turn into some lovesick teenager upon meeting the prince
-Iko, Cinder’s android sidekick was probably my favorite character in the book. She’s got a very quirky personality, especially for an android! I wished there was more of her in the story
-The Sailormoon aspects: The Lunar people/colony:
the handsome, good-hearted prince,
evil Queen. I was a fan of Marissa Meyer’s work back in her Aliciablade days, so when I heard about this book I was very excited to read it. It was easy to imagine the characters as characters from Sailormoon– although I’m not sure if that was the intent of the author, or it’s because I’ve read so much SM fanfic in the past
-Intergalactic politics- which was only lightly touched on, but I hope we will delve deeper in future installments
The not-so good:
-The secondary characters weren’t fully fleshed out: Evil Queen is Evil, Bitchy step-mother is a big ol’ B, etc.
-If you are looking for a YA Dystopian like Hunger Games or Divergent, this is much lighter on dystopia, with little to no action. I also thought the lack of explanation about the last World War, about the Lunar people and overall world building left more to be desired. I am hoping more will be revealed in the next book.
-It was predictable: I already guessed the twist/reveal as soon as they mentioned the missing Lunar heir.
-The cliffhanger ending. When I first finished Cinder, it left me anxious for Scarlet. I wanted it, like, ASAP. After letting the it soak in for about a day, though, I kind of feel cheated. It felt like the book just ended, right when everything was getting exciting. But maybe I wouldn’t have felt the same if I already had Scarlet in my hands.
Overall: Though I thought this fell short as a dystopian book, it was an entertaining read and kept my interest all the way through. Cinder was endearing as a heroine, and I enjoyed how this story linked to the original fairytale. This was a good opening to this series, lots of buildup that made me crave more. I will definitely be picking up the sequel when it comes out.
3.5 out of 5 stars