Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

A FORBIDDEN ROMANCE
A DEADLY PLAGUE
EARTH’S FATE HINGES ON ONE GIRL…
Published by Puffin in 2012
Pages - 400
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.
*****
Reviewed by Isabella Samuels

Marissa Meyer takes Earth’s most told and best loved fairy-tales and launches them into a frighteningly tangible future. In the first instalment of The Lunar Chronicles we meet Linh Cinder in New Beijing, 126 T.E (third era). A mechanic at the New Beijing market, she is dazzled by a handsome and charming client – who just happens to be Prince Kai, heir to the Eastern Commonwealth Empire. It was easy to lend Cinder sympathy at this awkward meeting – she’s just in the process of changing her mechanical foot.  Though I doubt many of Meyer’s readers can identify with having to change their own foot, we can all relate to those moments that really could have been better timed. Meyer uses these universally recognisable scenarios throughout to help us adjust to her new world and modern technology to spectacular effect. 
Cinder’s being a cyborg gives her an air of mystery, we’re as uncertain of her past as she is. But we’re also a tiny little bit wary of her as well, as the other residents of New Beijing are. This sets her up for us as readers, not only for the book’s but the series’ revelations about her secret origins. Kai, despite this being a futuristic telling of the traditional, still takes on the role of the dreamy, enchanting Prince Charming. However, the other classic characters have been given an exciting and original update. The fairy godmother, for example, takes the form of Cinder’s android Iko, an endearing and na├»ve bot who helps Cinder endure her callous adoptive mother Linh Adri and sister Pearl. 
At first we focus on Cinder and Kai’s developing flirtation, enticing us into the fairy-tale frame of mind whilst being subtley drip-fed the bigger problems and plot-lines into their story, gathering momentum for the novel’s thrilling climax.

Do NOT make the mistake of thinking that Cinder is ‘just another remake’. It is an addictive, fast paced, emotion powered caper – and only a taster of the following Chronicles. 
*****
WATCH OUT FOR MORE POSTS ON THIS SERIES IN THE NEXT WEEK OR SO, AS ISABELLA HAS REVIEWED THEM ALL! 

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