Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles Book 1)

Cinder

Another fantastic book that I’ve read in the year 2016.
The first installment of the Lunar Chronicles.

Let me say this out loud – wow, just WOW.
This book literally took me by surprise in every possible way I could think of.
I had definitely not expected that I would get swept off my feet by this book. This book is just amazing.

First thing first, I have never been a massive fan of sci-fi-or dystopian king of thing, so I most certainly had some concerns whether I would enjoy this book or not.

I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but once again, this book blew me away.
I just can’t tell you enough how much this book stirred my emotions – frustration, anger, sadness, terror and affection – I would never have imagined this book being so emotion-driven.

This is – most of you readers have already known- a re-telling of ‘Cinderella’ and the story revolves around a 16-year old, Cinder, who was turned into a cyborg due to a terrible car accident and the most renowned mechanic in the city of New Beijing.

Now, I’m really glad that Marissa Meyer didn’t portray Cinder as a meek, sappy poor little thing who just laments all the misfortunes and miserable life that she has to go through.
Don’t get me wrong – I don’t hold anything against the original Cinderella, I like her probably as much as most people do. But I think it would have been boring if the author had chosen to make Cinder a slavishly truthful reflection of Cinderella; we do want something new, don’t we?

Cinder is courageous, independent and compassionate. She doesn’t back down even at the face-off with her nemesis. I love that side of her.

As for the writing, I wasn’t so impressed in the beginning; in particular, I found some parts in the Book 1 a bit tedious and not spectacularly gripping.
Yet from the Book 2 and then onward, the story really picks up and it only gets more and more interesting. It kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time.

What really intimidates me about sci-fi or fantasy books is the amount of information.
As such books do involve (I think) a lot of world-building and many characters, I always worry if the book is info-dumpy or if I can keep track of all such information.
However, with this book, it turned out to be a needless fear; Marissa Meyer doesn’t info-dump you and she actually takes a lot of time to build up the world of the story.
It is definitely not like ‘here, here and here, these are all you need to know to follow the story and here is the world-setting. Now, let’s get on with the story.” And I really appreciate it.

The dialogues are also fantastic and sound realistic. I even dare to say the dialogues are what makes this book this compelling and engaging. You can never imagine how frustrated and appalled I was when I read the dialogue between Cinder and her evil stepsister Pearl. Oh, it literally boiled my bones!!

As for the other main characters, Adri, the stepmother and her stepdaughter, Pearl don’t come across as bad as we may remember in the original Cinderella, but since when SOMETHING tragic happens, they suddenly start to show their true colors and it gets really frustrating and infuriating. The transition (transformation to be more precise?) was expressed annoyingly beautifully, I was amazed.

All the characters are so fleshed out, so strong, and Prince Kaito, Oh, I adore him!!
It was so nice that we get to delve more into his personality and what he thinks in this book.
His see-sawing emotions and affection toward Cinder just melt my heart.

Some may say the ending was a bit predictable because of the foreshadowing scattered throughout the book and I must say that I kind of suspected it myself, yet still, I held my breath in surprise. The last chapter is just amazing, such a cliffhanger. I now can’t wait to see how the story unfolds!

All in all, this is a fantastic introduction to the Lunar Chronicles. I just can’t get enough of this! (and I’ve just purchased a box set in hardback format;  whatever happened to my pledge that I won’t buy any more books this month?!  Look at what this has done to me… 😦 )

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