Book #1 – Lunar Chronicles
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Retellings Audiobook borrowed from the Library
Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future
D.G.’s Rating: 3 skulls (B-)
Cinder is the first part of a bigger story arc that as far I understand, will span 4 books based on different fairy tales. Although Cinder’s story mostly follows “Cinderella”, the book is also intertwined with “Snow White” and that conflict is not resolved here. So if you don’t like cliffhangers, then I suggest you wait until all the books are published.
Putting Cinderella & Snow White in a science fiction setting was very clever and one of the things I enjoyed most about the book. Unlike most fairy tales though, the prince does more than kiss the girl at the end. Kai was one of the sweetest love interests I’ve seen in YA recently; he was cute, nice, responsible and caring. You could tell how much he wanted to do the right thing and how much the burdens of his role weighted on him.
Cinder, on the other hand, wasn’t that interesting but I think that was because she was more constrained on having to follow Cinderella’s fate. There was a lot of ‘woe is me’ and bad treatment from the step-mother/step-sister that she just took on the chin.
Ms. Meyer used political unrest between nations to bridge the two fairy tales but they didn’t make much sense. Why were the Lunars so much powerful than Earthans when they didn’t have the same technology and couldn’t have the same population as Earth? (Surface Area in the Moon is around the size of Africa). Whatever advantages they got after their evolution were easily counter-maneuvered (don’t get close to them, use things with reflective surfaces and have the androids fight them) so acting like the Lunar Queen was Hitler seemed slightly ridiculous. And strategically, it didn’t make any sense for Kai to take her nonsense. She was in his country with only a few people defending her so it would have been really easy to get rid of her. Also, the pandemic sub-plot was really weak and it depended on Earthans forgetting all the advances in Epidemiology of the last century.
The narration was adequate but too deliberate – I had it at 2x during 70% of the book. Ms. Soler did voices and accents well but I think she really needs to speed up her pace.
At this point I don’t feel like continuing the series but I’m sure when the next book comes out, I’ll change my mind. The sci-fi plus fairy tale angle is too novel to pass up.
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