As said in the title… this is a TBR Backlist book. Which is my way of saying I’ve been meaning to read this forever, so it’s not a new release review, and has been sitting on my nightstand for a long time. So it’s a little funny that I am just now getting to this review. I actually have read Cinder before. I first read Cinder a few years ago after picking it up at Books of Wonder in NYC on a random day off. And I absolutely loved it then, but needed to re-read it in order to refresh myself on the story before finally reading the rest of the series.
Cinder is my exactly my idea of a great use of adaptation. Clearly inspired by Cinderella, but in a way that is not cutesy or happy-ending driven (yet, anyway.) Cinder is set in a futuristic world where Earth is at odds with the ruler, Queen Levana, and people of the moon. The Lunars are a race of peoples that have innate magic, and their Queen is a real piece of work who hides behind her magic to veil her face, and relies on her glamour and charm to subdue not only her own people, but any politicians who may come into contact with her. The goal she has in mind, as far as we know, is to marry Prince Kai and basically come to Earth and rule the world. Meanwhile, the people of Earth are plagued by a disease that came from the Lunars, which is so lethal that no one survives once they’ve been infected with it.
Cinder herself, our heroine, is a girl who was in a horrible accident that required doctors to use extreme measures to save her life. Hence, she is part-android. As you would expect from a Cinderella story, her guardian is fairly hateful, and her step-sisters are rather pampered.
Without getting into spoilers, Cinder has an interesting balance of themes ranging from the original fairy tale, sisterhood, coming-of-age, racism, and–my favorite–the ethics of scientific experimentation. Combine all this with a bit of magic, mechanic skills, robots and a Sailor Moon-esque spin, and you’ve got a really fun story. Honestly, it reminded me more of Sailor Moon than Cinderella by the end. We’ll see if that holds true as the rest of the series progresses, which I’m looking forward to reading soon.
Another thing I like about the Lunar Chronicles, so far, is that Meyer provides novellas to help flesh out the story line above and beyond the books themselves. This is a trend that I particularly enjoy when done correctly. There are several for the series, but I can’t peek ahead at them yet aside from Glitches which is tied into the first book. So if you are starting the series for the first time, but sure to keep an eye out for the novellas/stories.
Recommended for fans of re-tellings, fantasy, and light romance.