This month my YA Book Bloggers goodreads group read this book! I was sooo excited as I have been wanting to start this series for a while!! I will be reading the sequel soon, read what I thought…
The Lunar Chronicles #1
by Marissa Meyer
Published January 3rd 2012
by Feiwel and Friends
Cinder is a cyborg with a brain interference that has given her an uncanny ability to fix things (robots, hovers, her own malfunctioning parts), making her the best mechanic in New Beijing even if she’s only 16 years old! Given the VIT (very important task) of fixing a broken android by Prince Kai himself she is distracted when she is sold into plague research… what does the doctor in charge learn from his newest guinea pig?
I’ve been putting off this review because I knew it was an unpopular opinion…
The idea for the change in setting to an Asian nation was really divine to me! New Beijing is a really excellent idea and I’m sure I would have been blown away except that I know about Asian countries and nothing written in this book represented them. It was literally just a change in location and the race of the prince. *shrug* The world building was plain terrible! There was also developed a Lunar race and culture. This was more successful as it was simply based on the moon being another country with a race that can manipulate bioelectricity. There are children born to lunars that are shells or can see through these manipulations. This is how the book went for me! I’d totally love the ideas but then half of them were executed well and the other half was terrible!
I really liked Cinder in the beginning of the book. Her being 36.28% cyborg was super cool and added this whole complexity to her interactions with others. That she could pick out lies and scan for news are just a few of the features that her cyborg half added to her life! She lived in a tough situation and I understood that and sympathized. I became disconnected to Cinder when her stepmother sold her to those researching the disease and it went downhill from there. I didn’t understand her reasons for doing some of the things she did. There’s one point where she knew that it would be detrimental to her health to reveal her knowledge but she doesn’t even try to pretend or anything! She had no self preservation and that it really hard for ANY human to push down and yet she didn’t seem to have good reasons why she flouted her own safety. I didn’t hate Cinder by the end but she felt contrived without motivations…
Prince Kaito was great! He’s obviously a good kid, doing his best in a pretty crappy situation. He didn’t seem to have a prejudice bone in his body. He had this lovely interaction with Cinder whenever they met! I adore the fact he’s Asian as this is quite rare!! …I wish he thought more about Cinder! He didn’t seem to give her situation a thought! Handsome and good is just not enough! I didn’t expect him to go out of his way to protect her or take her in but he never looked into her or thought about where she was coming from. There were some interesting things he learned about her from the beginning but this prince who could have whatever information he wanted never thought to sate his curiosity?
The Doctor was an intriguing character! I loved how he was introduced with Cinder coming into his clinic and testing her… (though I am puzzled why he constantly lied to the prince!) …He also represented the sum total of the plot until the ball at the end. Basically Cinder would be told information by him. She would leave and be tortured some by her family then go back to the doctor for more information. Along the way she’d meet the prince! I liked the doctor. I loved all the revelations he shared! I just wish there was more to the story than going to the doctor for him to give her the answers!
The foreshadowing was HEAVY HANDED!! I mean I felt like a steel pipe had beamed me across the face in the very beginning about a twist for the end… I assume EVERY reader saw it coming from a mile away… Deliberate or not since I already knew where the story was going it was pretty easy to guess where this was going. There is only so much you can do with a disease like Letumoisis killing off the people! This made the story BORING… It made me want to scream because all the bones were here! The premise is to die for and the characters were compelling and the details were incredible… why is the execution of plot and the twists so poor?!
The retelling aspect of the story was 5 out of 5 stars! I can totally see why this book garnered so many fans… Cinderella is definitely living on in this story!! We have a stepmother and a dead father figure, two step sisters and a ball at the end! A prince and a kingdom! It doesn’t sound like a lot but it was just enough to frame out a vehicle to deliver a brand new story!!
The additions to the fairy tale were SOOOOOO CREATIVE!! The best sort of creativity too! I loved the idea of the Lunar and their abilities to manipulate humans… and the villainous neighboring Queen who manipulates a nation is spot on. It arose so naturally from the idea of a kingdom and a prince! I loved the setting and the problem of Letumoisis! Quite a compelling motivation for the doctor and prince! Even the mystery of Cinder’s stepfather and all the changes he made to her body was quite compelling…
I didn’t hate the book and actually quite liked a lot about it as you can see… When the actual story isn’t executed well, is full of contrivance and has the subtly of a sledgehammer I can’t just overlook that… BUT I CAN TOTALLY READ THE NEXT BOOK (and I totally am looking forward to it)!
BOTTOM LINE: Creative, creative, creative!! (Storytelling needs work…)
IKO!! Now this book was totally worth reading for this little 3 foot high, rolling robot! And I LOVED that she was a fan of the Prince and balls! I totally need to read book #2 to learn what happened with Iko… (and if there is a way to obtain an IKO of my very own I would be so appreciative!)
As a writer this character is what we dream about! Whether a secondary or minor character we want the littler presences to shine brightly while they are on the page… Iko is the kind of character that wins a reader over even when other story elements aren’t working!!