YA Novel (Series: Lunar Chronicles)
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . . 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.
I have a distinct love for YA dystopias and Cinder is such an excellent example of a great book that swept me off my feet with surprise over how great it was. Especially since I didn’t go in really expecting that much from another retelling of a classic fairy tale. However, this fairy tale base really explains the whole structure of the novel.
The world building is fun albeit a bit unfinished (there’s more potential there) because in New Beijing androids and humans throng the streets. I might be incorrect calling it a dystopia exactly because the main flaw in the society is that it’s a little too like our own but with enough high tech to make it feel quite different. There’s definitely a sly little critique of racism which I always enjoy. I love how great Cinder is. She’s got skills that she’s using and a complexity of character which allows for an understanding of why she needs to keep secrets. I mean, I kept getting annoyed when she kept making bad decisions but I kind of always feel that way whenever I read self-conscious YA heroines mostly because I had a few too many friends in high school who were like that. I also loved Kai, the confused overwhelmed prince of the kingdom.
The pace is great and though the revelation isn’t actually a revelation, the journey towards it is enjoyable. Quite frankly naming the series the Lunar Chronicles really doesn’t keep it a terribly great secret.