Readers: February 27th: Apologies for the scattered posting that's about to come during the next week or so. University has just started and I have a lot of work to do to get on top of things (and ahead!). Thanks for your patience, as always.

Publishers: I promise I'm not abandoning the lovely review copies you've sent!
I'm getting through them and the reviews will come eventually!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Review: Cinder

Title: Cinder
Author: Marissa Meyer
Series: Lunar Chronicles #1
Publisher: Penguin Australia
Published: December 29th 2011
Source: Publisher for review

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.

As soon as I opened this book I knew it would be an all-time favourite. The main character, Cinder, drew me in immediately with her kind heart, humour and willingness to help others. I never thought this would be my kind of read - androids and space people? - but my goodness did Marissa Meyer blow my mind. Her clever world crafting and fully developed characters will leave you breathless and begging for more. Is it 2013 yet? Surely it can't be a whole year away… *sobs*

Living in New Beijing, Cinder is your futuristic Cinderella. She works as a skilled mechanic and, on her own, supports her family's lavish spending. With her evil step-mother and sisters, her family is unbearable and will make you shudder in anger, nervous fear and frustration. You'll be horrified by how much her mother's cruel and thoughtless actions affect the outcomes of the novel too! Your sympathy levels will be in overdrive as Cinder's thrown into the cruellest of situations and by the end, you'll definitely feel compelled to give this cyborg a metal-crushing hug. The novel comes alive through it's brilliant characters, whether heroic or evil, and is carried effortlessly by Meyer's imaginative writing. Cinder is filled with nerve-wrecking tension and action, making it a very addictive read. If you can put it down for even a second, I'll be very shocked!

Of course, this wouldn't be a Cinderella story without a Prince Charming. On a very typical day at her stall, Prince Kai of the Eastern Commonwealth stops by to drop off his android for repairs. It's through this first meeting that their lives intertwine and they become caught in a forbidden romance neither can walk away from. The world is in a pandemic, the currently incurable plague killing millions of humans and androids alike. Somehow, Cinder unwillingly gets involved with the testing, which guarantees an almost-certain death with countless unsuccessful vaccines. Through this experience, she learns shocking things about her true self and origins, along with becoming a crucial part in the raging Earth/Lunar war. This brilliant cyberpunk will fascinate you with its intriguing mythology, mystery and thrilling action. Spot-on characters plus a fast-paced, yet intricate storyline? Don't pass out on me now! You have to stay conscious to enjoy the book!

Kai and Cinder have a very heart-warming relationship. Like every other good thing, it blossoms slowly and you can see how things develop between them every step of the way. As secrets about Cinder are revealed, their relationship only gets more dangerous. After Kai's father dies from the plague and he's slated to become the new Emperor, consorting with a non-human is the worst thing he can do. Add on Queen Levana, the brain-washing Lunar leader who's threatening to unleash a fatal war on Earth unless she's made Kai's wife, and Cinder is in for a wild journey. Will she be able to become Kai's beloved Queen at the ball or will Levana's evil plotting leave her dead?

This isn't a novel to read on a sunny afternoon to pass the time. No, Cinder's intense story is gripping and will have you enthralled for long after you've finished. The characters in this novel are at their best and, I promise, you'll feel honoured to have experienced the otherworldly level of amazing that is Cinder. Every element of this novel is just perfect! You'll want to get your hands on the sequel immediately afterwards so maybe you should chain yourself up before you go breaking into Meyer's house for it. Truly stunning and original, Cinder will appeal to every single type of reader and throw you into a imaginative world filled with endless possibilities.

Oh this review could've been PAGES long. There's so much to say! Cinder has a million different levels and the characters, I can't stop saying it, are amazing. I'm looking forward to the next three books SO MUCH. Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and Snow White? *squeals* What about you? Watch the trailer here!

Find Marissa on Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook, her website and blog.
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