Cover Cinder: a leg in a red shoe; inside the skin of the leg you can see robotic mechanisms

About the Book

Title: Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1)
Published: 2012
Series: The Lunar Chronicles
Swoonworthy Scale: 3

Cover Story: Lose The Shoe
BFF Charm: Yes
Talky Talk: Fast N’ Furious
Bonus Factors: Cyborgs, Fairy Tale Retelling
Relationship Status: Let’s Do This Again Soon

Cover Story: Lose The Shoe

I am probably the wrong person to be reviewing this cover, because…I am not a shoe person (gasp!) I know that my fallopian tubes are meant to predispose me to an intense and senseless love of all footwear, but I was born with an Apgar Score of 2, so maybe that permanently ruined me in some way. That said, there are few things I hate more than a generic black or red heel. On a person’s foot, they’re cute! But on a book cover or anything other than an actual live shoe, I find them abhorrent. One of my bosses was given a black heel tape dispenser and I almost threw up. Yes, I understand the significance of shoes to the Cinderella story, but there were no red heels in this version. I love the leg and how you can see the mechanical parts inside! More of that please!

The Deal:

Our story is set far, far in the future in what is called New Beijing — over a hundred years since WW4. Our cyborg heroine Cinder lives with her evil Stepmother Adri and (one evil, one nice) stepsisters. (Yes, this is a Cyborg Cinderella story.) With no memory of her life before her operation, Cinder was brought to New Beijing by her adoptive father. With her adoptive father dying shortly thereafter from the plague, Adri became her legal guardian (a worrisome situation considering cyborg rights are similar to that of property). Resentful of her inhuman ward, Adri forces Cinder to work as a mechanic. But one fateful day, the future emperor of New Beijing — Prince Kai — brings an android to Cinder’s shop for repair. And Cinder soon finds herself caught up in the international drama between the human governments and the Queen of the Lunar colony. War is brewing and the mind manipulating Lunars are intent on conquering Earth.

BFF Charm: Yes

Yay BFF Charm

Cinder’s life has not been easy. Which, I feel like is an obvious enough thing to say about ANY Cinderella character, but hear me out. She never had a father or mother to love her before ending up with Evil Stepmother, so she can’t even remember back to happier times. Cyborgs are considered someone’s property, so she doesn’t even have the legal rights to leave her crappy situation. Plus, many humans are disgusted by her and other cyborgs, so when people find out Cinder’s secret, she is usually treated like a freak. The only good things she has going for her are her sweet and kind younger sister Peony and her bizarre but lovable android friend Iko.

So the fact that Cinder has the ability to be kind and caring, despite her crappy situation, is quite the accomplishment. Funny and self-deprecating, Cinder is pretty relatable (ya know, except for the whole metal limbs thing). And she does a fairly good job of standing up for herself (at least as much as I could expect from anyone in her precarious/powerless situation). But I did occasionally want to smack her on the head when she was around Prince Kai. Girl, a Prince likes you, deal with it!

Swoonworthy Scale: 3

I just wasn’t grooving on the dynamic between Cinder and Prince Kai in this one. Kai immediately takes a liking to Cinder and I just can’t help but wonder why. She’s totally dismissive of his flirtations and blows him off more than anyone should put up with. I mean, this guy is the future ruler of 1/6 of planet earth, has the star power of Justin Bieber and Brad Pitt combined AND is dead sexy to boot. Sure, no one wants a sexy crown prince to find out they are half robot, but isn’t that better than him thinking you’re a jerk? And why was Prince Kai so interested in Cinder when she keep rebuffing him? At some point, shouldn’t he just assume she is a lesbian? I mean, if you’re a guy and a girl isn’t interested in you, that does not make her a lesbian. But if I were a sexy prince, I’d probably be cocky enough to assume that anyway. I suppose all of this is to say I didn’t really buy the relationship between these two, but luckily that was never the selling point for me being interested in this book.

Talky Talk: Fast N’ Furious

When I started this book, I looked at the length and was a bit nervous about finishing it in time (hey, I get lazy over Christmas!) But I had nothing to worry about, because this is the kind of book you can fly through. Nothing ever really jumped at me as being something so great that I wanted to write down for later or slow down to savor it. And alternatively, nothing bogged me down or frustrated me.

Bonus Factor: Cyborgs

I’m a sci-fi geek, so anything with cyborgs, androids or AI is pretty much a gimme for me. I love having deep thoughts about what it means to be human. Now let’s all go watch Star Trek: The Next Generation Episode 2.9: “The Measure of a Man”.

Bonus Factor: Fairy Tale Retelling

A woman playing Cinderella meeting a child

When I first heard there was a book about a Cyborg Cinderella, I was floored by how awesome that sounded. Even though Cinderella has been done to death, I really loved the new and unique setting to this old story. But I am even more excited for the sequels, with will obviously have to break away from the Cinderella plotline and go some place (hopefully!) unexpected.

Relationship Status: Let’s Do This Again Soon

When I heard about this book, I couldn’t resist the chance to go on a date with it. Its concept had completely won me over! And while our date turned out to be quite predictable, I still found myself having quite an enjoyable time. Enough that I will go out with this book again and see where it takes me. Because I think it has the potential to get quite intresting!

FTC Full Disclosure: I received my ARC from Macmillan. I received neither money nor cocktails for this review (dammit!). Cinder is available now.

Megan is an unabashed fangirl who is often in a state of panic about her inability to watch, read and play all the things.