The book choices for month 5 - to be reviewed during the third weekend of April were:
Cinder - Marissa Meyer +27
Storm front – Jim Butcher +14
One for the Money – Janet Evanovich +7
Water for Elephants – Sara Gruen +6
A forbidden romance.
A deadly plague.
Earth's fate hinges on one girl ...
CINDER, a gifted mechanic in New Beijing, is also a cyborg. She's reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister's illness. But when her life becomes entwined with the handsome Prince Kai's, she finds herself at the centre of a violent struggle between the desires of an evil queen - and a dangerous temptation.
Cinder is caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal. Now she must uncover secrets about her mysterious past in order to protect Earth's future.
This is not the fairytale you remember. But it's one you won't forget.
I love being a member of my book club. Our illustrious leader chooses four books that the group then votes on and the one with the most votes wins. This was the one that won this month (month 5) although I voted for Storm Front by Jim Butcher because it has been on my book shelf for ages!
So I went into this with pretty much no expectations. But OH MY STARS! I am so glad this book won!! It was delicious in every sense of the word and I wish that I had read it sooner. These novels are so addictive so in the space of a week I have managed to read all the novels and the novellas and am eagerly awaiting the release of Winter, which means I will need to re-read this (such a chore) before the review meeting of the book club.
A wonderful retelling of the Cinderella story set in New Beijing (a nod to the origins of this fairy tale). I will not go into the ins and outs of the story as it will ruin the surprises for you but suffice it to say it is futuristic, sci-fi, and brilliant. There are plenty of twists and turns but the main one I did manage to guess – to be honest it was not a stretch.
This book is aimed as teens/young adults. Cinder’s character is brilliant; she’s tomboyish, sarcastic, funny and a survivor. I loved that the author made her a flawed heroine who hates herself because of her differences (she is a cyborg after all). In short she is real and jumps of the page as she grows into her own self. In fact all the characters were wonderfully described and developed on.
I am equally in love with the android IKO who was a bundle of uniqueness. I did find that these characters acted so much older than their ages but that might have something to so with the setting of the story. That said, these characters stay with you when you are not reading the book, making you want to get back to them at the earliest opportunity.
I was not totally won over by Prince Kai for someone who has supposed to have been groomed for being the future Emperor; he is very young and unworldly. When we get to his point of view in the novel he comes over as an essentially weak character who when he discovers that this potential love interest is not all she seems is initially repulsed thereby succumbing to the propaganda surrounding cyborgs without forming his own opinions.
What caused the third and even the fourth world wars? How were the different areas of earth divided after these wars?
How and why as the Earthen Union made?
What caused the moon to be colonised? How did these Lunars develop from the original earth colony? Why are they so hated and dangerous?
Why are cyborgs so reviled? Why do they become belongings to a family when they were once a true part of that family?
These and more questions are being asked my more than one Lunar Chronicles fan and we would love to have some answers. We have enquiring minds and we need answers that so far have been unforthcoming.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want everything handed to me on a plate but there are so many elements of this story that are just skimmed over that are essential to the plot that it would have been nice to have had more of an explanation for them that the passing mentions they have received so far.
I read this book in one and a half days it was so engrossing and I was lucky enough that I had the remaining books (apart from Winter) to read directly afterwards. So if you love Sci-Fri and fairy tale retellings and can forego some inconsistencies and a rather blatantly obvious twist then this is the book for you. But beware read one and you will want to read all of them.
I do have a few questions though:
We know that Cinder had to change her foot as it had become too small but what about other elements of the cyborg nature.
Did she have to have her spine altered, her heart, her head, her long bones in her arms and legs, and her hand?
Why did these elements have the ability to grow with Cinder when her foot did not?
(PS: I have noticed that with other book club books I have changed my rating and in many cases the ratings have gone down but this one will remain a firm 5 stars.)