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Cinder (Lunar Chronicles)

Cinder (Lunar Chronicles, #1) - Marissa Meyer, Rebecca Soler Courtesy of Smash Attack ReadsThis book got major buzz and I immediately became interested when I realized it was a fairy tale retelling. I really enjoyed this futuristic sci-fi spin on Cinderella.  It was truly unique and entertaining. While it was a tad predictable for me, I loved the characters, setting and plot. The narrator, Rebecca Soler, really brought the characters to life. She did great voices, accents and emotional output. It was a lot of fun! You can hear the first chapter of the audio book on YouTube.The story takes place in New Beijing, a city that came out of the destruction of disease and world wars. A monarchy is once again the form of government, yet the current king is on his deathbed from the disease that has killed much of the population. We learn a lot about this disease and its origin throughout the story.  The futuristic technology and medical terminology was well-researched and written and I soaked it up like a sponge. I want MOAR!Apparently, Marissa Meyer used to write Sailor Moon fanfic, which is so wicked cool. I was a serious fan of Japanese Anime and Manga and Sailor Moon was a fun one. Her interest in that series really shows in this book. It's futuristic, set in an Asian location, and there's even a settlement on the moon. The creation of Luna, which was settled after World War IV, was fascinating! A genetic mutation occurs and this population  becomes something other. I absolutely loved learning about this aspect of the story! I want more and hopefully the story actually lands us on Luna at some point. You can read all about Lunar history and life here. I don't think it's spoilery to the story, but tread cautiously.The characters in this book were so likable. Well, the likable ones anyway. Other characters were dislikable, too. Intensely liking or not liking a character is a sign of great writing, for me. Cinder was an all-around admirable character. She has been dealt a crappy hand but really carves out a niche for herself and makes the best of it. She lives with her step-mother and two step-sisters. Her step-mother is vile and I hope that a thousand rabid fleas infest her armpits.  That'll teach her. One step-sister, Pearl, was just as flea-worthy, but the younger step-sister, Peony, was different. Peony and Cinder formed a bond and they treated one another with respect and dignity. I truly loved what their relationship represented in the midst of so much treachery and death. There were truly touching scenes between the two of them.Prince Kai was also very admirable. I adored his charming, compassionate, kind personality. He is also dealt a heavy hand, but responds with grace and integrity. He takes an interest in Cinder, though he doesn't know the secrets about her identity. Being a Cyborg is not something she's proud of, seeing as how society treats them like scum. She does not wish to inform Kai of her status and respectfully bows out of any invitation she receives, even though she yearns to become close with this charming prince. I truly loved the respect and selflessness Kai and Cinder show us throughout the book. They both have extreme decisions to make and it is not something I would wish on my worst enemy. Maybe...Dr. Erland was intriguing because I was always wondering what his true motives were. His character evolves throughout the book as we learn some interesting facts about who he is and what he is working towards. I think he represents Cinder's Fairy Godmother, full of wisdom and secrecy.  Queen Levana of Luna is a fantastic villain. One you will need to experience first-hand. I particularly loved the narrator's representation of both Dr. Erland and Queen Levana.I am really excited to hear that Scarlet is introducing the Red Riding Hood fairy tale and cannot wait to see how the author has made it unique.Favorite Quotes“Kai cleared his throat. Stood straighter. "I assume you are going to the ball?""I-I don't know. I mean, no. No, I'm sorry, I'm not going to the ball."Kai drew back, confused. "Oh well...but...maybe you would change your mind? Because I am, you know.""The prince.""Not bragging," he said quickly. "Just a fact.”