Hmm, where to begin...Well the cover caught my attention first so I pulled it off the shelf and read the jacket. Cyborg? Sure I'm interested in Sci Fi...moreHmm, where to begin...Well the cover caught my attention first so I pulled it off the shelf and read the jacket. Cyborg? Sure I'm interested in Sci Fi stuff and its in the young adult so its like a two for one, oh and for good measure throw in some dystopic themes which works for me. Not just any run of the mill story about a cyborg though, let's throw the Cinderella theme in there as well. Wait a minute, a cyborg Cinderella? Ok now I'm intrigued. You got me. I'm taking the book home and seeing what is going on here.
The novel takes us into the future where we have encountered two more world wars and have managed to maintain peace for 126 years, yet there seems to be a looming threat of a new war with the Lunar people if an agreement is not met soon. The Earth has been divided up into these 6 countries, and the story takes place in the Eastern Commonwealth. While there are some subtle hints of this there are no real cultural references to set the story firmly in the East. Which makes me wonder if this was done to make it seem as though the story could take place anywhere or if the world had been so ravaged by two additional world wars that maybe things have become so mixed and more an amalgamation of what was once more definite.
As I mentioned there is a cyborg, and while the Eastern Commonwealth and the Earth for that matter are peopled with some cyborgs only one is introduced, the main character Cinder. There are also androids rolling around being useful, but here again we only see two. And we have the Cinderella theme with a slight twist going on over everything that is happening. The mean step mother who treats Cinderella like a work slave, which in this case Cinder really is property of the step mother with government papers to prove it, rather than just being a step daughter. There are two step sisters, though neither is ugly and in fact one is very sweet and actually cares for Cinder.
There is the threat of war and the plague Letumosis. We the disease actually comes from Lunar. The presence of Lunar people on Earth is causing havoc and killing the people of Earth even while there is the threat of war from the Lunar people should an agreement and union not take place. There is only a tentative peace at the moment. And likely this will come up with the next novel and drive it. I wonder though could there really be anything more to the Cinderella thing, because the Prince is there and all the other aspects, but we've played the story out. Whats left? Where will this go? A new fairy tale or just continue off on its own. This is what I'd like to see but I can't get anything from the title thus far and have to wait til 2013 for the next novel. That's what I get for reading current novels. Should always wait to start a series til it looks like it is complete and all published. The waiting for the next book always stinks!
While there are details lacking as to who the Lunars are, how they got to the moon and how they travel exactly to the Earth. What the heck Letumosis is and what are the symptoms. What were the causes of the last two world wars and who was involved. No real development of the world outside of how it directly affects the characters, and really this could have been even more Sci Fi had all this been explained, but it was fine for me as it was. For a hard core Sci Fi reader this will fall very short of what they would want to read I think. But the audience seems more to be aimed at teen girls as there is the Princess theme and the romance of Cinder and Kai. The romance I have to say is something that kept me interested because it was not gushy and sappy. I'll be interested to see where the rest of the story goes as we are not left with a very satisfactory close to this novel. Got to love cliffhangers!(less)
I wavered a bit between giving 3 or 4 stars, but could change my mind again. The book reminded me a bit of the movie Letters to Juliet only because th...moreI wavered a bit between giving 3 or 4 stars, but could change my mind again. The book reminded me a bit of the movie Letters to Juliet only because the story wound up taking place entirely in Italy. The premise to get to Italy, a well written essay in a contest that happened to be a trip to Italy to participate in a Shakespeare seminar, was pretty far fetched but I looked past that. There was a great deal of emphasis on Shakespeare and a twist and retelling of the Romeo and Juliet story within the plot of this story that it could turn some people off. It worked for me though..
So of course touching on the story of Romeo and Juliet, OF COURSE our lead character Kate HAD to fall for the SON of her (divorced) father's arch rival of the academia world Professoressa Francesca Marchese. You know the whole family feud thing. For and added twist....her father just so happens to fall for his rival in the end. Because given time the impossible is possible.
The characters are likable enough. Another similarity to the movie Letters to Juliet is the fact that these characters deal with the actual letters that are written to Juliet. The young teens are given letters that are also written by teens and are asked to write back answers in the way in which Juliet is thought to have responded. I enjoyed this concept. There wasn't a lot done with it and I wish more focus could have been put on it.
All in all I enjoyed the book and would re-read it if I were to have a copy of it. I'd find it as a used copy and buy it but I don't think I would purposely search for a new copy. I recommend to any Shakespeare fans and anyone who likes an innocent love story.(less)
Wow. My heart is still racing as I sit here. I just finished the book, set it down and picked up some paper. I have to write about this now and type i...moreWow. My heart is still racing as I sit here. I just finished the book, set it down and picked up some paper. I have to write about this now and type it up later. This was an emotional roller coaster and intense in the end. I somehow accidently skimmed someones review so I knew the ending was going to be that way, but I did not expect THAT.
Now that I reflect on this book and the fact that I read Lauren Oliver's first novel Before I Fall, I see a pattern starting with not necessarily giving the reader a happy ending or at least an ending that is as one would expect. Course I just saw that this is a series and while I think the book it great as a stand alone, I can see why she ended it the way she had. This leaves things open so there can be more.
I understand the ending had to happen the way it did, but man to think of all that Lena went through to get to where she was and NOW what she has to live with. Just that last image of Alex. It was heart wrenching. Is it better to have love and lost or to never have loved at all??? I don't know and in this case I can see a few arguments.
I think a happy mind numbing story after this one. If there are more to this series as I see that there are now some listed, I think I'm going to stop here. I really liked this one and I don't really want to see any more. This is as far as I need to go. The society is just creepy. To think that they pretty much lobotomize people to make them "happy" and they have COMPLETE CONTROL over everything. Pretty scary.(less)