by Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #1
Published on January 3, 2012 by Feiwel & Friends
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
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.
When Cinder came out, I couldn’t wait to read it. I finally managed to snag a copy from the library and couldn’t put it down. Cinder is a twist on the classic Cinderella tale and I have to say, I absolutely loved it–way more than the original story. This novel is unique in that it sets the story in New Beijing in a futuristic world. A whole new race, the Lunars, lives on the moon ruled by their own queen. And “Cinderella?” She’s a cyborg. This whole world Meyer created is both captivating and new to the literary world.
If I don’t like a book’s characters, I won’t like the book. Thankfully, this was not the case. I loved how Meyer took some of the more pronounced elements of the Cinderella tale–evil stepsisters and stepmother, the glass slipper, the handsome prince, the ball–and made them her own. Each has its own little twist that separates it from the original tale. I especially loved how the prince played a bigger role in Cinder. I always wondered what he was doing in the old tale while Cinderella was doing her own thing, and now he not only plays a MUCH larger part, he has a personality. Both Kai and Cinder have joined my list of favorite literary characters.
The fast-paced plot had me hooked from start to finish. I turned the final page with hopes that the next book would magically appear (sadly it did not). Meyer creates a world of the past and future, mix-matching technology and worldly issues with a future dystopian spin. There was so much going on that I was never at a loss for wanting more. I did find parts of the story to be a tad predictable but I’ve found that is typically the case with re-tellings and spins on classic fairy tales. Regardless, Meyer turned Cinderella’s story on its head and gave it a fresh coat of paint.
Despite being picky about the science fiction works I read, I’m glad I took a chance on Cinder and checked it out of the library. It combines a multitude of genres and classic cliches into a brand new story filled with fabulously loveable characters and an original world. I haven’t bought this yet but I will. Cinder is great for all ages, fans of sci-fi, cyberpunk, and dystopian alike. I can’t wait for the sequel Scarlet, where Cinder is on yet another adventure. Overall, I highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone. A fantastic new series!