Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Release Date: January 3rd, 2012
Feiwel & Friends, 387 Pages
Sub-genre: Science Fiction/Retelling
Source: ARC provided by publisher
Age Group: Young Adult
Series: Lunar Chronicles #1
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.
Cinder is a story about a girl…living in a post-WW IV world, just trying to get by. Oh…also she’s a cyborg. I want to start this review by saying that this book is a fantastically brilliant new take on the Cinderella story. It has all the qualities of a romance, sci-fi, mystery story that I was looking forward to. The love birds….two people who come from completely different worlds–a prince of a dying emperor, poised to take over the throne upon his father’s death…and a female mechanic living in the overcrowded New Beijing Commonwealth. They meet by chance and after that there’s lots of Prince Kaito trying to woo tragic little Cinder.
Let’s point out the basic Cinderella story qualifiers:
1. Evil step-mother [in this case: adoptive] – CHECK
2. Father or adoptive father has died and evil mom treats our female protag like crap – CHECK
3. Bratty “step-sister” – CHECK (one of them actually loves Cinder)
4. An impending ball – CHECK
5. Creatures symbolizing the mice – CHECK (Cinder’s android Iko is hilarious)
6. Forbidden to attend ball – CHECK
7. Dreamy prince charming – Um…big time CHECK
Okay these are the basics that I was looking for…which lend some serious parallelism to the classic story…but what was different made the story go from good to Must. Not. Put. Down. First of all there is a plague that is running rampant through what is left of the Earthen population & cyborgs are being drafted & experimented upon to find the cure for the 100% human population…even the Emperor & Empress (Kai’s parents) were not safe from this lethal, fast-acting disease.
Oh and did I mention that there is an entire race of beings that live on the moon? Or Luna as it is called in the story…the Lunars are essentially slaves to the evil queen (another fairytale antagonist!). This story was nothing like I expected…I was actually apprehensive to read it, but it got to the point that I was staying up late, forcing my eyes to stay open and keep reading! I highly recommend this book…there are so many twists and turns, so many mysteries that need to be solved, and the ending will have leave your eyes wide and your jaw dropped. I absolutely cannot wait for the next book in the Lunar Chronicles….there are so many questions I want answered, so many possible outcomes, and so much adventure to be had! If you’re tired of Cinderella stories, join the club…let’s be honest…Drew Barrymore and ABC Family have seriously beaten this story to a pulp. But what Marissa Meyer has managed to do with her story…is absolutely, without a doubt, BRILLIANT. I look forward to this book (and Miss Meyer) being incredibly successful!