Series: Lunar Chronicles | Publication Date: January 3, 2012
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.
About the Author
Marissa Meyer was born and raised in Tacoma, Washington, home of Almond Roca and Stadium High School, which was made famous when Heath Ledger danced down the stadium steps in 10 Things I Hate About You. Marissa didn't actually go to Stadium High School, but she did attend Pacific Lutheran University, where she earned her bachelor's degree in Creative Writing. She still lives in Tacoma, now with her husband. Cinder is her YA debut.
Reading level: Ages 12 and up
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends (January 3, 2012)
ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT
The story of Cinderella has been around for eons and it has been retold in several different forms. This one is a bit different since it has a wonderful mix of paranormal and science fiction elements. Cinder lives in New Bejing where she is the top mechanic and somewhat of a tomboy. She is also part machine after sustaining injuries in a devastating accident that took her parents' lives. These cyborgs are second class citizens there and she is forced to support her step family when her step father dies. Of course, there is a cute meet when Prince Kai needs his android repaired and finds Cinder's stall in the market square. She becomes friends with him and even though there is a plague that causes imminent death. Another sinister element is at play from the Lunars, a colony of moon dwellers, whose queen wants to marry the Prince and dominate Earth.
Her step mother would do Disney proud since she is a real cross that Cinder must bare. Cinder's step sisters are not that bad and she cares for them, especially her younger sister, so when she succumbs to the plague, her step mother blames her and turns her over to the Palace's scientific community to use her as test subject. She survives her encounter with the testing and while in there, she learns about her true identity. Nope, not gonna give that one away here! There are lots of little twists and turns mixed in with the science fiction details while remaining pretty much true to the Cinderella fable. The Lunar queen is an excellent evil foil to Cinder's goodness.
I really thought the whole pace of the book was perfect, it kept moving forward at a breakneck pace and when I finished it, I really wanted the next one to find out exactly where Cinder ends up. The world building is quite natural and I was completely swept up in the dialogue and details. Meyer easily mixes old and new technology while blending different cultures into a wonderful place to visit. I am so glad there are more young adult authors making inroads to science fiction with strong female characters. This one is pretty safe for most teens with some mentions of alcohol, a few chaste kisses and some violence which is really nothing more than what kids see on television today.