Title: Cinder (Book One in the Lunar Chronicles)
Author: Marissa Meyer
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy/Science Fiction
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group
Release Date: January 3, 2012
The streets are crowded with not only humans, but androids as well. The world’s population is succumbing to a deadly plague while the Lunars watch and wait to swoop in. And one unknown, lonely girl could hold the fate of the entire world in her hands.
Cinder is just nobody. Her talent as a mechanic is overshadowed by the fact that she is a cyborg. She is a second-class citizen who knows nothing about her past. Not only does her stepmother hate her, but when her stepsister, Peony becomes a victim of the plague, Cinder is blamed. After Cinder meets Prince Kai, who she is strangely attracted to, she becomes embroiled in a struggle for intergalactic supremacy. She now has to try to discover the past that has been kept secret from her so she can save a world that shuns her.
If you can’t tell from the title, Cinder is a twist on the fairy tale, Cinderella. It even has quotes from the original tale interspersed throughout the book. There are some similarities: handsome prince, wicked stepmother, evil stepsisters (well, one of them is evil), and a put-upon heroine. This version of Cinderella has a pretty cool twist though; it is set in the extremely far away future. Cinder is a cyborg, a group of people who are shunned by every one in society. She works as a mechanic, supporting her adoptive family. She remembers nothing about her former life. As luck would have it, the future emperor, Prince Kai wanders into her shop trying to get one of his android fixed. And that is when Cinder’s life changes forever. Now she must contend with plagues, doctors and the scariest of all, the queen of the Lunars, a race of “humans” hell-bent on making Earth their own.
I’m sure I’ve mentioned in the past that I am not a huge science fiction fan—aliens, spaceships and the like are usually not my thing. I literally started and stopped this book three times before I finally just decided to read it. And it wasn’t a lack of quality in the book, it was me. Those three times I never got past page one. I was a little worried that I wouldn’t like it because of the science fiction aspect of the story. When I finally decided to read it, it grabbed me and held on to me. Meyer has created such an intriguing world that I found myself completely engrossed in this book. I really want to know more about it. A prequel would make me very happy; I am so curious about what has happened in the world before we even meet Cinder. But the sequels will make me even happier! I loved the characters in this story. Cinder is a fantastic heroine—smart, gutsy and ready to take on the world. Prince Kai doesn’t even realize he is the most gorgeous man in the kingdom or what a fantastic leader he will be. He is unassuming, vulnerable yet strong and darn it, my heart melts every time he doubts himself. You just want to give him a hug and tell him everything will be ok. And the Lunars, well, let’s just say they are definitely not a race of people you want to mess with. Reading the things they have done literally made me cringe. They are truly a horrid group of people. Meyer’s storytelling is amazing and the emotional rollercoaster she takes the reader on in this book is well worth the ride. I highly recommend Cinder. It is a great story.
My grade for Cinder: