Series: The Lunar Chronicles #1
Published by Feiwel & Friends on January 3, 2012
Genres: Science Fiction
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 retelling of the fairy tale Cinderella, but is completely different from any other retelling I have yet encountered. It is futuristic and this Cinderella is cyborg.
I like to pride myself, that I am pretty good about figuring out plot twists ahead of time, I had Cinder’s true hidden identity (even to herself) pegged 100 pages into the book. I get on my high horse and gloat but once I come down from the horse I realized that it doesn’t matter, it’s all about the journey.
Cinder is a mechanic, Prince Kai happens upon her booth wanting his out of date robot fixed and a teenage crush begins to metastasize. Of course Cinder has two step-sisters and step-mother. Peony wants to be friends and is a stereotypical valley girl whose annoyance drove me insane. Therefore when she came down with the plague, the epidemic that is sweeping the Commonwealth I did not shed a tear. I found her evil step-family much more developed and interesting, what is Cinderella without a few evil relatives in it? Anyway, after being blamed for Peony’s illness her step-mother Adri and step-sister Pearl volunteer her as a guinea pig to find a cure to the disease that is sweeping the nation.
From here on out, all is shed in mystery with awkward teenage love mingled in between. It is cute, endearing and all too true. Due to its originality I sometimes forgot that I was reading a Cinderella inspired novel. I believe this is due to the fact that it was not your run of the mill fairy tale. Earth is in jeopardy, and the united nations are racking their brains to find a solution. Can a trusty cyborg mechanic save the day? The conclusion is at a ball that ends in disaster and is far from a teenage girl’s dream, but must be attempted for the common good, but on her dance and dash our spunky Cinder loses her leg with her secret being reveled (I’m a cyborg, no one could love me). Cinder ends with all the elements of the fairy tale we have all grown to know and love with a wrench at the end. I typically am not a sci-fi futuristic fan, but read so many great reviews on this novel that I had to give it a try. Now I’m hooked and await with baited breath to read its sequel.