Saturday, October 29, 2011

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

At last, we have the book that asks the question we didn't know we wanted answered: What if Cinderella was a cyborg? The answer makes for a pretty solid young adult novel.

Once upon a time, there was a girl named Cinder who was part human and part machine. She was adopted by a kindly man who later died of Letumosis, a contagious plague that is killing the population of earth en masse. She is treated as a servant by her adopted mother, and as a second class citizen by the rest of the world.

Cinder works as a mechanic by trade, and one day is tasked with fixing a robot for the royal prince. Kai is taken with Cinder, though she is a lowly mechanic. He has no idea that she is also a cyborg, and though Cinder finds herself falling for him, she is afraid of how he will react when he discovers the truth.

In the meantime, Cinder's sister Peony, the nicer sister, falls ill with Letumosis. Their mother sends Cinder away for plague research, but instead of ending up dead, Cinder learns about who, and what, she actually is.

Finally, in yet another plot, the earth is also on the cusp of war with the Lunars. Lunars are powerful people from the moon and they are ready to go to war unless Prince Kai marries their Queen Levana. There are stories that Levana had the rightful Lunar heir, Princess Selene, killed. Nobody ever found the child's body, and there are rumors that she was smuggled to earth and adopted. The Prince has been doing research on Princess Selene, secret research that could mean trouble with the Lunars if Levana were to find out.

I very much enjoyed this retelling of Cinderella. Cinder was a great character, admirably strong and determined no matter how much adversity she faces (Which is a lot). I loved the romance between Cinder and Kai, and Kai made me laugh out loud several times. The whole Princess Selene subplot was incredibly predictable (It's obvious from the very beginning), but thankfully it doesn't detract from the story. All the elements of Cinder add up to a great read, and I for one am anticipating great things for the rest of the Lunar Chronicles.

I received my copy of Cinder from Netgalley. It will be released on January 3rd, 2012.

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