Release Date: Feiwel & Friends
Publisher: January 3, 2012
Series: Lunar Chronicles
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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 cyborg and (cut the niceties) a slave. Her stepmother can't stand her and keeps her around as a source of income, which she makes as a mechanic at New Beijing's weekly market. Iko, an android with a programming error that gives her a lively personality and Peony, one of her stepsisters are her only friends. While removing her too-small foot and waiting for Iko to return with a new replacement she meets Prince Kai. He's looking for the girl everybody says is the best mechanic to fix his android Namsi for so-called sentimental reasons. Cinder's cyborg abilities senses His Imperial Highness isn't being truthful, but any reason why he's lying couldn't be very important. Right?
Cinderella is a cyborg! What isn't cool about that and the possibilities it brings to a very well-known story, which makes it new all over again.
I think I'm one of the few that wasn't a fan of the original Cinderella story as well as a lot of fairy tales as a child, but after reading the synopsis for Cinder I knew I'd love it and I do to the point I wish it was the original story. Personally, I don't see Cinder as a retelling. There are definitely moments you sense what book was the inspiration for the story, but Marissa Meyer has a unique take and doesn't follow the guidelines of the original story, which makes things unpredictable. There is also a lot more suspense and action than the story that inspired it. The fact the relationship between Cinder and Prince Kai is still developing and not instantaneous is another of the differences that I really enjoyed.
Cinder is a fascinating and richly imagined futuristic sci-fi fairy tale and I'm really looking forward to the next book in the Lunar Chronicles series.