Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Date Published: January 03, 2012
Genre: YA fairy-tale, science fiction
Cinder is a very Cinderella story mixed with a little science fiction. I read on another blog (and I cannot remember which one at the moment - please forgive me), but they said that Cinder was Cinderella meets
Star Wars. I think this is a wonderful comparison. There are the elements of Cinderella - step-sisters, step-mother, a prince, and the ball. There are the science fiction elements - intergalactic conflict, androids, cyborgs, post-apocalyptic earth, the plague, etc.
Cinder - a cyborg, is a mechanic, living in New Beijing with her step-mother and sisters - who are, of course, mean to her. She struggles every day, along side her android friend, Iko, making a living at the town market in a booth (having to give what she makes to her step-mother, Adri). She comes home each evening to a closet of a room. And gets back up and does it over again each day.
The Plague is ravaging the earth. Cyborgs are being drafted to be heroes for society by "helping" find a cure for the plague. So, this is a constant concern for Cinder. One day at the market, the Prince Kai visits her booth. From this day forward, her life changes - both in a positive and negative way. There is love, there is death, there is internal struggle with knowledge she gains and decisions she needs to make. Shortly before the festival, the Lunar Queen arrives. She is a cruel queen who runs her planet very differently from the earthen Commonwealth.
This would be a good read for middle school students or young adults, and anyone who loves science fiction. The plot is somewhat predictable, but the science fiction aspects give it a few twists that are unexpected.
Cinder is the beginning of the Lunar Chronicles and I am sure that anyone, like myself, would yearn to read more when they come to the end of this first novel.