Cinder by Marissa Meyer

This was a book I had hesitations about reading.  A cyborg Cinderella?  Really?  Who’s imaginative enough to pull that off??  A dystopian novel that includes fine details of the actual fairy tale mixed with ideas of future technology that also includes a group of people living on the moon.  Yup, you read the last part of that sentence right…

Title: Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1)

Author: Marissa Meyer

Summary (by Goodreads):

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.

My take:

First, if you want to get an idea of what you’d be getting into, Ms. Meyer wrote a “prequal” to Cinder and posted it online.  You can find it here: Glitches

Cinder is a cyborg dealing with broken parts and running a little mechanic booth fixing androids.  What?!?   She has two stepsisters, Pearl and Peony, and a stepmother, Adri.  Of course the stepmother is a horrible woman and the oldest stepsister, Pearl, hates Cinder’s guts.  Ahem, wires and control panels.  Peony is the only human in Cinders life that shows her kindness and any affection.  Unfortunately, Peony ends up sick with the plague that is tormenting Earth, Letumosis, which has also infected the Emperor.

Prince Kai is soon to take over “New Beijing” since his father is about to die from the plague.  He’s hoping a cure will appear to alleviate his soon to be future profession of being the next Emperor.  Kai meets Cinder as one of his andoids is malfunctioning and there begins the story of boy meets cyborg.  Makes for a rather complicated relationship doncha think?

There are a few “holes” I wish the author would have cleared up.  She presents the story that this has all happened 125 years after WWIV and the world countries/leaders have built a new checks and balances system to keep war from happening again.  BUT…throw into the mix a race of people called “Lunar”, who are from our moon watching Earth and wanting to wage war.  ALSO, they have the ability to “glamour” themselves to make humans think or act passively.  Think…”These are not the droids you’re looking for.” and you’ll get the idea.  NO WHERE in the book does the author tell us how they are discovered, when they showed up, why they have SUCH an interest in Earth (New Beijing in particular) etc etc…they’re just…there.  I HATE no explanation.  I have so many questions!!

Hopefully the second book will explain more, but this particular fairy tale doesn’t quite end when you reach the last page.  It does leave you with a cliff hanger promising a very adventurous tale in the second book…which is due in 2013.  Overall, I liked the book and the imagination.  I just hope some of the holes are closed up in the next one!

~Myst

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