The Low Down: In this take on the classic story, Cinder is an “adopted” cyborg (part human, part machine) who lives with her unhappy stepmother. Yes, there are stepsisters (one sweet, one not so much). Stepfather died from a plague called Letumosis when he was picking up Cinder in Europe five years prior. This plague has started to infect the world, and because they are not completely human, there has been a draft created to find cyborgs to test with the “cures” as they are developed. When Cinder’s younger stepsister, Peony, is infected, her stepmother cruelly hands Cinder over to the testing team. Prince Kai’s father, the Emperor, has the disease as well. After a chance meeting with Cinder, Kai invites her to accompany him to the ball that celebrates 126 years of peace in the world. But he doesn’t know Cinder is a cyborg, and there are things about Cinder that she doesn’t even know herself. And now the evil Lunar Queen is assembling troops to beat the Earthen people while they’re down…and marry Kai in the process.
Best Thang ‘Bout It: I guess I am going to have to stop saying “I am not a huge fan of SciFi” as it seems that I like it more than I thought (plus I had a very narrow view of it). While this is a pretty faithful retelling of the tale, it adds in a couple of new twists to the plot to keep up reader interest. After all, you don’t want to already know everything that’s going to happen, right? It takes place in the future, but in Japan. The mystery about Cinder’s early childhood is compelling, too.
I’m Cranky Because: So is the reason we don’t know how far in the future this takes place is because it doesn’t matter? I guess I will have to get used to that. Is that SciFi thang? I was about to get ticked off at the end, but some things were explained (before the pages ran out) that needed to be said. Thank goodness. I mean, I’m all for a cliffhanger, but sometimes a gal wants a bow on it. The “compromise” worked well for me, as this is going to be a trilogy.
Should You?: C3PO says “Rather!” (That’s a big yes).
Cinder by Marissa Meyer was published on January 3, 2012 by Feiwell and Friends.
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction Romance
Ages: 12 and up