|By Marissa Meyer|
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 this synesthesia of sci-fi gadgets and backdrop with fairy tales that turns out to be a super entertaining two hour read. Our main protagonist, Cinder is a cyborg girl with a horrible stepmother.
Honestly, Meyer could've just made the stepmother this cruel woman, but she wasn't always like that. She blames Cinder for the death of her husband who [major spoilers] saved Cinder from where she was as she was dying and turned her into a cyborg to keep her alive. Thus, the stepmother's hatred isn't purely cruel, but any chance of her loving Cinder like a daughter is exterminated.
Cinder has two stepsisters, one that is cruel and one that isn't. The kinder sister is good friends with Cinder, but suddenly, she contracts a deadly disease when she goes with Cinder to a junkyard. Fueling the stepmother's hatred further with this revelation, she throws Cinder out and sells her to the government where they test out diseases and vaccines on them (which is harmful to them.) Yikes!
Then, the setting. On describing New Beijing, Meyer makes the streets come to life in front of you. The humidity, the crowded and bustling streets, the smell of Chinese delicacies filling your senses; it makes me wanna go on the first plane out to China to get some baozi! It's absolute fantastic what Meyer does with her writing, though it does get a bit tedious near the middle.
Prince Kai is sweet, so kind, super gracious, a bit of a badass if he needs to and just very awesome. In YA, there's a lot of the "bad boy with a heart of gold" thing going on as the love interest (and I'm not complaining!!) but sometimes you just need a break for the good guy. There's no fairy godmother here, but there is a doctor and he's kind of a badass too, even though you get some sketch readings on him in the beginning. Iko, Cinder's android and best friend, is a total crack-up! You'll definitely like reading their interactions. Fantastic writing, if a tad boring in the middle, but the ending! Near here, was the ballroom dance scene known best from the Cinderella story took place. It was a bit comical, but endearing. It's truly something you want to read.
The ending was a bit of a doozy, but some people saw it coming (hint: read the middle part). The next installment of the Lunar Chronicles, Scarlet, will focus on Red Riding Hood but find a way to tie into Cinder.
Overall, it was an enjoyable read and worth picking up!