Book Title: Cinder
Author: Marissa Meyer
Page Count: 387
This book was great! I read it in about 2 1/2 days because I could not put it down. Cinder is a retelling of Cinderella (shocker!) but with more science-fiction and fantasy elements. The story follows the main character Cinder who lives in New Beijing with her evil stepmother, Adri, and two step-sisters, Peony and Pearl. Cinder had a very traumatic event at the age of 11 that she has no recollection of but has gotten her to where she is today as a cyborg. There is a deadly plague called Letumosis that is affecting their world as more and more people are contracting it and being hospitalized. When Cinder’s stepsister, Peony comes down with the plague, Adri volunteers Cinder to join the Cyborg Draft, where she will be tested on for the antidote. No cyborg has lived through it because the virus kills them but Cinder finds out that she is immune to the virus and she becomes a test subject to find the antidote.
Cinder works at the market as a mechanic and meets Prince Kai one day because he needs her to fix his android. Throughout the story they keep running into each other because Cinder has been volunteering to help find an antidote and visiting her stepsister Peony and Kai’s father, the Emperor, has also contracted the plague, so Kai has been visiting him as well. Kai eventually gets to asking Cinder to come to the ball with him, but Cinder declines. She doesn’t tell Kai, but she’s planning to run away the night of the ball.
Just when things can’t seem to get any worse, we learn about a species called The Lunars, who inhabit the moon. The Lunars show up to Earth to negotiate with Prince Kai. In exchange for continued peace between their lands, their leader, Queen Levana, offers to marry him. While Kai, does not like Queen Levana, she offers him something that is hard to refuse. The Lunars require that all mirrors be removed while they are staying on Earth because they are able to use their minds to trick others into seeing or thinking something entirely different. So while Queen Levana is very beautiful, it is fake and mirrors will reveal the truth.
The main reason I gave this a 4 rating is because Cinderella is not my favorite fairy tale and I think it is a story that is overused. However, I thought that Meyer did an amazing job with this story putting it into a sci-fi and fantasy world made it my favorite Cinderella version so far! I also wish that Cinder and Kai’s relationship was more, but I’m sure we will see more of that in the next story. I hope so! Luckily in this version one stepsister, Peony, actually enjoys talking to Cinder and Cinder considers her to be the only human friend that she has. But, Pearl is just the worst. There were definitely parts when I was reading that Pearl was making my blood boil. Overall, great story, great writing, amazing characters. I can’t wait to read the next book!