Title: Cinder (Book One in the Lunar Chronicles) by Marissa Meyer
Reading level: Ages 12 and up
Hardcover: 400 pages; Feiwel & Friends
Release date: January 3, 2012
Objective rating: 5/5
I wasn't sure about this reworking of the Cinderella fairy tale, but I was hooked by the cover and by the opening sentences. I wanted to know more about this futuristic version, a Cyborg Cinderella.
"The screw through Cinder's ankle had rusted, the engraved cross marks worn to a mangled circle. Her knuckles ached from forcing the screwdriver into the joint as she struggled to loosen the screw one gritting twist after another. By the time it was extracted far enough for her to wrench free with her prosthetic steel hand, the hairline threads had been stripped clean." (from an uncorrected proof. Final copy may differ).
Cinder is virtually enslaved to her wicked stepmother, selling cyborg parts and repairing robots in the open market to make money for the household. Things begin to change for her when the Prince comes to her market stall wanting someone to fix his antiquated android. She catches his eye but Cinder is determined to hide her steel hand and foot from him, fearing rejection. Cinder, however, is only 35% cyborg, fixed and renewed with mechanical parts as a very young child after surviving a house fire that killed her real mother. She knows little about her parents or her past, just that her stepfather, now deceased, had been responsible for saving her, mending her, and bringing her home to his family.
The Prince in the meantime befriends Cinder, his "mechanic", hoping she will help him avoid the beautiful but dreaded Lunar Queen, queen of the moon people, who is determined to forge an alliance with Earth through marriage to the Prince. The real conflict and danger for Cinder is not her stepmother, as in the original fairy tale, but this queen who uses magic and "glamour" to control and manipulate everyone who sees her.
Comments: The well-written and entertaining book shows how Cinder escapes dangers after finding out her true identity. I was totally entranced with this futuristic version of the Cinderella story, and I am way past being a teenager or young adult, the targeted audience. I recommend it for its highly imaginative plot, which made it very enjoyable reading.
GIVEAWAY of the Audio CD: enter now through Jan. 3, 2012 at this link: Enter to win the Audio CD of Cinder.
A complimentary ARE of this book was sent me for possible review
© Harvee Lau of Book Dilettante. Please do not reprint without permission.