I started reading this series for my GSLIS Young Adult Literature class, and I must say I was pleasantly surprised. I love, love, love fairy tales. And there has never been a story more beloved and retold than the classic underdog story of “Cinderella.” It’s told in every culture. It’s been retold in some of our favorite adventure stories (Harry Potter, anyone?) and yet it’s never been retold with such a Science Fiction twist.
So yeah, when I started reading Cinder by Marissa Meyer I was a bit skeptical. I know this story could get me on the protagonist’s side like no other or I could really not like the way this book takes place in a futuristic society. I really loved it, though. I just finished Scarlet, which features Cinder and Emperor Kai along with Wolf and Scarlet, who are loosely based on the classic “Little Red Riding Hood.”
This book takes place in New Beijing in a completely new era, where cyborgs (humans that have been modified with robot parts for medical purposes) are marginalized and spit on by society. Enter Cinder, a part-cyborg who’s only friends in the world are her adopted sister, Peony and a robot named Iko who she works with in her family’s mechanic shop. One day, Peony comes down with the plague, a disease that has been rampant in the Eastern Empire for decades. It is the same disease that has the current emperor in the hospital.
So imagine Cinder’s surprise when Prince Kai shows up in her mechanic’s shop (in a disguise, of course. He is the prince of everyone’s dreams) with a robot in desperate need of repair. Kai tries to woo Cinder but is unsuccessful at first. Eventually he asks her to the ball to which Cinder has been specifically banned by her stepmother from attending.
How will Cinder deal with Peony’s death? Will the emperor formerly known as Prince ever find out the truth about Cinder? Why does Cinder black out when she sees the Lunar visitors who have come to Earth in want of peace?
Read Marissa Meyer’s Cinder to find out.
Fantasy, Science Fiction, Romance, Young Adult, cyborg
compelling, bleak, chilling, gritty, suspenseful, romantic, eccentric characters, recognizable characters, action-oriented, layered, open-ended, plot twists, futuristic, urban, accessible, engaging, vivid.
“Even in the Future the story begins with ‘Once Upon A Time.'”
“I’m sure I’ll feel much more grateful when I find a guy who thinks complex wiring in a girl is a turn-on.”