Feiwel & Friends/MacMillan
Published January 3, 2012
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When her reputation as one of the best mechanics in New Beijing draws a covert visit from the prince, Cinder can’t help but be charmed by his easygoing, friendly nature. She hides her cyborg leg and foot, desperate to hold on to the moment where he sees her as human, rather than as property, as the law dictates. An outbreak of a terrible plague interrupts Cinder’s work and nearly her life when she is sent to the labs as a research subject, a sure death sentence.
Prince Kai watches helplessly as the ruthless plague destroys his father and the responsibility of leadership falls to him. In this dark hour, the Lunar queen, a powerful woman rumored to possess an ability to control the minds of her subjects and anyone in her presence, makes an unscheduled journey to earth to speak of an alliance with Kai and the people of earth. Kai must tread carefully, for the queen will ask the greatest sacrifice of him and pose the greatest threat to his people.
At the lab, Cinder’s test results stun the medical staff and make it clear that she is much more than an orphaned nobody from Europe. She may, in fact, be the key to undoing the Lunar queen’s destructive plan.
In an android-saturated futuristic world, Meyer retells the story of the little Cinder girl, her handsome prince, and the magical ball that brought them together. Her version of the story again brings to life familiar roles – the wicked stepmother, stepsisters, a carriage fastened from an unlikely source – and throws new twists into the mix. Cinder’s world is crafted from a complicated social structure in which humans have the technology to save lives of the gravely injured by implanting machinery. Instead of returning to life as normal post-surgery, the victims become cyborgs, second-class citizens no better than slaves. While thoroughly imaginative, it seems an expensive way to acquire a workforce. Despite that, the amazing characters made it easy to suspend that small bit of disbelief. I loved Iko, the android with the malfunctioning personality chip, which made her super interested in fashion and celebrity gossip. She definitely makes me laugh. Cinder and Kai’s relationship always pulls my heartstrings, too.
Another fascinating addition to the story is the powerful Lunar queen, ruler of a people who live on the moon, who possess a gift allowing them to control the thoughts and emotions of others. While the queen claims to seek peace with the people of earth, the military preparations on the moon seem to indicate otherwise, creating an intricate political dilemma which only adds richness and tension to an already worthy story.
Cinder is only the first book in Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles. The series will contain four books. The second, Scarlet features a girl in a red hoodie looking for her missing grandmother, followed by Cress, a retelling of the story of Rapunzel in space. With Meyer’s brilliant imagination and keen sense of story, fans will surely fall in love with each book in the series.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
A terrible plague is spreading rapidly through New Beijing. Some of the descriptions are a little intense but brief.