Meyer, Marissa. Cinder. New York: Feiwel and Friends, 2012.
Reviewed by J. d’Artagnan Love
Linh Cinder is a cyborg. She can detach her cyborg ankle and it’s during the process of attaching a new ankle that she meets Prince Kai, the smoldering emperor-to-be of New Beijing. Kai must figure out a way to protect his kingdom and the rest of the earth from the evil Lunar Queen who has left her moon-based home to pay respects to the death of the emperor (Kai’s father). The emperor died from Letumosis, a plague infecting many people across the planet, including Peony, Cinder’s stepsister. It is up to Cinder to fix Kai’s android that contains important state secrets, and work with leading scientists to find a cure from Letumosis while attempting to avoid the stiff curfews and rules set by her unrelenting step mother. All in a day's work.
Cinder was a fun read, like, really fun. It is, in fact, one of the best young adult books I’ve read in a long time. It is also the first book I’ve read in a long while that I missed reading when I wasn’t reading it. I found myself wanting to read it any spare second of time I had. I loved the way Meyer skillfully injected several fairy tales into one futuristic sci-fi, fantasy novel. I picked up on elements of Anastasia, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White and Cinderella with Cinderella being the predominate fairy tale. I’m sure if I read it multiple times, I would find more fairy tales that I didn’t catch the first time. Maybe it’s the nostalgia of these tales eliciting emotions, but I found the characters to be wonderfully real and satisfying. Cinder is worth loving, her stepmother is worth loathing and Kai is worth rooting for.
Meyer did a great job creating Cinder’s world and all the gadgets therein. It’s sci-fi without being suffocated by the typical "alien invasion" theme. The plot was believable and it is easy to see Cinder’s world as a potential future for us all without having to suspend our disbelief much. Cinder was Meyer’s debut novel and I’m excited to see how she develops as a writer in her future novels. The next book in the Lunar Chronicles has been added to my reading list!
4 darts out of 5