Book 20 of 2015
With the new Cinderella film topping the box office charts, I felt it was only fair to continue enjoying the epic fairytale in book form. I picked up the New York Times bestseller, Cinder by Marissa Meyer, and immediately fell into it.
It’s strange; I’ve been on a YA-hybrid sci-fi kick lately, and Cinder is evidence of this. The story follows a cyborg names Cinder, a 16 year old mechanic, as she deals with evil stepmother, sweet young stepsister Peony, and unloving stepsister Pearl. Cinder works hard to support her stepmother and stepsisters in the local market, where people of the community ask her to fix their electronics.
The story takes place in New Beijing, and where a sick Emperor and his 17 year old son, Prince Kai, rule. A war is looming, thanks to the ‘Lunars’ who live in space; the cruel Queen of the Lunars wants to marry Prince Kai so that she can rule on earth as well. In exchange for his hand in marriage, the Queen will offer a cure to the plague.
The Plague. There’s also that to be dealt with. When Peony falls ill to the plague that threatens New Beijing and only has days to live, Cinder’s stepmother volunteers Cinder up for testing. Cinder gets no say and despite her fighting, she is dragged off to the Palace to join the other volunteers, to be poked, prodded and injected with the plague, in hopes of finding a cure. Cinder soon finds out that she’s immune to the plague, and that there is more to her than meets the eye. It’s terrifying.
The handsome Prince Kai and misfit Cinder meet in an unconventional way; he feels like he can talk to her, and while she likes him, she hides the fact that she’s a cyborg, fearing he’ll be disgusted upon finding out her truths. All is unveiled at the Royal Ball where Kai is to choose a wife, and let’s just say there is no fairytale ending in book 1 of the Lunar series.
Despite the novel being a little long, I thought it was a sweet futuristic adaptation of a story we have all grown up with; a story so many of us love. Cinder offers a fresh new spin, while keeping true to many of the basic plot elements of Cinderella. I recommend Cinder for all YA lovers out there, and for all people who have felt a little different from the rest of the crowd.