Captain Awesome has been talking about Cinder (by Marissa Meyer) for months now. Every show I went to, I was told “LOOK FOR THE ANDROID CINDERELLA BOOK I MUST HAVE IT I MUST!”
But I did sign up for it on several giveaway sites: Shelf Awareness, the Cinder Facebook page, and GoodReads. There wasn’t a letter included in the package, so I have no clue which one paid off, but this is becoming a completely boring story just to tell you how I got this book (then I got it in the MAIL. And then I opened the ENVELOPE! And then I found FIVE DOLLARS!).
Anyway. Cinder. Marissa Meyer. Feiwel and Friends/Macmillan. Pub date: January 2012
Cinder is the best mechanic in the city, and as a cyborg, considered a second-class citizen. Her father adopted her in Europe shortly before he died, leaving her in the diffident care of her stepmother Adri. As her legal guardian, Adri forces Cinder to work in the marketplace, while Adri collects her wages. When a plague breaks out in the marketplace, and then her stepsister Peony becomes sick, Cinder blames herself for carrying the infection. In agreement, Adri ‘volunteers’ Cinder for experimental Letumosis testing at the palace.
Cinder leaves behind an android that she was commissioned to repair by Prince Kai, next in line to be Emperor of New Bejing, a practical certainty now that his father is dying of Letumosis.
The experimental medical tests reveal that Cinder is immune to the disease, but her frequent visits to the palace lab lead to many chance encounters with Prince Kai. He urges her to finish the repairs on his android, leading her to believe that the robot contains sensitive information, maybe relating to the Lunar queen Levana, and her plan to conquer the earth.
When the Emperor dies, Kai is under more pressure to marry Queen Levana and divert a possible world war. Besides the obvious drawbacks to marrying someone you don’t love, Queen Levana, like other Lunars, has the power to influence people’s sight and thoughts.
When Cinder finds out a secret about herself and the Queen, she is determined to warn the Prince, no matter the cost to herself.
I honestly expected a book based on such a ridiculous premise (cyborgs and fairytales?!) to be laughably awful. But Meyer’s writing and story is deft enough to make any improbability believable, and I found myself forcing my eyes open into the wee hours of the morning trying to finish it. There were some nice hints of other fairytale heroines in the wings, and even though the ‘surprise reveal’ was not much of a surprise—I am eagerly awaiting the next installment.