Saturday, December 31, 2011
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .
Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.
In this thrilling debut young adult novel, the first of a quartet, Marissa Meyer introduces readers to an unforgettable heroine and a masterfully crafted new world that’s enthralling.
This book is a wonderful retelling of the Cinderella story, full of the wonder of the original fairytale, bur with a modern edge that will appeal to many young adult readers.
The world building is handled expertly, with just enough details to really submerge the reader, but never overwhelming him or her with too much at once. There is a great sense of urgency throughout the story. The plague that haunts Commonwealth, and the rest of Earth, gives the plot a good amount of tensions and moves the characters along at a nice pace. I do have to say, though, that the final “twist” wasn’t too original. The reader sees it coming from very early on, so it’s not quite as surprising as I’d have liked.
Cinder is an interesting character. She is a strong heroine, which is a nice contrast to the many weak female characters we read about in too many books nowadays. She is sarcastic and bold, and we are rooting for her from the very first page. Kai, the hero, is also a fun one to read about, as is the deliciously evil Queen Levana and her entourage.
This is definitely a young adult book to put on your list. It’s a thrilling mix of romance, adventure, and cyborgs. Who could ask for more?