By Marissa Meyer
Feiwel & Friends, 2012. 390 pgs/540 mins. Teen fiction
In a future world, Earth, after the Fourth World War, has been divided into five nations. While they haven't had any more wars with each other, they are constantly threatened by the Lunars, the people who live on the moon, and for many years, a horrific, incurable plague has been killing off many of Earth's citizens. Cinder, has the misfortune of being a cyborg and being hated by her stepmother, is the best mechanic in New Beijing, and Prince Kai comes into have her fix an android. As she hides her identity as a cyborg from him, Cinder and Kai begin to develop a friendship. At the same time, however, Cinder's stepsister, Pearl, who is Cinder's only human friend, catches the plague. Cinder is "volunteered" as a research subject for doctors to study the plague. However, it turns out that Cinder isn't an ordinary cyborg, and she isn't who she thought she was--and her true identity is something that could quickly get her killed if anyone finds out the truth.
I wasn't sure how I'd feel about a science fiction retelling of a fairy tale; it seemed like an odd combination. It turned out to be pretty awesome, actually. Cinder is a wonderful protagonist; I love cheering for the underdog and watching her try to deal with who she is and how to free herself from a pretty miserable existence. The developing romance between Kai doesn't get as far in this book as readers might like, but it leaves us something to hope for in subsequent books in the series. There's kind of a lot going on with the plot, but Meyer did a great job weaving all of the plot lines together. Highly enjoyable and an easy recommendation. I listened to the audiobook, and I recommend that as well.
4.5 stars. Clean read.