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.
Marissa Meyer delivers a knockout with her story about Cinderella as you've never seen her before. 'Cinder' is a futuristic take on a traditional fairytale which is both inventive and truly original. I was incredibly excited about this book prior to publication even though I wasn't really sure what to expect from it. I started it one evening planning to read just a couple of chapters but ended up becoming so immersed in the story that I stayed up half the night reading. This is only Meyer's debut novel but it's ingenious and imaginative and an astounding and fascinating book that I ended up loving.
It's the first book in the Lunar Chronicles quartet which will be followed by other fairytale inspired tales including 'Scarlet' (Red Riding Hood), 'Cress' (Rapunzel) and 'Winter' (Snow White and the Seven Dwarves). I think I would have cried if I hadn't known that there was more to come!
'Cinder' is set in New Beijing where cyborgs and androids live among the human citizens. I thought the mixing of an old and well known fairytale with a futuristic backdrop was brilliant and so clever. Cinder herself is not your normal heroine, she's half human and half cyborg and is 'owned' by her step-mother Adri. Cinder is also a gifted mechanic and it's this occupation which leads to her meeting the handsome Prince Kai who is ignorant of what she really is. I enjoyed seeing the friendship between Kai and Cinder blossom and although Cinder keeps the fact that she's a cyborg secret from him, they share a number of intimate moments which leads to a level of trust and mutual respect to grow between them. I also liked the fact that the Prince isn't a snob and wants to get to know Cinder even though she isn't of the same standing as him. One obstacle in their path is the sinister Queen Levana of Lunar who sent shivers down my spine and literally drips evil off the page.
Meyer has assembled an engrossing and imaginative cast of characters, my favourite whom was Cinder herself. She's incredibly gifted and immensely loyal to the people she loves and cares about, including her android friend Iko and her step-sister Peony. She can be unconventional at times, stubborn and headstrong but I adored her and was rooting for her throughout. She often doesn't care about her own well being, as long as she can protect her friends and family.
One of the plot lines in the book involves the search for an antidote to Letumosis, a plague like disease which is rampant in the city and deadly to anyone who contracts it. This was really interesting and brings Cinder into contact with Dr Erland who holds the key to a number of secrets about her past as well as to her future happiness.
Many of the hallmark features of the Cinderella fairytale were here but always with a slightly quirky spin on them. For example, instead of a glass slipper there's a cyborg foot and instead of a pumpkin there's a hover car. There's also an evil stepmother and a wicked stepsister, plus a handsome Prince and a huge ball.
Although I did guess the big reveal quite early on in the book, it was still shocking when it eventually came and has set the stage brilliantly for the second book in this amazing series. I'm eager to get my hands on the follow-up and I only hope we won't be kept in suspense for too long.
To celebrate the release of 'Cinder' the very lovely people at Puffin have given me a copy of the book to giveaway. This giveaway is only open to entrants within the UK at the request of the publisher. Good luck!
- There will be one winner.
- Open to entrants with UK addresses only. International entrants may enter, provided they have a UK address to send the books to.
- Please fill out the form completely - including email address
- You do not have to be a follower to enter but it's always appreciated
- Deadline for entries will be on 15th January 2012
- Winner(s) will be drawn by random.org
- Winner(s) will be contacted via e-mail, and will be given 48 hours to response. Otherwise, a new winner will be drawn.
- Any details will be deleted after use and will not be passed on to any third party.