Rating: 5 of 5 stars
Genre: YA Sci-Fi
Description from Amazon: 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.
Whitney's Thoughts: I brought this book home intending to sit right down and read it, but made the mistake of telling my 13-year-old daughter what it was about. She plucked it out of my hands, stayed up way, way past her bedtime, and gave it back to me the next morning with a rave review. I enjoyed it as much as she did.
It’s fun, with a fairy tale retelling, to find all the famous elements from the original tale, and how the author has spun them. In this tale, the “shoe” (really the mechanical foot!) is key, but the bright orange VW bug that takes Cinder to the ball was a fun side touch. Cinder was my kind of “princess.” She does not wait forlornly for her fairy godmother to send her to the ball—and her urgent quest has higher stakes than whether she’ll manage to catch a husband (though Prince Kai was one of my favorite characters). Cinder takes her destiny in her own hands, confronts power figures, and gets her own heiney to the ball, thank you very much! Definitely a role model I don’t mind my daughter spending all night reading about. The book was also refreshingly free of the “edgy” content that some authors think they need to throw in.
I wished that the Lunarians who become important antagonists in the latter parts of the book had been mentioned and highlighted earlier. Also, this book is definitely book 1 in a series. After climbing her mountains, facing her demons, etc., Cinder ends the book with new knowledge and power, but also with huge new mountains to climb. If waiting for the next book in the series makes you crazy, you’ll want to wait until all four of these books are out. I’m looking forward to reading them all.