Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: January 3, 2012
Cinder, a gifted mechanic in New Beijing, is also a cyborg. She's reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister's sudden illness. But when her life becomes entwined with the handsome Prince Kai's, she finds herself at the centre of a violent struggle between the desires of an evil queen - and a dangerous temptation.
Cinder is caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal. Now she must uncover secrets about her mysterious past in order to protect Earth's future.
Uh, dystopian half-metallic Cinderella. Rock on! What a creative story. Marissa Meyer really took this retelling to a different level. This world-building has so many awesomely original aspects that I don't know where to start. Cinder is a part-metal orphan owned by the widow of the man who adopted her, who, of course treats her like a slave. She's a mechanic, lives in New Beijing (old one has fallen) living under an Emperor ruling, who is fighting off war threats from Luna (yes, the moon!) while he struggles to find a cure for the plague that's been killing off the population.There's more! Luna-born people have magical abilities like glamors and mind-controlling!
So much to take in, right? Yet Meyer does it in such a smooth way that everything just clicks and, weirdly, even makes sense. She even stays very glued to her Cinderella concept, which I was so immersed in the story that I sometimes forgot. Characters were well developed and very likeable. I loved Cinder's ability to be quite normal under such awful circumstances and still manage to be somewhat of a strong heroine.
I also loved how modern social issues such as immigrants, difference, acceptance, politics and so on, where neatly woven into the story as well. It marvels me how much stuff Meyer was able to put into this tale without making it sound awkward or too much. This is a fully-enjoyable, wildly creative, feel-good retelling of the fairytale we all love. Part dystopia, part fantasy, part sci-fi, part romance, this is a book for everyone.