So after reading Hilary Clinton’s Hard Choices, I figured that my brain needed a break and chose to read a YA novel, hoping for something light and easy to read. Cinder by Marissa Meyer was a perfect candidate. From its description is sounded like nothing more than Cinderella re-imagined as a cyborg. Going off that assumption, I didn’t even think I would enjoy it, but a lot of people around me had been reading it, so I figured I would give it a shot. To my pleasant surprise, I was proved wrong. This book was much more than expected.
The book takes place in the future, 126 years after the Fourth World War, in New Beijing. Linh-Cinder, is a teenage cyborg (half human, half machine) whose story is that she was adopted by a man while he was traveling through Europe, and whom found her in the wreckage of a terrible accident, saving her life by replacing her maimed human parts with mechanical ones. The man, Garan, has since passed away from a terrible plague that has been attacking the Commonwealth. Cinder now is the lowly step-daughter of Adri, a bitter and severe woman with two daughters of her own. Being the lowly step daughter is about the only real similarity to the original Cinderella tale in the book. I mean, there is a prince who takes a liking to Cinder, and there is a royal ball that takes places, but it is not what it seems.
The real story is Cinder trying to find a cure for the plague and also helping the prince overthrow the villainous Moon queen Levana. Along the way Cinder discovers secrets about her past and her importance in the future of the Commonwealth. While some of those secrets begin to be revealed at the end of the book, you are left on cliff hanger, especially when you find out that the next book is about a different set of characters. You are left wondering how exactly they will all come together, if at all, and what is to become of Cinder after she learns what she must do to save herself and the Commonwealth from Levana.
Overall this book was not what I expected, which was a good thing! I give this book 4 stars, because is it a timeless work of literary greatness? No, but it is definitely well written with great characters and a surprise ending, making sure you read the rest of the series.