Marissa Meyer takes the classic fairy tale of Cinderella and puts her own futuristic spin on it:
Cinder is a Cyborg and as a Cyborg she is seen as a second class citizen. She works as a mechanic to support her step-mother, step sisters and household. Cinder loves being a mechanic and has dreams of her own of fleeing from New Beijing and her circumstances, she just needs to find the right time. However, everything changes when her youngest step sister contracts the deadly plague that his haunting the Earth and Cinder's stepmother blames her for it. Cinder's life is her stepmother's to do with as she pleases and she wants Cinders to suffer and will do anything to see that happen. Cinder knows that she has to escape but everything changes when she meets Prince Kia and his quest to protect to Earth from the Lunar threat above. Cinder is going to have to make some hard choices and some of them are going to hit hard at home.
This book is a perfect read for readers who are of Young Adult age as it is not extremely heavy on romance aspects it is like a teenage crush and there is no violence in this book. Although this book and cover make it seem like this book is a retelling of Cinderella. I would say that it is very loosely based on that fairy tail and Meyer has given it a steam punk futuristic twist. I liked that it was only loosely based as we all know the Cinderella story and this allowed Meyer to do add some of her own elements to the story,especially when your main character is a cyborg and the addition of a plague that is haunting the Earth.
The Lunar angle was also interesting, that the people from the Moon have these mind control powers and want anyone killed who can resist them (insecure much). Although I do not think this part was explored fully in the book I think that this was done on purpose and more will come to light in the next books. I could just felt like there was more that the Lunar Queen and people were hiding. I mean why do they really need the Earth when they have the moon? I hope in one of the books in this series we actually get to go to the Moon.
I'm on the fence with Cinder. I loved that she was a Cyborg and a mechanic, such a cool idea, and that she is not really girly girly, though this seems to change as soon as a boy is introduced. I think that is one of my main problems with Cinder is that it feels like she changes (what she can) for the Prince, is ashamed of who she is as a cyborg because of the Prince and makes some not so smart decisions that not only affects her but others around her. I get that she is a teenager, I just wish she was a little stronger and a little more comfortable with who she is and not just want to change it for a boy.
Prince Kia annoyed me on many occasions but I guess the reasons that he annoyed me had to do with the fact that he was a spoiled prince and that was just in his character (he does grow a bit by the end but not enough for me to like him). For someone that was supposed to be groomed to be the new King (especially due to the circumstances in the book) I found that he was still just a whiny teenager on many occasions (I mean who misses meetings with other world leaders? That is your job) and mad because things are not going his way.
I have a big problem of where this story is set to take place in New Beijing. New Beijing???? There was nothing in this book that had any sort of Asian culture associated with it nor was it described in a way that would make me think that it was in Asia. It sounded like a European or Western place not something in Asia. I understand that this takes place why in the future or in a completely different world but if you are going to refer to place that is real I think it should have some of those aspects. I think the only Asian people referred to in the book were some of the people at the market. I don't even remember Kia being described as Asian and if he is the Prince you would think he would have some sort of Asian descent.
I know I list quite a few problems that I had with this book above but this book was a fun and easy read for me as you can tell that it was written for a more youth based audience. That said I did enjoy the book and Meyers interpretation of the Cinderella story and I would continue on in the series, even though the main characters were not to my liking. I look forward to see what other fairy tales Meyers chooses to interpret, expand upon and put her steam punk twist on.