Recently, after a tween patron came in asking of read a likes to Cinder by Marissa Meyer, I decided to take the extra copy left from the Sunshine State Readers I had in my office home and read it. Cinder is a Cinderella story set in a futuristic world with a bit of a twist. And I absolutely love it!
Set in the far future after a fourth World War has caused the countries of the world to band together more or less by continent and a colony on the moon has become it’s own monarchical society, the book takes place in the city of New Beijing in the Eastern Commonwealth. Cinder is an orphan cyborg taken in by the Linh family who has no memory of her life before the age of eleven. Unfortunately, her new father dies of a plague sweeping the planet shortly after her arrival with the family. Five years later, she is the best mechanic in the city, working a booth at the marketplace to “earn her keep”. One day the Crown Prince himself, Kaito, pays her a visit asking her to fix his beloved android. That same day, her younger sister Peony comes down with the plague and her stepmother, Adri, volunteers her for research. This ends up allowing her to frequently run into Kai, and introduces her to the mysterious Dr Earland who just might be able to help Cinder unlock the secrets of her past. That is if she can avoid the visiting evil Lunar Queen Levanna. Cinder just may be the only one who can put an end to Levanna’s tyranny, but she has to survive first. Can Cinder survive long enough to learn about her past and catch Kai’s heart? Or will Levanna find and kill her before she can become who she was born to be?
Cinder’s cast of characters was full of great characters. From sweet little Peony to the kind Dr. Earland, and perhaps the most memorable, Iko, the android with a human like personality. Iko quickly became a favorite, and has become one of my all time favorite characters. I loved that this little metal and plastic droid would make comments about how much cuter Kai was in person than in pictures, and ant to play dress up in a ball gown. I truly hope that she gets a happy ending. I also loved that Peony was a kind stepsister. As I’ve said before, I like when adaptations make one of the stepsisters kind, after all, it makes it more sense, at least to me. I don’t think there was a character I didn’t like, except of course the ones I wasn’t supposed to like. Like Levanna, I love to hate her, but I’m supposed to.
I also love the scifi setting. I loved the tech and interplanetary aspects of the story. Obviously. I can’t wait to see what other settings and characters await in Scarlet, Cress, and next year’s Winter, and of course Fairest.
I give this one Five Lightsabers because it’s become one of my all time favorite books, and one of the best books I’ve read all year. I’d also like to add that my mom read Cinder in two days and loved it as well, and she is not a reader. This is clearly a book that speaks to not just teens and YA book lovers, but speaks to a wide range of people across generations adding to why I’m rating it so high.