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Lunar Chronicles, #1

Cinder, by Marissa Meyer, is the best Cinderella reincarnation I have ever read as the author brilliantly remade this famous character as a cyborg! I heard about this book at the San Diego Comic Con during a recreating fairytales author panel. Several panelists and most of the audience couldn’t stop gushing over Marissa Meyer and her book, Cinder. When other authors are rabid fans, I knew I had to put her book on the top of my list. About 100 pages into the book, I got a hint of an upcoming twist on Cinder’s back-story and I couldn’t stop reading until the last page. It’s been a while since I sacrificed sleep due to an inability to put a book down so I would suggest clearing your schedule and start reading in the morning to avoid this from happening to you.

I think the most famous elements from the original story are the-rags-to-riches blue dress, attending the ball to dance with the prince and the infamous glass slipper. All of these elements are incorporated into this story but given a new twist. For example, instead of a glass slipper, Cinder’s cyborg foot plays a key role in the story. Cyborgs are supposed to be given new parts as they age but the evil stepmother could care less about the upkeep to her ward so Cinder struggles with a leg too small for her growing body. Being clever and using her skills as a mechanic, Cinder opens a shop at the local market and saves enough money to get a replacement part. However, since cyborgs are considered property and everything they earn doesn’t belong to them, the evil stepmother takes back the limb as punishment. Cinder’s regaining of her lower limb takes on a much more significant role in this story. In fact, Marissa is able to raise the stakes to all the core elements of the classic Cinderella tale. There is only one main difference; this book is the start of a series so the revamped tale is not over on the last page. Instead readers are left with a huge cliffhanger and have to wait for the next book, Scarlet in February 2013!

Book Blurb for Cinder

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.  Marissa Meyer on Cinder, writing, and leading menWhich of your characters is most like you?I wish I could say that I'm clever and mechanically-minded like Cinder, but no—I can't fix anything. I'm much more like Cress, who makes a brief cameo in Cinder and then takes a more starring role in the third book. She's a romantic and a daydreamer and maybe a little on the naïve side—things that could be said about me too—although she does find courage when it's needed most. I think we'd all like to believe we'd have that same inner strength if we ever needed it. Where do you write?I have a home office that I've decorated with vintage fairy tale treasures that I've collected (my favorite is a Cinderella cookie jar from the forties) and NaNoWriMo posters, but sometimes writing there starts to feel too much like work. On those days I'll write in bed or take my laptop out for coffee or lunch.If you were stranded on a desert island, which character from Cinder would you want with you?Cinder, definitely! She has an internet connection in her brain, complete with the ability to send and receive comms (which are similar to e-mails). We'd just have enough time to enjoy some fresh coconut before we were rescued. The next book in the Lunar Chronicles is called Scarlet, and is about Little Red Riding Hood. What is appealing to you most about this character as you work on the book?Scarlet is awesome—she's very independent, a bit temperamental, and has an outspokenness that tends to get her in trouble sometimes. She was raised by her grandmother, an ex-military pilot who now owns a small farm in southern France, who not only taught Scarlet how to fly a spaceship and shoot a gun, but also to have a healthy respect and appreciation for nature. I guess that's a lot of things that appeal to me about her, but she's been a really fun character to write! (The two leading men in Scarlet, Wolf and Captain Thorne, aren't half bad either.)

Night Owl Reviews Aug, 2012 4.50