Cinder
by Meyer, Marissa






As plague ravages the overcrowded Earth, observed by a ruthless lunar people, Cinder, a gifted mechanic and cyborg, becomes involved with handsome Prince Kai and must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect the world in this futuristic take onthe Cinderella story.





Marissa Meyer was born and raised in Tacoma, Washington, home of Almond Roca and Stadium High School, which was made famous when Heath Ledger danced down the stadium steps in10 Things I Hate About You. Marissa didn't actually go to Stadium High School, but she did attend Pacific Lutheran University, where she earned her bachelor's degree in Creative Writing. She still lives in Tacoma, now with her husband.Cinder is her YA debut.





There's a lot of moving parts in this fresh spin on "Cinderella," the first in a four-book series. First, we've moved from a fairy-tale kingdom to a post-World War IV future in New Beijing. Plagued by her stepmother and shunned by society for being a cyborg, Cinder keeps her head down as the city's best mechanic until she catches the eye of the dashing Prince Kai. He's got matters of state to worry about, though, including an incurable plague and the ever-present threat of war from the moon-people, known as Lunars. The over-the-top, spiteful cruelty that dogs the heroine from all sides is a little too cartoonish to take seriously when retrofitted from fairy tale to science fiction, and it's best not to ponder things like why such a technologically advanced civilization would get into such a tizzy about a fancy-dress ball. Still, readers will enjoy lining up the touchstones from the old favorite, and Meyer brings a good deal of charm and cleverness to this entertaining, swiftly paced read. Copyright 2011 Booklist Reviews.





Although it packs in more genres than comfortably fit, this series opener and debut offers a high coolness factor by rewriting Cinderella as a kickass mechanic in a plague-ridden future. Long after World War IV, with a plague called letumosis ravaging all six Earthen countries, teenage Cinder spends her days in New Beijing doing mechanical repairs to earn money for her selfish adoptive mother. Her two sisters will attend Prince Kai's ball wearing elegant gowns; Cinder, hated because she's a cyborg, won't be going. But then the heart-thumpingly cute prince approaches Cinder's business booth as a customer, starting a chain of events that links her inextricably with the prince and with a palace doctor who's researching letumosis vaccines. This doctor drafts cyborgs as expendable test subjects; none survive. Cinder's personal tenacity and skill, as well as Meyer's deft application of "Cinderella" nuggets-Cinder's ill-fitting prosthetic foot (loseable on palace steps); a rusting, obsolete car colored pumpkin-orange-are riveting. Diluting them is a space-fantasy theme about mind-controlling Lunars from the moon, which unfortunately becomes the central plot. A connection between Cinder's forgotten childhood and wicked Lunar Queen Levana is predictable from early on. Despite the simplistic and incongruous-feeling telepathic-enslaver theme, readers will return for the next installment in this sharp, futuristic "Cinderella" tale. (Science fiction/fairy tale. 12-15) Copyright Kirkus 2011 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.






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