You know me, I’m a sucker for a fairytale re-write. So when I saw this on practically EVERY series-to-read list on BookTube and Booklr, I decided that I really couldn’t say no.
A highly recommended book series based on fairytales in a future Earth colony where Cinderella is a cyborg mechanic? Sign me the hell up. So I bought the first one – and first of all the cover is so shiny I can practically see my face in it. Second of all – I love how her leg kinda looks like a x-ray in a shoe. It’s cool.
Anyway! Cinder is the first book of four in the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. The protagonist, by the name of Linh Cinder, is a cyborg with a prosthetic hand, leg and a retinal/brain interface. Basically she’s wired to the web. She is a mechanic in New Beijing of the Eastern Commonwealth, the sole provider for her stepmother and stepsisters. She had a super awesome android bestie called Iko. As a cyborg, Cinder is a second-rate citizen and she’s understandably wary about people knowing she’s a cyborg. In this post-everything futuristic Earth, the Earth is teetering on the edge of war with the Lunars (They’re at war with the moon. It took me a few seconds to stop laughing) whilst simultaneously trying to stem a plague like pandemic.
In the first few pages, Cinder takes her foot off so whatever you were expecting from this book, it probably wasn’t that. The android has a personality glitch and is sorta adorable. Prince Kai has an android problem and goes to see Cinder to get it fixed. It’s all very cute.
I think this might be my favourite quote:
“I’m sure I’ll feel much more grateful when I find a guy who thinks complex wiring in a girl is a turn-on.” (p116)
That the book is set in New Beijing. It as great to read something that isn’t set in London, or New York. Even if post-WWVI Beijing is incredibly different from the original. Everything is cybernetic, androids are normal and hovercrafts are a thing.
Complete aside, but it made me roll my eyes that the UK is separate from the rest of Europe even in a book published in 2012. In the future, nothing changes apparently.
I really enjoyed this book, it was a different take on the Cinderella story, and not overly complex so it made for a good, easy read after a day at work. I have to wait for payday to pick up the rest of the series though, and it isn’t like I haven’t got enough to be reading in the interim. I’m looking forward to the sequel, but I’m not desperate as I was with the Peculiar Children series!
So, in summary, this is a pretty good, pretty different version of a beloved fairytale for YA readers and if you’re into the YA fairytale/fantasy genre and haven’t read Cinder yet I’d recommend it for the TBR pile.