This is a very interesting take on the classic fairytale of Cinderella, with a very compelling dystopian and slight science fiction twist. Cinder takes place in the fictional future of T.E. or third era, which is explained to be the years of peace on Earth after World War 4. Cinder is a cyborg living in the commonwealth of New Beijing, China. In society cyborgs are considered 2nd class citizens. The protagonist, Cinder is the best mechanic in Beijing and the only source of income for an uncaring stepmother and two stepsisters. There is an ever present threat of a plague that has wiped out a large portion of Earth’s population. There is no known cure and contracting it is a guarantee of death in a few swift days. The plague is an interesting and important part of the story, Cinder’s youngest stepsister and only real human friend suddenly contracts the plague and is part of the catalyst for some major events in the story. The other important element is the commonwealth’s tense relations with the Queen of Lunar. The Lunar are people from Luna (the moon) and were once people from Earth that colonized the moon long ago. They have the ability to use bioelectricity to bend people’s will and perception. Tension between Earth and Luna increases when Cinder gets involved after the handsome Prince Kai of Beijing asks her to fix an android for him.
Cinder is a really great book for anyone that loves a little bit of everything in their books! There are great elements of science fiction, supernatural, adventure, romance and action. Marissa Meyer is a great storyteller who has put genres together that I would have never thought would work, but managed to make it one of those books you just can’t put down. The characters are really fun and well thought out. Despite a major part of the plot twist being obvious, the story stays fresh and never gets boring. I thought Cinder was a really great protagonist and a lot more interesting because she was not the typical female heroine. I liked that she was kind of an outsider type of character as the protagonist. I also really loved Iko and thought having an android best friend was a great part of why Cinder was so likeable and interesting. Queen Levana was also a favorite character for me, just because she was so horrible and easy to dislike. I would probably recommend this for anyone interested in a mix of genres and strong storytelling or for anyone who was looking for something new and fun to read!