Mysteries of the moon

Cinder Book Review

Brandi Flores, Staff Writer

]Though the original myth of Cinderella takes back to the 17th century, author Marissa Meyer re-envisions the age-old tale with a futuristic twist to the fairytale, complete with persecuted cyborgs, moon colonies, benevolent robots and a strong heroine who doesn’t need a prince to find her fortune.

Cinder is the first novel of the Lunar Chronicles series by Meyer. It is a hybrid of the science-fiction and fantasy genres and was published in 2012. The novel has won multiple awards and received critical acclaim, with the final installment, Winter, released last year.

The story begins at a colorful, bustling, vibor market in New Beijing. The protagonist, Cinder, is a cyborg, part human, part robot, and is known as one of the best mechanics in New Beijing. She has other, more secret talents as well, like being able to detect lies and downloading data into her partially computerized brain. As proud as she is of her robotic capabilities allowing her to excel at work, she is self-conscious about her cyborg body parts and identity. She constantly tries to hide her robotic hand and foot. This is understandable considering the fact that there is a small minority group of cyborgs like Cinder, but they are discriminated against in New Beijing society.

Meanwhile, the prince of New Beijing is about to become an emperor at a young age after his father dies from an illness. He’s highly unprepared and not courageous enough to stand up to the powerful but evil Queen Levana, leader of the moon colonies, who is pressuring him into a loveless marriage of convenience for diplomatic reasons. He meets Cinder when he requests that she fix his his personal android, and their fates begin to intertwine.

There are plenty of reasons to read this novel. The Cinder character is likeable and easy to admire with her determination to stay true to what she believes, and her willingness to give into her neglectful stepmother, Adri, and spoiled-rotten step-sister Pearl. Cind is close to her other stepsister Peony and is distraught when she discovers that Peony has Letumosis, a terminal disease.

Another thing that readers may enjoy is the mysterious Dr. Erlan, who seems to know more about Cinder than he lets. Cinder meets him when Adri blames her Peony’s illness and volunteers her for the experimental Letumosis cure. He gradually begins revealing things about Cinder’s identity and her connection to the Lunar Queen that leaves her and readers with the realization that there is far more to Cinder than she ever imagined.He is also hesitant to reveal the whole truth about himself. It all adds layer of mystery to the plot of the story.

As interesting and complex as this novel is, it’s frustrating when some of the sub-plots are left unresolved. There are also instance where beloved characters disappear without any explanation of what happened to them.

Overall, the book was amazing, and readers who love fantasy and science fiction will enjoy it. This retelling of the fairytale we all grew up with might even change our view on who exactly should, or should not, a “perfect” princess, as well as encourage young women to save themselves. All four books are released, so if you like Cinder, you’ll be happy to know there are three more waiting for you.