Featuring cyborgs, political intrigues, deadly diseases, hidden romance, sparkly ballgowns, and a forgotten secret; Cinder-book one in the Lunar Chronicles-written by Marissa Myer and published in 2012 by Rampion Books, is a page-turning adventure about a 16-year-old mechanic girl, a handsome prince, and a possible outbreak of war with the powerful Lunar people. This novel would fall under the YA romance\sci-fi\fairytale retelling genres.
Cinder is a cyborg. She has no memory of her past, the identity of her real parents, and no idea who she really is. A man adopted her when she was eleven, and after his untimely death, she was given into the care of his wife. This woman, Adri, forces Cinder to work to provide for her and her two daughters, Pearl and Peony. As a result of her cyborg implants, Cinder is the best mechanic in New Beijing; she’s so good that she catches the eye of Prince Kai, who hires her to fix his android for him. He says that fixing the android is merely for sentimental reasons, but Cinder suspects that it might have something to do with the touchy situation with the Lunars-people who migrated to the moon many years before and have gained special abilities to sway and control beings they deem lesser than themselves.
After Peony, Cinder’s stepsister and only human friend, catches the dreaded plague that’s been haunting the Earth for far too long, Adri blames Cinder for it and volunteers her body for scientific research. No one survives the research long, but there’s something special about Cinder. A secret that people would kill for. A possible antidote, maybe.
Or maybe it’s something darker.
I would highly recommend this book for ages 14+. There is some mild language and one or two thematic elements to watch out for; as well as some romance and violence. Cinder is a very well written book with fairy tale aspects, sci-fi robots, and an absorbing storyline with edge-of-your-seat escapades and a thrilling plot twist. All in all, 4.5 out of 5 stars.