By Josie Rerecich
“Cinder” by Marissa Meyer is the first book in The Lunar Chronicles, a sci-fi series with a plot loosely based on well-known fairy tales. Centered on the fairy tale Cinderella, “Cinder” focuses on Linh Cinder, a cyborg working as a mechanic to provide for her legal guardian Linh Adri in the city of New Beijing. Cinder’s only friend is Adri’s younger daughter Peony, who has just caught letumosis, a deadly disease that has been plaguing the Earth for the past 20 years. There is a draft for cyborgs, who are generally considered as second-class citizens, to become test subjects in hopes of finding an antidote to letumosis. After Peony gets infected, Adri volunteers Cinder for plague testing.
Cinder soon finds out that she is immune to letumosis. Having no memories before the age of eleven, this development rekindles an urge for Cinder to learn more about her past. Along the way, Cinder gets swept up in a political crisis involving Prince Kai of the Eastern Common- wealth. Kai is soon to become the new emperor. However, he went to Cinder to have her fix one of his androids only to become enamored with the her. He has to decide whether to accept the proposal for a political marriage with the cruel Queen Levana of Luna.
Due to “Cinder” taking place in the future, there are some terms in this first book that do not make sense right away. For example, the book takes place in the year 126 T.E. It can take readers a while before they realize that T.E. stands for Third Era. Another issue this book has is that not all of the references to the classic fairy tale are noticeable upon the first read. There are some little details that may go over the readers’ heads until they reread the book.
“Cinder” is a great introduction to The Lunar Chronicles series, as well as a fun book to read on its own. “Cinder” has something for all kinds of readers.