Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Book Review: Cinder

Cinder (Lunar Chronicles, #1) (*****)
by Marissa Meyer

What if...Cinderella was a Cyborg. I can honestly say I've ever asked myself that question. But Marissa Meyer did, and I'm so glad! Meyer takes the classic fairy tale and puts it in a futuristic, sort-of post apocalyptic world, and manages to keep it fresh and new and familiar at the same time. I read more fantasy than sci-fi, and this was my first venture into a Cyborg story, but I really enjoyed the journey.

The new and fresh: Cinder lives in New Beijing, over one hundred years after the 4th World War, and while the world is unrecognizable, people haven't really changed. Here, a person will become a cyborg when they've been badly injured and surgeons will add robotic parts and advanced computer technology to take the place of body parts too damaged to work. Cinder has a robotic leg and arm, can access the net with a thought, and see news and data literally out of the corner of her eye. While these operations save lives, the newly created cyborgs are considered less-than-human and are reviled in society.

Another new aspect to the story is that some time in the book's past, people from Earth colonized the moon, but the moon changed them. They (the Lunars) are able to influence the bioelectrical something-or-others and basically control the thoughts and actions of others, including making themselves appear beautiful and making someone else kill themself. And now they're trying to take over Earth.

The other major plot point is a plague that has been decimating Earth, one that is highly contagious and kills quickly. Through a series of events, Cinder becomes a test subject in the search to find a cure (becoming a test subject is certain death in this world) and discovers that she is somehow immune.

The familiar: despite the fact that we're dealing with cyborgs and Lunars and plagues, there's still a ball, an evil step-mother, and two step-sisters (though only one is evil).

Will Cinder make it to the ball? Will she escape her step-mother? Will the prince return her foot???

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