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Publication: The Horn Book Magazine
Author: Ritter, Cynthia K
Date published: January 1, 2012
Language: English
PMID: 28505
ISSN: 00185078
Journal code: IHBO

Cinder [Lunar Chronicles] by Ma rissa Meyer Middle School, High School Feiwel 390 pp. 1/12 978-0-312-64189^1 $17.99 g

Sci-fi meets fairy tale in this futuristic Cinderella story blending androids, hovercrafts, and netscreens with royalty, a ball, and an evil stepmother. With no memory of her life before becoming a cyborg, teenage Linh Cinder lives with her guardian stepmother and two stepsisters after her adoptive stepfather's death. She's treated as subhuman and forced to earn the family's living as a mechanic, but her life changes after an encounter with New Beijing's Prince Kai. Kai and Cinder are drawn to each other, even as she hides her cyborg identity and feelings from him, believing they can never be together. Soon Cinder is involved in finding a cure for a plague that's decimating Earth's population and also helping in Kai's search for the missing heir to the Lunar throne, who (unlike the current, brutal Lunar queen) he hopes will be sympathetic to Earth's plight. Debut author Meyer ingeniously incorporates key elements of the fairy tale into this first series entry Early foreshadowing makes the cliffhanger ending involving Cinder's true identity rather predictable, but the novel is full of enough twists and turns, complex characters, and detailed world-building to redeem itself. While nearly the entire Cinderella story plays itself out here, Cinder's unfinished journey, together with Meyer's vivid sci-fi world, will leave readers anticipating the next installment. CYNTHIA K. RITTER

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