Cinder is an interesting twist to the well known fairy tale of Cinderella. Cinder is actually a cyborg who needs new parts but her step-mother/caregiver will not allow her to purchase these parts and she is forced to use old and small parts. She runs her own shop in the city and those around her are afraid of her, unsure of her because she is a cyborg. Regardless, she is also the best mechanic in the city. One day the prince comes to her with an important project; he needs her help in fixing his android. A Lunar race watches from above waiting to make their move and start war with Earth. The fate of the world depends on Cinder.
In this novel we are introduced to futuristic China, as the story takes place in New Beijing, where we see a mix of technology and enchantment. As mentioned, the novel retells the story of Cinderella. Cinder meets Prince Kai early on in the story and comes in contact with him throughout the novel. We soon come to realize that Prince Kai may have to marry Queen Levana, the Lunar queen, to prevent war. Is this something he is able to do for his country is not the world? There is a subplot of a plague having broken out and various citizens of New Beijing contracting the plague including the king and Cinder’s step sister. In order to find a cure, doctors are doing tests on the cyborgs to see what they can find and Cinder’s step mother offers her up as a test subject. Her blood is found to be different from all others and potentially has what is needed to help those inflicted with the disease. Not much is used with the plague throughout the novel, just little snippets and hints towards other things.
The character developments that Meyer creates are wonderful. Cinder is not your typical Cinderella character. She gets down and dirty and loves doing this work. Her spare time she works on a broken down car trying to figure out how to make it work so that she may escape the tyranny of her step mother. I love that there is such personality to Cinder, a heroine with a mind of her own. She is a really strong character with a strong presence even when the story diverges from her for a moment. She doesn’t need a “fairy godmother” to help her out, she tries it all on her own. Another thing I enjoyed was Meyers turned the evil step sisters into characters we can learn to like; in fact Cinder is close with the sister that contracts the plague.
Meyer’s descriptions throughout the story were so vivid; I could imagine everything in great detail. She creates and develops her characters wonderfully. She doesn’t just through in a character and expect them to fit. When a new character is introduced it is done in a refined manor which shows it was well planned. The way she writes make everything seems so thought out and precise. I am looking forward to reading her other novels in the series.