Set in New Beijing, over a hundred years after World War IV, Cinder has all the elements of any other Cinderella retelling, complete with wicked stepmother and stepsister (only one of the two sisters is nasty), pumpkin carriage (which is a broken-down car brought back to life), and a handsome prince. The biggest difference? Our heroine is a cyborg this time around.
Cinder is the best mechanic in New Beijing – which is why Prince Kai seeks her out to fix his busted android, jokingly saying it was a “matter of national security.” As she works on the android, she realizes that it was not far from the truth. He needs her help to uncover a mystery that has been covered up for many years. Kai and Cinder instantly hit it off, a friendship that leads to a romance.
The plague, letumosis, has been spreading on earth for the past decade, claiming the lives of millions. When it affects Cinder’s family, her stepmother volunteers her to be used for research to find a cure. The scientists who begin working on Cinder learn things about her that nobody else knows – including herself. Meanwhile, Levana, the usurper queen of the lunars, has been waiting to wage her war on earth for many years. Only a marriage alliance with Prince Kai will secure a peace treaty between the lunars and the earthens.
I loved this high-tech retelling of Cinderella, and I am excited to read Scarlet, the next book in The Lunar Chronicles, where we will see what becomes of our cyborg Cinderella.
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