Written by: Hannah Van Kuiken
Cinder is the first book in the famous sci-fi, fantasy series the Lunar Chronicles, by Marissa Meyer. Cinder is a 16-year-old cyborg who lives in a city in futuristic Asia called New Beijing, and a society that is highly prejudiced against cyborgs. She works as a mechanic, fixing broken androids, cell phones, and many other things. One day, she gets paid a visit by someone very important, the Prince of the Commonwealth. She is hired to fix the Prince’s android, when disaster strikes in her family, and she is volunteered by her stepmother to be a part in the cyborg draft for the experiments to find a cure for the deadly disease plaguing the Earth.
Meanwhile, the Emperor of the Asian Commonwealth is dying of the plague and it falls upon the Prince to make peace with the much-hated people of the kingdom of Luna, Lunars, who can manipulate people with mind control. During Cinder’s time in the hospital as a guinea pig, the doctors experimenting on Cinder discover something extraordinary about her, and she survives the experimentation. Cinder agrees to keep up with the testing on the condition that she is compensated without her stepmother’s knowledge, so that she can run away.
Later, as diplomatic discussions continue between the Lunar kingdom and the Commonwealth, the Queen of Luna, Levana Blackburn, decides to pay a visit to the Commonwealth to make sure the negotiations are going in her favor. Later, Cinder travels to the royal palace to return the android when a crowd of locals join in a riot against the arrival of the Lunar Queen. Suddenly the crowd is silenced with the queen’s mind control, feeding thoughts of adoration to the crowd. Due to Cinder’s cyborg parts, she can detect a lie, and is not affected by the Queen’s manipulation, which gains the wrathful attention of Queen Levana.
Later that evening, Cinder receives a message from the Lunar spy that bugged the android that Cinder fixed. The spy tells Cinder that Queen Levana plans to kill the Prince when she is done with the negotiations. Cinder decides to go to the ball that is being held in the celebration of peace between the Commonwealth and Luna. As Cinder is dancing with the Prince in order to warn him about Queen Levana’s intentions, the Queen tries to kill Cinder for not falling under her manipulation, causing Cinder to unsuccessfully run away from the palace and is knocked out. When Cinder wakes up, she is visited by the doctor that she was working with during the research to find the cure for the plague, and reveals something completely unexpected, and shocking about herself. This discovery leads Cinder on a whole new adventure that lasts for another few books.
Why is it good:
Cinder is a wonderful book to read because it pulls a whole new, sci-fi spin on the Cinderella fairy tale; perfect for the science fiction enthusiasts, dystopian society fanatics, and for those who would enjoy a little splash of rom-com. The Lunar Chronicles has a nice pace and keeps you on the edge of your seat with new twists and turns, but will also give you satisfying breathers and you will begin to fall in love with the characters.
Lessons it teaches:
Cinder teaches that you should not judge someone based on your first impression of them, and that things are not as they always seem. It also brings the point that you should not let someone manipulate you, and let them do the thinking for you, take away your free will.
Cinder is the first part of a four-book series, the sequel books being Scarlet, Cress, and Winter, eight if you’re counting the graphic novels, Wires and Nerves Vol. 1 & 2, and the prequel book, Fairest and the pre/sequel book Stars Above, and not including the coloring book, so I will give the rating out of 8. Cinder has 5 stars out of 8, because it is better than the prequels and graphic novels, but each book in the series gets better and better than the last book.
You can find Cinder in the OKWU Library. If you want to read the other books in the series, you can go to the Bartlesville Public Library and check out the books and audiobooks there. Happy reading my friends!