Monday, November 14, 2011

Cinder by Marissa Meyer (Lunar Chronicles book one)

In this futuristic retelling of the Cinderella fairy tale, Cinder is a gifted mechanic who is also a cyborg. Adopted be her stepfather while he was on a trip in Europe, he died from the plague before they could get back home to New Beijing. Cinder lives in an apartment with her stepmother/guardian Adri and her two stepsisters, Pearl and Peony. Cinder supports the family be working as a mechanic in the market. It is in her stall that Cinder encounters Prince Kai when he comes looking to find the best mechanic in the city to work on his personal android. Cinder does her best not to become flustered by his attentiveness and hides the fact that she is a cyborg. After the prince leaves, panic breaks out in the market when the baker realizes that she is infected by the plague. Cinder hides in her stall until the coast is clear before heading back towards the apartment.
When Cinder arrives home, she finds that Adri has hired a seamstress to make new ball gowns for Pearl and Peony. Adri tells Cinder that if she is able to repair the magbelt that she might see about getting a gown for Cinder. Cinder knows she is lying but doesn’t let on. Instead she heads to her basement workshop to deposit Prince Kai’s broken android. It is here that Peony finds her and offers to accompany her to the landfill to look for the necessary parts. The girls head off and find what they need. The evening turns to tragedy when Cinder notices that Peony has the telltale signs of the plague. The med droids arrive to take Peony to quarantine and Cinder eventually heads back to the apartment. When Cinder arrives home, she finds her stepmother and several droids waiting. Cinder tells them she has no sign if the disease but Adri informs her that she has signed the papers for her to become a cyborg volunteer for research to find a cure for the plague.

Cinder is taken against her will where she is injected with the plague antibodies instead of getting sick. The doctor is awestruck as he watches Cinder’s body fight off the antibodies before she is given the experimental drugs. In the meantime, Emperor Rikan lies dying from the plague at the palace. Prince Kai knows that within the week he will become emperor whether he wants to or not. New Beijing is dealing not only with the plague crisis, but with the continuing threats from Queen Levana of Lunar. When the emperor dies, Queen Levana announces she is coming to visit New Beijing and continue their negotiations in person.

Why is Cinder immune to the plague? Can a cure be found in time to save Peony? What exactly is the mystery behind Cinder’ origins? Will Prince Kai discover that Cinder is a cyborg? What are Queen Levana’s true intentions? And what happens when Queen Levana lays eyes on Cinder?

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