AUTHOR: Marissa Meyer
I struggled a little with Cinder when I first started reading it but by around chapter three I was hooked and I have to admit, I’m really eager to read the next installment in The Lunar Chronicles.
A play on the fairytale Cinderella, Cinder is not only set in a post apocalyptic future, it is set in the East – Cinder is Asian. Well, technically she’s more than that but to say any more would come in to spoiler territory. Part cyborg, Cinder is not a parlour maid but a mechanic and a very gifted one at that. Like the traditional Cinderella though she has a cruel stepmother and two stepsisters and there is a ball to which all the girls in New Beijing are invited. The Emperor’s son will be present and will perhaps choose his bride so of course all the girls are going. All except Cinder.
Cinder has resigned herself to this and if she hasn’t exactly made peace with it, accepts. Everything changes however, when the Prince turns up at her little mechanic’s booth – and Cinder’s life is turned upside down.
This first novel from Meyer is exceptional. Beautifully crafted with a heroine you find yourself cheering for out loud (okay maybe that was just me), Cinder takes an unusual and fresh look at the old fairy tale in a way that even the die hard Twilight groupies will find satisfying. My challenge at the beginning, I suspect, had more to do with expectations based on the fairy tale more than anything else as the writing is clean and clear and really enjoyable. Notably, Meyer does not write down to her YA audience which is great to see – and of course is the secret behind the Twilight phenomena – the target audience does not feel as though the writer is condescending to them.
This may not ever reach the heights of Twilight’s success as I’m not sure it has the mass movie market appeal, but I shouldn’t be at all suprised to see the series become a cult leader – and deservedly so. I’m expecting big things from this author – and so should you.