Book Review by Aarene Storms: Cinder

Monday, March 26, 2012

By Aarene Storms, youth services librarian
Richmond Beach Library, KCLS

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

In this re-told story with a sci-fi twist, Cinder is a teenaged cyborg with two stepsisters and a stepmother who hates the "subhuman" left in her care. While working as an android mechanic in the public market, Cinder meets up with the charming Prince Kai, who invites her to the fancy ball being held in his honor ... but Cinder knows that her stepmother will never allow her to attend.

Fairy tale elements are artfully re-cast, with the story returned to its original Chinese roots; however, futuristic New Beijing is very different from the ancient city. The fairy godmother is a household droid with a "defective" personality; the pumpkin coach is an ugly vintage motorcar (one suspects an orange VW Bug!), and the glass slipper is a too-small cyborg foot that doesn't attach securely enough to Cinder's artificial leg. The plot is relatively predictable, but the ending is a cliff-hanger that will be continued in the second part of the projected 4-volume series.

Recommended for readers who enjoy folktale retellings, romance, and futuristic societies, ages 12 to adult. No cussing, nekkidness, or excessive violence. There is (of course!) a kiss.

The events may not have happened; still, the story is true. --R. Silvern


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