Cinder (Lunar Chronicles, book one)
By Marissa Meyer, read by Rebecca Soler
Published 2012 by Macmillan Young Listeners
Cinder is, perhaps, New Beijing's most gifted mechanic. She is also a cyborg - hated by her stepmother and hiding her true identity from everyone else. But when a deadly plague comes to Cinder's household, her fate becomes closely linked with Prince Kai and she must set out on the path to discover the secrets of her past.
This book was a huge deal when it came out and pretty much everyone I knew read it almost immediately. In typical me fashion, I wanted to read it, but never found the time. So, I downloaded the audio version and finally listened to it.
I'm sorry I waited so long. This book had me right from the beginning. I love the premise, which is the premise of the whole series - science fiction takes on classic fairy tales, this one being Cinderella with a cyborg. But, it's much more than that. Meyer has created a believable and complex world that I am completely fascinated by and about which I'm dying to know more. I love the setting of New Beijing and I love the complicated history that's teased at between the Eastern Commonwealth and the Lunar Empire.
I also really liked the character of Linh Cinder. She is smart and questioning. She cares deeply about her stepsister and Iko, her family's robot. She has a past that she knows little about. She's a really interesting character. I liked the other characters as well, particularly Iko and Prince Kai. I thought the development of the relationship between Cinder and Kai was well done and didn't feel as ridiculous as other YA romances I've seen.
That being said, the surprise was not that difficult to figure out, but I liked the way Meyer revealed it. Additionally, she left some questions open, sure to be explored in book two, which I am eager to read. I think this is a really strong start to an imaginative teen science fiction series.