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Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth's fate hinges on one girl. . . .
Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She's a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister's illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai's, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world's future.
Marissa Meyer on Cinder, writing, and leading men
Which of your characters is most like you?
I wish I could say that I'm clever and mechanically-minded like Cinder, but no—I can't fix anything. I'm much more like Cress, who makes a brief cameo in Cinder and then takes a more starring role in the third book. She's a romantic and a daydreamer and maybe a little on the naïve side—things that could be said about me too—although she does find courage when it's needed most. I think we'd all like to believe we'd have that same inner strength if we ever needed it.
Where do you write?
I have a home office that I've decorated with vintage fairy tale treasures that I've collected (my favorite is a Cinderella cookie jar from the forties) and NaNoWriMo posters, but sometimes writing there starts to feel too much like work. On those days I'll write in bed or take my laptop out for coffee or lunch.
If you were stranded on a desert island, which character from Cinder would you want with you?
Cinder, definitely! She has an internet connection in her brain, complete with the ability to send and receive comms (which are similar to e-mails). We'd just have enough time to enjoy some fresh coconut before we were rescued.
The next book in the Lunar Chronicles is called Scarlet, and is about Little Red Riding Hood. What is appealing to you most about this character as you work on the book?
Scarlet is awesome—she's very independent, a bit temperamental, and has an outspokenness that tends to get her in trouble sometimes. She was raised by her grandmother, an ex-military pilot who now owns a small farm in southern France, who not only taught Scarlet how to fly a spaceship and shoot a gun, but also to have a healthy respect and appreciation for nature. I guess that's a lot of things that appeal to me about her, but she's been a really fun character to write! (The two leading men in Scarlet, Wolf and Captain Thorne, aren't half bad either.)
First in the Lunar Chronicles series, this futuristic twist on Cinderella retains just enough of the original that readers will enjoy spotting the subtle similarities. But debut author Meyer's brilliance is in sending the story into an entirely new, utterly thrilling dimension. Cinder is a talented teenage mechanic and cyborg part human, part robot who has been living in New Beijing with a demanding adoptive mother and two stepsisters, ever since her late stepfather took Cinder in after a hovercraft accident. Several events abruptly turn Cinder's world upside down: a chance meeting with the handsome Prince Kai has her heart racing; a plague pandemic threatens her beloved sister Peony; Cinder learns she is immune to the plague; and the evil Lunar Queen Levana arrives on Earth, scheming to marry Kai. Though foreshadowing early on makes it fairly clear where the story is headed, it unfolds with the magic of a fairy tale and the breakneck excitement of dystopian fiction. Meyer's far-future Earth is richly imagined, full of prejudice and intrigue, characters easy to get invested in, and hints of what might await in future books. Ages 12 up.
If you read one fairytale re-telling, make it this one
The story is enthralling and exists in a world so fleshed out I bet the author could tell you what scent of floor cleaning solution is used in the imperial palace and which brand is better for the tile. You can feel the anxiety and fear felt by the world in the wake of a terrible disease and looming threats of war, as well as the pain of their losses. The characters are genuine and have real flaws. Cinder is blunt and cares little for the conventions of a society that abandoned and abused her, while being heartfelt and allowed to explore her emotions. Thorne is the perfect swashbuckling pirate disguised as a raucous space cowboy, and shows over the series how important it is to rely on your friends in times of need. Kai shows the reality of having to continue living after the death of a loved one, even in the face of troubling circumstances and your own conflicts of emotion. Every other character in the series is unique and shows the reader strength, weakness, and bravery in the face of monsters (both physical and metaphorical).
What a fun and imaginative take on a Cinderella story! Complete with an evil queen, cyborgs, a wicked stepmother, a plague, and a handsome prince. This was a reread but my first read was years ago. I forgot how much I loved it! I loved figuring out Cinder's history with her and the romance element added the cherry on top! 5 stars. :D
As a person who regularly reads books it’s sometimes hard for me to find a good read. When I found cinder I was skeptical because it sounded like another book I had read. I read cinder in a day and had to go out the same day to get scarlet. This series is one of the best ones I’ve ever read. I love Thorne! Cinder and scarlet are badasses along with wolf who’s kinda like a little puppy! Cress is a cinnamon roll and winter is amazing!!!! A must read series for sure!!!!!