I'm not the biggest fan of romance entertainment, and I'm not exactly sure why. I'm just not. Anyway, can you guess what this book, Cinder, is fan fiction of?
It's Cinderella, if the glass slipper hadn't given it away. But it's much more than just having two evil stepsisters and going to the ball. Cinder here is a cyborg. She has no memory of her past or her presents, except she was brought in by her father to her stepmother Adri who is kind of like the next Caleb Gare. Cinder has three stepsisters this time - Iko, Pearl and Peony, or maybe it's two, Iko is just a great friend. And that's the funny thing. Iko and Peony are actually kind of nice. Anyway, Cinder is a mechanic trying her best to get by without other people knowing who she is, in the slums of New Beijing in 126 T.E., 126 years after the fourth world war ended. Meanwhile, Prince Kai, son of Emperor Rikan, is having a troubling life. His father is very sick with this plague that's going around everywhere and people believe it is spread by the Lunars, these beings who are from the moon and have special powers, manipulation of the mind being the main one. There's this incident where it is used on Cinder and that wasn't a bad thing. It meant that I could really dive into the book and recognize a situation without the words being put in front of me. When that happens, it also leaves a minor mystery.
At first, I couldn't really get into the book, mostly because of all the different names like Iko, Peony, Chung Sacha, Adri, this doctor with a last name that's hard to remember. Like Elsie Chapman's Dualed, these names were hard to pronounce and very messed up, but after the first part and the romance side kicked in, I didn't mind anymore. Not that this is overly romantic. I felt that the relationship between Cinder and Prince Kai was just right, even though a lot of times they say stuff I wish they hadn't. It has one of those conflicts about whether to stay in the slums to impress, or to escape. That part is only minor though, considering all the science there is in this. Like Michael Vey, I think the science fiction is one of the best things about this book. It explains these superpowers with a scientific realism. I think when you read that part, you won't help but imagine why scientists haven't tried this out.
The most surprising thing about this book was Cinder and how her reasoning behind not being with her true love was not because she was a cyborg with a disposable body and, you know, couldn't have sex. Surprisingly, in this book, with the exception of seeming weird, being a cyborg is not so bad. You are basically a computer that can eat, one that can have emotions but cannot cry, a human that has a built in, well, you'll see. Only sometimes this book makes a weird choice, but for most of them, when I saw where they were going, I understood. While far from ever being called a thriller and the plague dynamic may be getting a little old, this is certainly a page turner, filled with fascinating sci-fi and emotional conflicts that I could relate to, similarly to Marie Lu's Legend and Prodigy. This likeable cyborg now has a boyfriend.