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.
If you haven't guessed from the title, this book is (sort of) a retelling of Cinderella. I say "sort of" because the story has elements from the original, but is not overdone in any way. You won't feel bored because you know the story already, trust me. As Sophie put it in response to my sad text after finishing (I didn't want it to end!): "It's such a great story because the nods to the fairy tale were just enough and then the rest was BAM!" She is spot-on - that is exactly how I felt about it.
And, seriously the BAM part is just so fantastic. It's not often that I read a book and love every single character, but that was definitely the case with this book. Cinder is immediately likeable and easy to relate to. Well, aside from the fact that she is a cyborg living in a futuristic world with an android for a best friend. But, those elements of the story are what make this book so compelling: the known (Cinderella) thrown into this completely new and unknown world. It's so well done.
And Prince Kai. (Yes, of course there is a prince!) He's my new book-boyfriend. I'm clearly not a very loyal reader-girlfriend since I change so quickly, but Kai is worth my shifting loyalties! Trust me, you will love him too, along with the rest of the characters.
So, if you're in the mood for a book that will make you forget about everything else going on around you, definitely pick up Cinder! I will warn you, this is a series, so there is a bit of a cliff at the end, but it's not too high. You'll get answers, and confirmation of things you might have guessed, but there is just enough of a cliff to make you long for the next book! Perfect!
And, if you finish and need just a bit more Kai, be sure to check out Sophie's interview with him at The Page Turner's Blog. She asks all the important questions, of course!