Author: Marissa Meyer
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Publication date: January 3rd, 2012
I'm a sucker for fairy tale retellings, but this isn't your typical fare. Linh Cinder is cyborg, property owned by her legal guardian. She has no memories of her life before the operation that saved her. For as long as she can remember, she's been a mechanic in New Beijing, owned by Linh Adri and her two daughters.
There are a few things I look for in a fairy tale retelling. First, the author has to make the story her own, which Marissa Meyer has done beautifully. The story diverges from the classic tale in a few major ways. The one I appreciated most was the role of the fairy godmother. While the godmother character is helpful, and swoops down in Cinder's time of need, that time isn't the royal ball. Cinder gets herself to the ball under her own steam, which is one point for girl power. Cinder isn't a wilting flower. She's a kickass grease-stained cyborg mechanic who can drive her own self to the ball, thank you very much.
I also appreciated the hints that other fairy tales might exist within the world Marissa Meyer has created. I hope that we'll see more of them in subsequent books.
Second, the story has to live up to the classic in the romance category. This one came close--the romance definitely has potential, but it wasn't seen through. I had an issue with the way the book ended--it's less cliffhanger and more abrupt ending. Nothing was really resolved...I could have used fifty more pages. Hopefully my questions will be answered in the next book.