by Marissa Meyer
Published January 3, 2012 by Feiwel & Friends
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.
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When he youngest stepsister and only human friend contracts the deadly plague that has been sweeping through the countryside, it's the last straw for Cinder's evil stepmother. As Cinder's guardian, she has the power to "volunteer" her for plague research. Cinder embarks on a twisted path that should lead to death but instead reveals many secrets from her past and encourages hopes for her future.
Cinder is a marvel with all things mechanical, as well as intelligent, independent, ingenious and strong. Used to being cast in the role of 'freak' by everyone she meets, she is vulnerable and unsure of Prince Kai's attempts at friendship.
Kai, the Prince who would be Emperor, seems lost and a bit alone. He is prepared to assume the mantle of responsibility, even if that means forfeiting his own happiness.
If you;re like me, you guessed the big secret early on in the book but that doesn't mean it wasn't shocking when finally revealed in black and white. Of course I'm not going to reveal any of the secrets, but let's just say - there are some really good twists and turns! The ending left me both elated and frustrated, wishing the second book was already out for me to read. I'm not quite sure where Ms. Meyer is taking us, but I am happy to be along for the ride.
Book 2 in the Lunar Chronicles, Scarlet, will be released sometime in 2013.