By Marissa Meyer
Feiwel & Friends, 2012. 390 pgs. Young Adult
This is the story of Cinder, a part-human, part-machine teenage girl living in "New Beijing." Her technological components classify her as a "cyborg," basically a second-class citizen and an embarrassment to her legal-guardian mother. Cinder makes herself useful, however, by being one of the best mechanics in New Beijing, a reputation that attracts the attention of Prince Kai himself when he needs help with a special repair and doesn't know who to trust. But just when things are looking up, Cinder's world is shaken when her beloved little sister is struck with the plague - a mysterious illness that threatens the entire planet.
I was actually surprised at how much originality there was to this re-telling of the traditional Cinderella tale. There are androids, hover cars, strange people who live on the moon, and Cinder's own past is cast in shadow but it becomes clear that it is of vital importance. This is the first in a series of four books, each based on a different fairy tale (the next one will be called Scarlet, based on Little Red Riding Hood). This is a unique enough version of Cinderella that I couldn't guess at all what would happen, and it ends with a satisfying conclusion even though some things are left unresolved for future books. I would recommend this for fans of science fiction and fairy tale retellings.