There are many ways to deliver a good dystopian story. There are fewer ways to deliver a good dystopian story with a compelling and believable fairy tale element. To take it even one step further, this is a dystopian story with a Cinderella twist. This series is called The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. Her heroine is a Cinderella with a cyborg twist. Now, any fairy tale mash up will pique my attention so accepting this recommendation from other readers (many, many, many other readers) was not too much of a challenge. It did blow me away that for once, a great recommendation was great.
Although it is marketed as a Cinderella cyborg story, there is deeper and grittier substance to this story. With each chapter, the story slowly takes hold and there is no question how much you care about these characters. It is definitely a more fleshed out (tee hee) version of the fairy tale models. What raises my esteem of the novel even more is that it is set in an Asia-like Dystopian world (my guess is on China. I’m only on the first book…).
In the first book of the series , Cinder (with one of my favorite covers of all time), an indentured cyborg named Linh Cinder spends her time as a mechanic to make money for her stepmother and step sisters. As a cyborg, she is shunned for her being, but sought after for her skills. On one seemingly random day, she is visited by Prince Kai in disguise to get her help to fix a beloved android. From the first glance, the beginnings of a love sparks but Linh has to cover the ugliness of her cyborg body. Overpowering what would have been a sweet love story is the devastating plague sweeping the population and the oncoming takeover from the hated Lunar people. Both of these provide rich and heartbreaking reasons for the conflict between Prince Kai and Linh.
During San Diego Comic Con 2016, FangirlNation was able to take a few moments and chat with the author behind such a great story, Marissa Meyer. It was surprising to find her beginnings were rooted in fan fiction and where the birth of Cinder came from. Meyer also announced an upcoming new book in November 2016 called, Heartless, chronicling the early days of the Queen of Hearts from Wonderland and an adult coloring book!
For more information on her series and upcoming books, check out her website at: http://www.marissameyer.com/