Cannonball Read V: Book #43/52Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy
Cinder is a cyborg - part human, part robot. She lives with her evil step-mother and two stepsisters (this is a re-imagined Cinderella after all) in New Beijing which is on the verge of a war with the Lunar people (who live on the moon). Cinder is a mechanic and she meets the prince when he asks her to fix one of his old robots. They strike up a friendship as Cinder tries both to hide and figure out who she really is.
This story really could have went either way, but I thought it was actually pretty good. It was interesting and never got boring. The romance was never too sappy and I felt like Cinder was a strong female character on her own (i.e. didn't need a man to define her character). I also liked that she had other relationships that were focused on, such as with her dying step-sister (the nice one of the two) and her friendship with the house robot.
However, I did think the idea of setting it in China was interesting, but it probably could have been integrated into the plot a little more. I also thought the beginning was unclear on what exactly Cinder was. I spent the first several chapters thinking she was a full on robot with no human blood at all. I'm not sure if that was intentional in order to reveal her backstory as to how she became part robot or not, but it was sort of confusing at first.
There is a second book in this series that focuses on Little Red Riding Hood, but I believe that Cinder is also a character in it. So hopefully they continue her story since it didn't have a definite ending here.