Cinder by Marissa Meyer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I do love Cinderella stories and this is an interesting mix of that genre with the Lost Prince/future-with-cyborgs-and-androids genres.
Cinder is a cyborg, technically the property of the stepmother (Andri). She works as a mechanic and her best friend is Iko, an android owned by her family. There's one mean stepsister (Pearl) and one nice one (Peony), both of whom are going to Prince Kai's ball. Prince Kai is, of course, gorgeous and one day brings Cinder his broken-down tutor android, Nainsi; they flirt. So far, so familiar, right?
Add to this the fact that there's a colonized moon with a population of humanoids called Lunars, noted for their "magic" (actually just bioelectrical manipulation in the form of glamors), ruled by an evil, usurping Queen who wants to take over the Earth; there's also a modern-day plague that is killing people. Cinder's sister Peony contracts the plague and Cinder is sent to the hospital as part of a program to see if the cyborgs somehow hold the key to the cure.
Anything more would be spoilers, so let me just say that of course Cinder does get to the ball. The big questions about Cinder's pre-cyborg identity are relatively easy to guess, but the way in which she - and others - find out isn't a detraction. The fact that this is the first of a four-part series, on the other hand... I think the second book will be interesting (given what we know about the characters by the end of the book) but can this be sustained over four books? There were signs of padding in this one, and I suspect we'll see more. However, as the French say, on verra.
ARC provided by publisher.