When Fandom Invades Your Fiction

Cinder by Marisa Meyer is marketed as a “sci-fi retelling of Cinderella,” complete with its cover of a cyborg foot dressed in a bright red pump. As a big sucker for a good fairy tale retelling, I was really excited to get my face all into those glorious pages, seeing how the author would retell this classic story in a futuristic age. Little did I know that this story isn’t as much about Cinderella as it is about Sailor Moon.

This novel is the first of a four-book young adult series entitled “The Lunar Chronicles.” Generally, when I start a new book series, I try not to look up too much information on it. I thought the series title was sorta weird and not really “fairy-tale appropriate,” but sure, I’m willing to run with it. So anyway, Cinder, our heroine, is a cyborg mechanic living in a city named New Beijing. She was adopted into a family after her parents were killed in an accident, the same accident that destroyed one of her hands and her feet and which condemned her to a cyborg existence. She has only a couple of friends: her foster sister Peony and the house android Iko. This novel actually makes a lot of cute parallels to keep the spirit of the original fairy tale: instead of a pumpkin that turns into a coach, Cinder goes to the ball in a pumpkin-colored car, etc. I’m okay with those parts — it’s really the Sailor Moon fanfic part that I didn’t care for.

Obviously, spoilers from here on. Continue reading