Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl....
Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.
©2012 Marissa Meyer (P)2012 Macmillan Audio
I have to admit that when I first saw advertisements for Cinder, it didn’t inspire me to add it to my ‘To Read’ list. In fact, it wasn’t until the release day that I even looked at it on Goodreads. When I read the description, I still wasn’t sold, a cyborg Cinderella story set in Beijing sounded strange to me. That and I’m not really into Cinderella retellings. However, as I browsed reviews I started to change to my mind. People were raving about it and then I suddenly started to think, “Hmm, a cyborg Cinderella story set in Beijing could actually be interesting and out of the box. Why am I being so narrow minded?”
Then I saw that it was available on audiobook and my finger started moving closer to the Purchase button. Ever since I’ve signed up for the YA Audiobook Challenge, I’ve been eager to start marking off books. That settled it. Cinder went from no where near my To Read listen to my Currently Reading list in 2.5 seconds. And let me tell you, I was pleasantly surprised and so happy that I pushed aside my hesitation to read/listen to a cyborg Cinderella story.
Set in a dystopian future in what is now called New Beijing, Cinder stars a teenage cyborg girl who has it very much like Cinderella. Cinder lives with her stepmother and step sisters who pretty much loathe her and blame her for everything, with the exception of her stepsister and friend Peony. She is a skilled mechanic and her talents are put to use by running an electronics repair shop and fixing whatever her stepmother wants fixed. The stepmother and stepsisters only focus is preparing themselves for the ball held by the handsome young Prince Kai of New Beijing.
There are occasional direct Cinderella references such as an old car that resembles a pumpkin, a cyborg foot that takes the place of a glass slipper, and a cute android that replaces friendly rodents that sing and dance and help Cinderella get ready for the ball. But the originality of these references is sweet and they bring a smile to your lips when you come across them. However, if you are hoping for a fairy godmother, you won’t find one in this version. And things don’t end fairytale perfect like they do for Cinderella.
The story line probably sounds pretty familiar to you and much of the plot keeps to the original story. Despite the similarities, there are many things that set this book apart from the original. The cyborg aspect, for one, adds a whole new dimension to Cinder’s character. At a young age, she was in a horrible accident leaving a majority of her body in disrepair. To keep her alive, Cinder was turned in a Cyborg. Although cyberization saved her live, she has new problems to face. Cyborgs are considered less than human and are often shunned by others. To maintain her body she must buy expensive parts, which upsets her stepmother.
In spite of being a cyborg, Cinder is a relatable heroine. She is kind, smart, unselfish, brave, yet makes typical teenage mistakes that only further diminish her not so wonderful life situation. You will find yourself rooting for her from beginning to end.
There is a cute semi-romantic relationship between Cinder and Prince Kai and one of the things I appreciated about their relationship is that it has time to develop. Kai’s character is very likeable. He is a noble Prince who has been forced to grow up fast but he takes his role in stride and is dedicated to helping his people. He has the weight of the world on his shoulders as he searches for the cure to a world wide plague, tries to alleviate tension between Earth and the Lunar.
I am eagerly awaiting the next book in the series. When this book was over, I literally cried out in frustration. I was not ready for it to be over and I wanted it to keep going. That’s a sign of a good book. Meyer sets up the end nicely for the next book and I can’t wait to find out with Cinder will do. I highly recommend this book to people of all ages. It’s a great read/listen.
Short, Simple, No Spoilers
Good book for teens. How could yet another retelling of Cinderella with robots be any good? Read this to keep up with my daughter and after much eye rolling and huffing (on my part) finally pressed play. Was surprised how quickly the time flew and after two sittings, was a little sad it was over. The storyline is actually different: set in future; prejudices about cyborgs, androids, and planet Lunar people; threat of WWV; and leutosis plague wiping out citizens. Cinder is tough, clever, and self-preserving while Prince Kai is noble, anxious, and unsure. Both step-sisters are not evil and explanation for how Cinder ended up with Adri, her stepmother, is quite different.
Not on the same level as "Perks of Being a Wallflower" or "The Fault in Our Stars", but easy, entertaining read.
I recently took a chance on two books that were getting rave reviews. One of them was a big disappointment and is not the start of a series. This one (which is part of a series) actually sounded a little lame to me - but the reviewers convinced me to spend my credit and that turned out to be a great decision.
The author and narrator have come up with a smart, entertaining storyline with a twist of an old fairy tale thrown in.
I wanted to read the next book right away and unfortunately have to wait until this author churns out the next of three more fairy tale themed books. A google search informs me that the second is called Scarlett and is based on Little Red Riding Hood and it will be released Feb 13, 2012.
The nice thing about discovering a series late is you get to read the books close together.
Along with the other reviewers here, my advice is to get this book. But, if you don't want to go through an excruciating wait -- time your listening to Cinder for Feb 6, 2013.
I first noticed this book on my daughter’s reading blog and I trust her judgement most of the time when it comes to YA literature because it is her passion. She reads it,she reviews it, and she teaches it. So, I decided to read it because I hadn’t read any YA so far this year and I love fairy tales retold. Let me tell you, this is a winner. It is Cinderella meets Sci Fi/dystopian, a time far far into the future, and Popular Mechanic/Terminator. I liked it much more than I thought I would BUT was let down at the end. I thought it was too abrupt. To see what I mean you’ll have it read it for yourself and you won’t be sorry.
I don’t really know what made me download this book to begin with, but I am glad I did. It is an interesting idea based loosely on Cinderella. Just remember it is a YA book.
Actor/director/teacher. Split my time between Beijing and Seattle now. Listen to Audible on the subway and while driving. Love the reviews.
With fear and trembling I beg to offer a minority opinion. I found this book to be poorly written, devoid of surprises, unimaginative and often shockingly illogical.
In a nation beset by a plague which is killing thousands of people, why would there be a program in which random uninfected citizens would be injected with the virus so that they could be given experimental antidotes? With hard drives already on their way to becoming a thing of the past today, why would they be an integral part of the computing technology of the distant future? And in a society where transportation is based on "hovers," why would there still be conventional streets at all much less an old internal combustion vehicle still visible and salvageable in a junk yard? And the gasoline for this dinosaur?
These are only a few of the myriad lapses which make the book completely unconvincing and repeatedly jarred me out of the world in which the story takes place.
Rebecca Soler soldiers on through this silliness adequately, even when Meyer forces her to read flat out malapropisms. Was there an editor involved with this book?
This is all pretty sad because I was looking forward to listening to Cinder based on the concept and all the glowing reviews. Not to mention that well turned ankle in the scarlet pump on the cover. Sadly the cover art turned out to be the best part of the book.
I passed this one up a few times but I finally took a chance, and WOW am I glad I did!
I loved the vague parallel with Cinderella. This story had its own personality which really came to life and drew me in. The narrator was on her game! I can't wait for book 2!!!
I am a clay sculptor and an art instructor at a community college. I mostly listen to audiobooks while I work in my home studio.
This was a light, enjoyable listen. On the surface a mix of science fiction, fantasy, coming-of-age and romance (but not too heavy on the romance).
I picked it for a light story to listen to while working in my studio at home. I stayed with it because I enjoyed the characters and the slightly more complex that you'd expect retelling of the story. But I'm looking forward to the next one because I really enjoyed the descriptions of the biological, mechanical, social and political world in which these characters operate. Vivid and evocative without being heavy and dully. I feel like I can picture Cinder's world and I feel like it's a real place (or could be).
I'd recommend it. But you'll have to wait for the next one in the series--because you'll want to stick with this character after the end of this book.
I'll admit it takes a very good book to get a 4 star rating out of me. This one didn't. It was okay. Plot, narration, writing were all very middle of the road. The similarity to the Cinderella tale was so loose it could have been left out. The less discerning reader of young reader would likely be the best audience.
I had never heard of this series when it popped up on my audible suggestions. I am now so thankful that I stumbled onto it. It is one of the best series I have read recently. You must read it!
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