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.
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 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 may as well cancel cable now that I am hooked on audible.
I have some excellent books, but so far, this is the best! The narration is stunning and the story is, at the same time, strikingly familiar, yet new and unique.
Such an unconventional, yet familiar theme. While I think I might know what will happen, I can't stop listening.
This is the first time I've heard Rebecca Soler. She's amazing---so many characters; done so well. At the risk of sounding stuffy--this lady has remarkable diction and a beautiful tone.
So far, I have only listened to Part One and am now writing this review as I am downloading the second part.
Even though this is the familiar girl-seeking-identity genre---it is a new twist and very compelling.
You get the Cinderella story but better. All the portions of the story are well thought out so nothing feels contrived. Cinder and the prince get to know each other. There are good reasons for Cinder to keep some secrets from the prince. The prince has urgent needs for himself and the country. Cinder may be just what the prince needs, even though neither he nor Cinder realizes it. It is adventurous and adorable. Strong female lead. Touches all the key points of the fairy tale.
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 am 26 years old, a nurse, and a big fantasy and science fiction fan.
I did not expect the level of depth given to the sci-fi futuristic world the story takes place in, and toward the start, I wondered how on Earth the author would stretch the straightforward story and events of Cinderella across the length of the whole audiobook. After the early introduction of the Prince, I felt as though it could easily be wrapped up in half the book's length.
However, once side plots (like the plague and Lunar versus New Beijing politics) took off, I found the story much more enjoyable. I liked Cinder's lack of helplessness - she was determined and was her own Hero, and in many ways she seems set up to save the prince and the kingdom herself rather than be a damsel in distress.
By the end of the audio book, I could see ample plot to justify a sequel, and the cliff hanger ending has me enticed enough to warrant buying the sequel when it comes out (Feb 3, 2013 according to Amazon). I have not had a book prove me wrong before like this. I've picked up "chick lit" or other fairy tale retellings and found them so formulaic and predictable, with settings devoid of depth, that I was worried Cinder was headed in that direction. I am glad to be proven wrong. I found myself rooting for Cinder, and more importantly, I found myself REALLY hating the Lunar Queen. I am actually looking forward to the moment in the book series when the Lunar Queen gets what's coming to her (which I assume will occur).
I was interested in how cyborg parts functioned in the story, though not much detail went into detailing the science behind it. As I have watched Star Trek extensively, I am used to a degree of science and explanation behind scientific advantages, so this is clearly "soft" science fiction, versus traditional sci-fi.
One thing that did make me rate it at 4 and not 5 stars is that it is simply not the same level of literary work as other books I love. This book is written at an approachable but pedestrian vocabulary level, making it pleasant reading material for teenage girls or average intelligence adults. There were no words used that I did not know the meaning of. The level of mystery or suspense was shot because I guessed a major plot twist early into the book due to the conventional, even obvious, way clues were mixed into the narration.
Nevertheless, I found it an enjoyable story, and I look forward to a sequel to see where the story goes from here.
I love this book. Very creative take on old fairy tales. Can not wait for the next story.
I'm actually a day old tart, filled with maple custard. Perhaps, this reads as a rational introduction to others, and you are deliberately misreading it, because, come on, maple custard.
Even though I love rehashes of fairy tales, I didn't expect much out of this book because it was a YA fiction. There were the standard plot holes for YA works, (For example; Prince Kai isn't exactly up to snuff on political etiquette, what he actually does is pretty vague, and he's a little too innocent to believe.)
With all this talk of a Terminator Princess, I'll admit I was expecting more carnage. But if you can set your skepticism on the back burner, this is an entertaining read. The main character is blessedly down to earth, sometimes funny and very useful. She's not all powerful or anything, it's still a girl we're reading about, with electronic parts and human instincts.
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