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 rel..Show More »ease 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 was enchanted by the first in this series. Loved the plays on classic fairy tale tropes, but this installment left me irritated. Not sure if the f..Show More »ault lies in Scarlet's character and the weaker story or in the performance. The accent used for the character slips in and out and is incredibly shrill when she yells. The listener is left feeling as if they are in the presence of a banshee. This may seem a bit harsh and it may be second story in a trilogy syndrome but I wish that the charm of the first book had migrated to the second. I will listen to it again to better determine the fault. Despite these criticisms, I am still invested in Cinder's tale and eagerly anticipate the next installment.
STORY (YA fantasy scifi) - Cress is the third book in The Lunar Chronicles series. Like the first two, it is a futuristic twist to a classic fairy ta..Show More »le. Cinder(ella) is a cyborg mechanic with a mean step-family who dreams of attending a ball and meeting Prince Kai. Scarlet (similar to Red Riding Hood) has a boyfriend named Wolf and has been searching for her lost grandmother. Now we add Cress, who is a long-haired computer hacker trapped in a lunar satellite (like Rapunzel in her tower). The characters are all working together to foil an attempt by the evil Lunar Queen Levana to extend her reign to Earth, and the author has done a masterful job of combining the characters and stories together into one clever plot.
This is a fun, easy listen which works well as a break between "heavier" books. It is fast-paced, with lots of action and touches of romance. You should listen to the books in order, as each one introduces a new fairy tale character to the overall plot. Cress comes to a nice stopping point, but the adventure will continue into future book(s) as the plan to thwart the conquer of Earth by Queen Levana continues...
NARRATOR - Good job, but nothing special.
OVERALL - Recommended for listeners of all ages -- a great story for family listening.
This should really be called The Lunar Chronicles 0.5, not 3.5, because it is a prequel that takes us up to the start of events in Cinder. It's an int..Show More »eresting backstory on Queen Levana. As a fan of the series, I'm glad to have listened to it, although you can easily give it a miss and not lose any momentum of the main story arc.
However, my primary criterion for an audiobook's success is 'Will I listen to it again?', and by this measure, Fairest fails completely. I never intend to listen to this book again. It has no humor, no light moments at all. It is unrelievedly dark and sad, as Levana first experiences horrible physical and mental abuse as a child, always feels unloved, and grows up quietly turning into a sociopath. How many times would you want to listen to a child being forced into a fire, or a absolute monarch deciding to cut off a servant's feet so she'll have nothing better to do than sew the queen's clothes? See what I mean? It's ALL like that.
Rebecca Soler's narration is fine, but it's not going to redeem a story like this for me.
Also, buyer beware that this book really only clocks in at around 6 hours, which I generally feel is not worth an entire credit. A full 30 minutes is given to the beginning chapters of Winter, which is supposed to complete the series and is not due out until the fall. I got more enjoyment out of those few chapters than I did from the entire story of Fairest.