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.
After reading Cinder, I'd been a bit disappointed by Scarlet, so with some hesitation I started Cress.
Overall: What a brilliant su..Show More »rprise. Not only was the book itself an excellent continuation, it made Scarlet make more sense. The author actually bothers to tie up details that felt "too convenient" from Scarlet giving them believable reasons for occurring rather than just ignoring them and hoping the reader will suspend believability. This is rare and highly enjoyable in a YA book.
Character: Cress herself as commented in a different review is a refreshing change in perspective. She is not the usual "tough"girl (Scarlet) or the "smart" tomboy (Cinder), but rather a gentle rather shy heroine who screams when she's afraid gets excited over pretty dresses but still has the courage to do what's right. Her relationship with Thorn is awkward and hilarious and full of true feelings rather than sappy. The author even makes a gentle, but distinct point that helped compensate for the Scarlet (love at first sight) that generally romance is simply an opportunity not a destiny. Cress is an excellent compliment to the other two characters, and gives the story heart.
Plot: The genius in managing to stick to the outline of the original fairytale while weaving the story into a huge multi-layered, fast-paced plot put these books neatly above the cliched YA. I must take my hat off to the author. I consumed the book neatly in two days flat and was left eagerly awaiting Winter. However, never fear readers! She actually bothers to tie up plot-lines instead of dragging them on to the final page of the book. Rather she hooks you with new twists instead of relying on only one dramatic question.
I listened to this book out of order, I listened to Cinder and then Fairest. This is the story of how Levana came to be the vicious ruler that we hea..Show More »r about Cinder, Scarlet and Cress.
Queen Levana didn't have very loving parents, and she had a truly pathological sister. We learn the sad tale of how Levana came to have the scars she had, and about her ruthless rise to the thrown, and what she was willing to do in order to never lose it.
A lot of reviews talk about the sexual aspect of this book; I feel that it's worth mentioning that, just like in Harry Potter, you grow with the book. As you move further into the series, the age of the reader is presumed to have grown as well. I don't think the book was overly sexual; but if the reader hasn't learned anything about sex, then you won't want them to learn about a 16 year old girl losing her virginity.
Remarkably, the sex wasn't the part of the book that I found upsetting. I was more upset/disturbed by the story of Levana's accident, and the things that she did to secure her role as queen.
**Possible spoiler; but related to sexual aspects of the book** The only sexual events in this book include: the older sister sleeping with many men, in no detail other than you know that the relationship is sexual. Levana (at age 16) using her glamour to get a man to take her virginity, and then a brief sentence where she mentions the blood on the post coital sheets. Otherwise, Levana talks about wanting a baby, and sharing a bed with her prince, in little to no detail. *I hope this information helps listeners decide if this appropriate to share with younger listeners/readers.