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Publisher's Summary

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

Featured Article: Best Young Adult Audiobook Series to Listen to Right Now


Is there any better feeling in the world than discovering a new young adult book series to devour? Whether you're into epic fantasy, the supernatural, rom-coms, or a great mystery, there is definitely a YA book series out there for you. And in audio, there’s the added benefit of talented narrators bringing these stories to life in exciting ways. We've compiled 20 of the best completed and ongoing YA audiobook series out there and broken them down by genre.

What listeners say about Cinder

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    8,285
  • 4 Stars
    3,156
  • 3 Stars
    834
  • 2 Stars
    190
  • 1 Stars
    103
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    8,026
  • 4 Stars
    2,567
  • 3 Stars
    564
  • 2 Stars
    82
  • 1 Stars
    59
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    7,326
  • 4 Stars
    2,864
  • 3 Stars
    827
  • 2 Stars
    203
  • 1 Stars
    94

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Surpised by how much I enjoyed it

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.

172 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A Wicked Good Read

Any additional comments?

Both my wife and I listened to Meyer's imaginative reconstruction of Cinderella and were amazed by the richness of the future world she wraps the story in. It doesn't come off as a rehash of the fairy tale; instead the characters have more depth and the world they inhabit is a clever mix of familiar and fantastical (I'm ready for my hover, thank you). I do wish the book hadn't ended with as big a cliff-hanger as it did, or that we'll have to wait another 9 months for book two in the series, but if it holds up as well as her first outing, it should be a heck of a ride! Looking forward to more from this promising author.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Oh Oh - Hooked At the Start of a Promising Series

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.

48 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Better than Expected

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.

49 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Can't turn this off!

Where does Cinder rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

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.

What did you like best about this story?

Such an unconventional, yet familiar theme. While I think I might know what will happen, I can't stop listening.

Have you listened to any of Rebecca Soler’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

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.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

So far, I have only listened to Part One and am now writing this review as I am downloading the second part.

Any additional comments?

Even though this is the familiar girl-seeking-identity genre---it is a new twist and very compelling.

18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Cinderella with a Twist

A young cyborg girl, named Cinder, lives in New Beijing with her step-mother and two step-sisters. In the Cinderella fashion, her step mother makes her go out every day and work, without allowing her to keep any of the money she makes; she is a renowned mechanic that can repair almost anything, but mostly fixes androids and port screens. Both her step-mother and older step-sister is mean to her, blaming her for everything and taunt her often, especially for being a cyborg, "who can't even cry". She has a special bond with her younger step sister, Peony and her android Iko. She is living an mundane life until one day, Prince Kai comes to her booth with an android in need of repair. This is the stepping stone for the story that evolves into a romantic story, with an evil queen and lots of surprises.

This is a good YA book. I purchased it originally because I thought it would be nice break from some of the other books that I had been listening to lately. I liked this story much more than I expected, and when it was over, I wanted to go immediately into the next book (which I did).

The story wasn't too similar to a Cinderella fair tale, which I was slightly concerned about upon first reading the description of the story. It's a new twist on a well known story. Even though you think you know how it will go; you don't.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Terminator Meets Popular Mechanic

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.

26 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

For the young adult.

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.

33 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Boring YA

I had hoped this would be something more than a teen angst story wrapped in a different skin. Nope--not here. Couldn't finish it as the presentation was too 13-year-old-ish.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

I thought this was YA?

Would you ever listen to anything by Marissa Meyer again?

Probably not, IDK

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Cinder?

EVERY scene in which Cinder was abused by her step mother, sister. This was so over done and so cruel. I was not necessary for paragraph long berating of Cinder, and then Cinder just shrugs it of.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Jessika H.
  • 07-23-20

loved it

I really enjoyed The reader in this one! and The story was captivating. Not the classic cinderella story haha!