on 8 January 2012
Marissa Meyer delivers a knockout with her story about Cinderella as you've never seen her before. 'Cinder' is a futuristic take on a traditional fairytale which is both inventive and truly original. I was incredibly excited about this book prior to publication even though I wasn't really sure what to expect from it. I started it one evening planning to read just a couple of chapters but ended up becoming so immersed in the story that I stayed up half the night reading. This is only Meyer's debut novel but it's ingenious and imaginative and an astounding and fascinating book that I ended up loving.
It's the first book in the Lunar Chronicles quartet which will be followed by other fairytale inspired tales including 'Scarlet' (Red Riding Hood), 'Cress' (Rapunzel) and 'Winter' (Snow White and the Seven Dwarves). I think I would have cried if I hadn't known that there was more to come!
'Cinder' is set in New Beijing where cyborgs and androids live among the human citizens. I thought the mixing of an old and well known fairytale with a futuristic backdrop was brilliant and so clever. Cinder herself is not your normal heroine, she's half human and half cyborg and is 'owned' by her step-mother Adri. Cinder is also a gifted mechanic and it's this occupation which leads to her meeting the handsome Prince Kai who is ignorant of what she really is. I enjoyed seeing the friendship between Kai and Cinder blossom and although Cinder keeps the fact that she's a cyborg secret from him, they share a number of intimate moments which leads to a level of trust and mutual respect to grow between them. I also liked the fact that the Prince isn't a snob and wants to get to know Cinder even though she isn't of the same standing as him. One obstacle in their path is the sinister Queen Levana of Lunar who sent shivers down my spine and literally drips evil off the page.
Meyer has assembled an engrossing and imaginative cast of characters, my favourite whom was Cinder herself. She's incredibly gifted and immensely loyal to the people she loves and cares about, including her android friend Iko and her step-sister Peony. She can be unconventional at times, stubborn and headstrong but I adored her and was rooting for her throughout. She often doesn't care about her own well being, as long as she can protect her friends and family.
One of the plot lines in the book involves the search for an antidote to Letumosis, a plague like disease which is rampant in the city and deadly to anyone who contracts it. This was really interesting and brings Cinder into contact with Dr Erland who holds the key to a number of secrets about her past as well as to her future happiness.
Many of the hallmark features of the Cinderella fairytale were here but always with a slightly quirky spin on them. For example, instead of a glass slipper there's a cyborg foot and instead of a pumpkin there's a hover car. There's also an evil stepmother and a wicked stepsister, plus a handsome Prince and a huge ball.
Although I did guess the big reveal quite early on in the book, it was still shocking when it eventually came and has set the stage brilliantly for the second book in this amazing series. I'm eager to get my hands on the follow-up and I only hope we won't be kept in suspense for too long.
on 3 April 2014
Well. I feel sort of underwhelmed. This book seems to be quite popular and has been recommended to me numerous times. I guess I just expected more. Not to say that this a bad book, but I feel sort of meh about it.
First of all, let’s list the things that this book has going for it, because there were a few things that were potentially redeeming qualities.
First of all the book was well written, it was an easy pleasant read.
Second, the idea was great. I love fairy-tales and have developed quite a liking for all sorts of retellings. So Cinderella crossed with cyborgs sounded like a wicked idea. The other good part was that the Cinderella element was woven in quite well. There were a few times where it was obvious that the reader was meant to think that “Ah, this is the part from Cinderella”, but mostly it was very smoothly linked to the rest of the story, which by the way was intriguing.
Now there were a few things that bothered me. Sort of like a splinter under your skin, but less pleasant.
The cyborg/android part. Very underwhelming. I was hoping this book would have more of a sci-fi element, but it sounded like someone had read one too many smart-phone manuals. All the robotics parts seemed very hurried and not properly researched. And come on, Cinder fixed up an old-time (which means our time) car and we did not get even one scene where she actually worked on it!
Cinder. At the beginning of the book, I really liked her. I thought she was witty and fun. But she became one-dimensional very fast. I mean how can it be that she has never been interested in where she came from? Especially if all people carry ID-chips that should give her info, but presumably doesn’t? How can someone be so uninterested in themselves?
Kai. Well, I’ll give you that, he is like a real prince from the early Disney movies. As in absolutely brain-numbingly boring! I meant he is meant to be a ruler and he sounds like he sort of looks at everything like a bystander and keeps going: ”Aww, that is really not working out for you, is it?” Also, how he keeps saying to Cinder that he doesn’t want special treatment and then goes “Hey, I am a prince, give me special treatment.” Just give me a break.
And the biggest one. This was the single most predictable big surprise ever. I usually do not mind spoilers, because I am more interested in the story than the climax. But this was obvious from the very beginning and it was very easy to see how it will all work out. I mean try to throw some twists and turns into it. Give a little spice. This felt like walking into the same wall repeatedly and expecting it to turn into a door! It was a good but poorly executed idea.
I do not regret reading this, but I’m quite happy to put it back on my shelf and go find something juicier. Three stars. And that feels kind of generous.
This review is also on my blog:
I absolutely love this book and the following ones in the series ( Scarlet ,Cress and Fairest ) have all been equally as good. Marissa Meyer is a new addition to my favourite authors list and I have the final book in the series; Winter already on pre-order and I cannot wait to read it later this year. The series has been unputdownable and I have enjoyed every minute of them. I did guess the plot twist in Cinder right near the beginning but this didn't detract from the excellent story-line and wonderful modern twist on a much loved classic that this author has managed to do. I can confirm that the next books in the series are just as good and if not better as they build on an already great story-line.
Cinder is set in the future in New Beijing on Earth and is a dystopian futuristic take on the classic fairy-tale Cinderella. Cinder is part Cyborg and is therefore treated as a second class citizen as cyborgs are generally not trusted and feared a bit by the humans of the world. Cinder works all day just like her fairy-tale character however Cinder is a mechanic and a very good one at that. One day Prince Kai comes to her stall to get her to fix his android and yep you've guessed it, a romantic connection is forged however Prince Kai does not know that Cinder is a Cyborg as she hides her Cyborg parts from everyone and so Cinder knows there could be no possible chance of a romance between them or could there?....
The future world is blighted by a plague called Letumosis and when Cinders stepsister (whom she loves dearly) contracts it, her evil stepmother blames Cinder and hands her over to the authorities for the Cyborg draft which is a medical programme that tests the possible cures for Letumosis on the second rate Cyborg citizens. As there is no cure for Letumosis this is essentially a death sentence for Cinder or is it?..........
A fantastic series with a new fresh take on the Cinderella tale and as I mentioned above I have read the next three books in the series in fast succession as I loved the series so much. If you are a fan of dystopian or YA then I think you will love this book and this series and I can't wait for the next one due to be released in December this year.
on 8 June 2016
I discovered this series a couple of years ago on Amazon, and I've been desperate to read it ever since, however it's always slipped to the back of the queue as new, shiny books appeared. I look back now and think how stupid that was of me, as this series is incredible, and I wish I had read it sooner!
Cinder by Marissa Meyer is a spectacular twist on the tale of Cinderella. Cinder is a 16 year old cyborg living with her bitter step-mother, her two step-sisters, Pearl and Peony, and her dramatic android, Iko. Cinder is working as well regarded mechanic in the New Beijing market, so well regarded in fact that she captures the attention of the handsome Prince Kai, and he begs for her help to fix his much-loved android. When she accepts, she has no idea about the trouble she is about to embroil herself in, and the secrets she is about to uncover about her past, and her true identity.
Cinderella is my favourite fairytale, and I am incredibly possessive over the story and the characters. I love Cinderella so much, I relate to her on so many levels (except for the whole stunningly beautiful bit, obviously), and her story really does keep my spirits up when the demons of my past resurface. You can imagine, then, how ready I was to hate this sci-fi twist on my much-loved fairytale, but I just couldn't! Right from page one, I was fully invested in Cinder, her story and the world that Marissa has so brilliantly crafted. Her characters, the world, and the storyline (especially the storyline) are so rich, that you could read this series several times and still discover new things to enjoy and mull over.
It's difficult for me to pick only one thing that I love about this novel, but I would have to say that the storyline is absolutely incredible. As an aspiring author, I am overwhelmed by the detail that Marissa has put into her story. She has managed to contort not only Cinderella, but Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and Snow White into this incredible sci-fi epic that is unlike anything I've seen in Y.A fiction before. We all know these fairytales back to front, yet Marissa still manages to create plot-twists that left me gasping and, occasionally, on the verge of tears.
And I know that by this point you are probably rolling your eyes as you realise how one-sided this review is, but you have to understand, I honestly can't find one thing wrong with this book. That is very rare for me, as I consider it a bit of a hobby to nit-pick novels and movies until I've discovered every plot-hole, underdeveloped character, and missed story opportunity, but in the case of Cinder, I couldn't find one little thing wrong.
If you have an open-mind, and are a lover of fairy tales, well told science fiction and loveable characters, then please give this series a bash. You may not fall for it as hard as I have, but there's a very large chance of you thoroughly enjoying yourself, and where's the harm in that?
So it looks like I may be the last person on the planet to read this book, better late than never.....
Cinder has been popping up on my recommendation lists for a few years now but I chose to ignore it, of course now that I have read it I do feel like a total tit as it is quite frankly worth ever word of hype that has been written about it.
I would imagine the majority of you who read this review will have read this book and probably the books that follow in Marissa Meyer's Lunar Chronicles but humour me whilst I give a general recap for the other person in deepest Siberia who is still waiting on their Amazon parcel to get there.
Cinder is cyborg who has the most amazing mechanical skills, she can fix most problems that are given to her. She lives in New Beijing (yup it is set in the future) with her stepmother and two stepsisters. Her stepmother resents having to look after her but one of her stepsisters is as to close a real sister as she could possibly have, which is good because evil step mum is not the caring type.
She seems quite a tough cookie but Cinder is also a little vulnerable in my eyes, especially when it comes to the handsome Prince Kai who brings a job to Cinder, hearing of her wonderful fix it skills, he is easy on the eyes and he is quite forward in expressing his interest in Cinder but of course a cyborg and a Prince cannot be together.
The book looks at Cinder as she deals with having to deal with being an outcast and how she copes when someone she loves very much becomes victim to a plague which is spreading throughout the residents of New Beijing, a plague that does not leave survivors.
Cinder finds herself involved in medical testing to help save the plague carriers but whilst in the medical facility she finds out a lot more than she bargained for, information that could change her world totally and it starts with a visit from a evil queen from our distant moon.
So yeah I have probably done a crap job doing a recap but there is lots going on in this book and I freaking love it. It ticks all my boxes.
Evil Plot, Yes!
More books to come, Yes!
Great sidekick, Yes!
Huge world to explore, Yes!
Nice shoes, Yes!
It is the Terminator meets Cinderella with a bit of Blade Runner, some Mean Girls or Clueless (depending on your age) all wrapped up with a red bow plus I am led to believe the next book Scarlet is even better!
When a book is hyped to death it can be a kiss of death, it could be awful but this isn't, I mean just look up #Bookstagram on Instagram and a shed loads of those pics will include this series. The love for this series is incredible and I am glad to spread my love now for it too!
Loved it! Love, love, loved it!!
on 5 February 2016
Cinder is a sci-fi spin on the classic fairytale Cinderella, and has been on my radar for quite sometime. The online community of readers loves to hype this book, however, they also love to over-hype books. Luckily, though, this book is not once of them – Cinder is a fabulously inventive retelling of Cinderella that will make you smile, excite you, and – most of all – keep you guessing.
Marissa Meyer maintains a comfortable narrative to read about – it isn’t shockingly good, but it’s not like it’s bad, either; it’s simply OK. It’s not the writing, though, that usually draws me into a book – it’s the plot, the characters, the suspense, and – ultimately – the entertainment factor. Meyer creates and maintains all of this and more. Despite her writing not being special, her plot line surely is, and is unlike any retelling I’ve ever read! Meyer is sly with her inclusion of traditional Cinderella features, some you’ll only notice if you know the original story well, and I really loved how she did this.
Furthermore, as previously mentioned, the route Meyer took for this retelling is very unique. Never before have I heard of a cyborg Cinderella, nor have I even fantasised about an Asian kingdom for Cinderella to reside in. Fortunately, it all works perfectly, and the creativity with which Meyer has approached the traditional tale is astounding.
What I liked, primarily, was how the story got straight into the action – there were no dull build-ups into the story. We were dunked head first into the action, and pieced together the characters, the world, and the story as we went, which is my favourite method of storytelling.
Moreover, the changes in point-of-view really helped develop characters a lot more. As always, it was also interesting to see what other characters were doing whilst the protagonist was doing something else. Likewise, it kept the book interesting – had the novel been simply written in one POV, I would’ve surely gotten at least a little bored.
However, I am unsure about the ending; it was extremely sudden! I’m unsure because I usually do like cliff-hanger endings, yet this felt as though the story had been cut short – am I missing half of my book?! Of course, there are books following this in the series, but I believe they are focussed on other stories, and so I am eager to discover whether or not Meyer answers all my questions!
In terms of characters, there were a few ups and downs for me:
Cinder was rather inconsistent with her personality, but I still liked her. Her character didn’t develop massively considering all that she discovered, yet it was nice to read about a headstrong female protagonist who didn’t long for a male’s attention. In fact, refused it.
Kai lacks character. He is charming, yes, and he is moral, but there’s little more to him, for said personality is squeezed into very few scenes. Personally, I would have liked to see more depth to him.
Levana – the Evil Queen – is who I had the most problems with. In my opinion, it felt as though she was ‘evil’ just to be so. What are her motives? She wants to be pretty, she wants to be queen; yawn. Levana was probably the most unoriginal character in the most original story.
Despite my dislikes, though, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It’s simply the ending that is frustrating – I have so many questions! Thus, I couldn’t give this book 5/5 stars, and so opted for 4.5/5, instead.
on 16 April 2016
Why did I take so long to read this book! Why! I did not expect to like this book as much as I did. Cinder is a thrilling futuristic take on the traditional fairytale Cinderella and this book is inventive and truly original. I’ve seen a lot of hype over this series over the last couple of years and now that the final book in the series has been released, I thought I should finally sit down and read it. I had only planned on reading a couple of chapters that night, but I couldn’t put it down, I kept reading till I finished it in the early hours of the morning.
Cinder is set in New Beijing where cyborgs live among the humans citizens. Cinders herself is not your normal heroine, she is half human and half cyborg and is owned by her step-mother Adri. She is a gifted mechanic it’s her occupation that leads her to meet Prince Kai. They share a few intimate moments, but she the fact that she is half cyborg from him. I love that Kai wants to get to know Cinder one of the obstacles in their path is Queen Levana of Lunar who literally drips evil off of the page.
Also throughout the story one of the plot lines throughout the book involves the search for an antidote of Letumosis, a plague like disease which is rampant in the city and deadly to anyone who contracts it. This leads to Cinder meeting Dr. Erland who hold the key to many secrets about her past as well as her future happiness.
Cinder herself incredibly loyally to the people she loves including her android friend Iko and her step-sister Peony. She can be stubborn and headstrong but I adored her throughout. As long as she can protect her friends and family she doesn’t care about her own well being.
Many of the features of Cinderella are in the story, instead of a glass slipper, it’s a cyborg foot and instead of a pumpkin turned carriage, there is a hover car. There is also the evil step-mother and a wicked stepsister.
All though I did guess where the book was going quite early on in the book. but I still thoroughly enjoyed the reading the big reveal and it sets it up brilliantly for the next book. Cinder is well written and a pleasant easy read and this is the first time I have read a book re-telling a classic fairytale and I very much enjoyed reading this book.
This is the first book in the ‘Lunar Chronicles’ which is followed by Scarlet (Red Riding Hood), Cress (Rapunzel) and Winter (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs), as soon as I finished Cinder I immediately went and order the following books in this series. I cannot wait for them to arrive so I can get stuck into the next book.
on 9 January 2016
Cinder is a cyborg living in New Beijing. By their laws she is the property of her step-mother, and all she can do is keep her head down and maintain her mechanic stall, knowing that things can't get much worse. Until a Prince comes into the picture.
I've been meaning to read this ever since I joined Goodreads, because what's not to like - a spin on the Cinderella story with cyborgs and a dystopian future. And I did enjoy it, maybe not in a backflips-of-awesomeness way; but definitely in a feel-good way.
The world may have progressed to a place where the countries have united in peace, and technology has advanced to the point where lives can be saved with mechanical additions. But the peaceful world is sitting beneath the hungry gaze of the Lunars, who play with the earthlings and take advantage of their fear of war.
And the people that are "saved" by becoming cyborgs - although they retain all their memories, personality and morals; they are no longer treated as equals. They are second-class citizens, turned into the property of their family. They can be sold, donated to research, etc.
Cinder feels little attachment to her step-mother and elder step-sister. It is only her younger step-sister Peony that treats her as something more than a household appliance and source of income. Their relationship is really quite sweet, and all that keeps Cinder staying with an otherwise miserable family life.
Prince Kai is used to his adoring fans, they are a pleasant distraction from the darker side of life. His dying father, and a war with the Lunar people which, despite negotiations, becomes increasingly unavoidable.
When he meets Cinder, I got the feeling that yes, there was a romantic aspect to it all, but all Kai wants is a friend with whom he can be completely honest with.
I loved the hints and references to the Cinderella original, and the twists that they put in. The ball scene with the "carriage" and dress were quite amusing!
Not-so-good, but not exactly bad - you can see the final twists coming from the very beginning.
Building up the background information is done in a smooth manner, with interesting stories and theories; but it does pretty much spell out what is going to happen. Absolutely no shock-factor, but a very pleasant feeling when Cinder finally catches on to a few truths.
This is a series that I will definitely be continuing with.
on 3 April 2016
Cinder is the retelling of Cinderella, but set in a futuristic world where a fourth world war has already gone to pass. She’s a mechanic, which is pretty smart considering that she’s a cyborg, and around 36% machine herself.
I have to admit: I’m a sucker for retellings. Whether it’s fairytales or classics—I just love it. There’s something awe inspiring about seeing what different people can do with the same premise. How they all change it to be unique, despite stemming from the same thing.
And, “Cinder” isn’t any different. Whereas, some may argue that the comparisons are sparse, I think it was just the right amount. (view spoiler)
It was all incredibly awesome. With an engaging voice, Marissa Meyer managed to create this amazing futuristic society, that seemed believable to a point where it kinda scared me.
I devoured “Cinder” in less than a day, because I simply couldn’t stop. I had to know… more. Just more.
There are so many things I absolutely loved in this book. The characters. The plot. The world building. The writing. I adored everything.
This next section will be inside spoiler tags since I might accidentally spoil some events from the sequel. I’m writing this after I just finished the last book in the series, so my brain is a tad muddled.
I personally would have preferred a few differences. Hence the lost half star in the rating (although, I did round up!) . However, I am willing to admit that it might be slightly biased since it’s probably just that I wanted more.
[ The things I would want to know more about in “Cinder” are sparse, since the book is almost perfect. But I would have loved some more in-depth scenes with the following:
- Garan, Cinder’s adoptive father. Considering that he’s the one who adopted Cinder, I had hoped to know more about him and his motivations/aspirations. However, I know that he was already deceased a short time after the adoption went through, but still… had hoped for a bit more background.
- Peony, Cinder’s good step sister. I absolutely adored her, and I found her entire existence refreshing. Like a ray of sunshine in one big shitstorm. However, the scenes with Peony are very sparse. Considering that she was one of the few humans who were actually decent to Cinder, I wanted a bit more of her. And I also think it’s absolutely unfair that she didn’t get to meet Prince Kai.
- Lunars, the mysterious gifted moon people. I’m a sucker for world building, and I kinda liked the idea that a colony on the moon changed the DNA of the inhabitants, until it was an entire different race. However, I probably wouldn’t have minded a full on history lesson on all things Lunar.
Ah yes. We can’t have it all, can we? Despite my wishes for more content, I absolutely loved the book. If anything, I can always hope that I get a short story or a novella that will delve into the above mentioned things. Chopchop Marissa Meyer, no dallying. I. Need. More.
If you aren’t sure about this series, try one book—or even one of the free short stories on wattpad—and see if you like it. Personally, I ordered the entire series without having read anything. I’m just lucky it was worth it.
I would recommend this to Sci-fi, Fantasy and YA lovers. It’s truly an amazing series, and I believe both girls and boys will find something to like in this book. Comes highly recommended. To everyone. Go read it. Now.
on 4 January 2012
4½ Out of 5
Cinder is the best mechanic in the kingdom. She's also a cyborg. A plague is sweeping through the land of New Beijing. A manipulative alien queen is trying to force young Prince Kai into a marriage alliance, threatening his kingdom with war. Cinder is stuck in the middle of it all, trapped by loyalties and her growing feelings for Kai. When the truth behind Cinder's mysterious past is revealed, it changes everything. Caught between love and hate, freedom and war, Cinder's actions could change the future forever...
Cinder, Cinder, Cinder. Where do I start? How do I describe the pure awesomeness that makes up this book? Imagine the Cinderella fairy tale. Now imagine it in a futuristic world, where Cinderella is a cyborg in a kingdom on the brink of war with a non-human race with freaky powers. There's also an incurable plague sweeping through the land. And throw in a gorgeous prince with an irresistible smile, just for luck... Ah, Cinder... loved it!
Cinder herself was someone I liked straight away. She was funny and sarcastic, as well as being totally awesome, with some really cool cyborg powers! Cinder was just a really sweet person, who didn't deserve any of the bad things that happened to her. She was also the perfect heroine: kickbutt, strong, witty, caring and not perfect. She was real. I loved her, and seeing her grow into herself.
And Prince Kai (our very own Prince Charming) was really sweet and kind and down to earth. And drop-dead gorgeous, obviously. I found him really funny and brilliantly sarcastic. And you just know that he would do anything for his people from the moment you meet him. I loved him: I mean, forget Prince Charming, I want me a Prince Kai!
Now, I just have to mention Iko, a little android with a unique personality. She was so cute! And funny. She was like a totally juvenile (and freakin' hilarious) teenage girl. I never thought I could love a little robot as much as I loved Iko!
The Lunas, the ones New Beijing was almost at war with were terrifying! They were more-than-human-humans, with freaky mind-controlling powers. They were the perfect `bad-guys', for lack of a better word: scary, imposing with an evil, manipulative queen...
Now, while I am aware this is a book, that the things in it are fantasy, the way the cyborgs were treated... it made my blood boil. They were taken, against their will, and used as guinea pigs. Treated like slaves, second class citizens. It was a brilliantly crafted mirror of what has happened in the past in some cultures.
Before I say anything else, can I just say: I loved this world! Cyborgs, androids, dashing princes, evil stepmothers. It has seriously got to be the best Cinderella twist EVER! And it was just insanely addictive, with a killer ending that has left me desperate for Book Two!
Although I managed to guess a few twists, I loved every turn Cinder took. I loved the plot, I was never bored. I was on the edge of my seat, unable to put it down. I fell in love with all the characters - the amazingly strong Cinder, the adorable Iko, the sweet Peony, the gorgeous Kai. I adored the relationships: the horrid one between Cinder and her stepmother, the amazingly slow and beautiful one between Kai and Cinder, the teacher-student bond between the brilliant Dr Erland and Cinder. I just loved every moment of Cinder and I've been left desperate to know what happens next. I need to get back into Cinder's world!
The writing was amazing. It was written so younger kids will love it, and instantly get stuck in, but so older readers can see some parallels between their world of the future and our past. Discrimination, plague, wars, forced alliances. Somehow Meyer managed to effortlessly weave the old with the new, the young and the old, the future and the past, science fiction and fantasy. O was just sucked in, absorbed in the story. Cinderella has been given a new lease of life in the brave Cinder, a kickbutt awesome heroine who most definitely trumps Disney's princess. And she felt real. Like I knew her, which is even more important for me. Meyer nailed it! In other, shorter words.