Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1)Hot
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. In this thrilling debut young adult novel, the first of a quartet, Marissa Meyer introduces readers to an unforgettable heroine and a masterfully crafted new world that’s enthralling.
The cyberpunk fairytale concept is intriguing. In a market flooded by retellings, this twist on Cinderella offers a cyborg grease-monkey heroine with a spitfire attitude and a bad case of technologically-induced amnesia. (Nope...haven't seen that before!) There's no fairy godmother to be had, and the closest thing Cinder has to benevolent animal companions is an outdated, pleasantly dysfunctional android named Iko. But despite the questionably-justified (and minimally explored) suspension of human rights for cyborgs—and the looming threat of an incurable (but vaguely explained) pandemic—this story really doesn't have that gritty dystopian aftertaste.
How far in the future the book is set isn't clear. Readers will gather that it's been 125+ years since World War 4 decimated large portions of the population and somehow resulted in a joining together of countries into a conglomerate of six nations—which generally sound like they're based on the six habitable continents. Each resulting nation seems to run its own form of sovereign government—the story taking place in the “Eastern Commonwealth,” a monarchy with New Beijing at its center. There are hints that this is taking place many centuries farther in the future—or perhaps in some alternate version of our reality's future (my personally favored theory).
In Cinder's world, characters throw around words like “intergalactic,”and the moon has been long ago colonized by humans who have—through unspecified means—become something both more and less than human. And by “more and less than human” I mean they've turned into a reclusive race of telepathically-manipulative, technologically-superior beings controlled by one uber-vain brainwashing queen who brazenly slaughters all who do or might oppose her sociopathic will.
Side Note: I'm not among those who have some huge ethnicity beef with this book. It's set (presumably) so far in the future, I would expect a significant genetic muddling to have taken place by then. Add to that, there seems a deliberate sparseness of physical descriptors for a majority of main and side characters. I'm still not clear on what Prince Kai looked like, aside from black hair and handsome-by-general-consensus. The same goes for Cinder, the two stepsisters, and whatever the stepmother looks like sans makeup. Queen Lavana is intricately described...but this is a touch ironic, considering her appearance is a telepathically reinforced lie.
What DID bother me about the whole New Beijing setting was tied to weaknesses in the worldbuilding. The Asiatic references (primarily names, food, and a few iconic props) felt a bit superficial and watered down. But if I look at it from a more fantasy angle, this becomes easier to dismiss. It also helps ease some expectations I initially had for a deeper examination of why Cyborgs (even those with only a small percentage of artificial parts) would be so widely regarded as sub-human. While it seems a lost opportunity to explore the roots of prejudice and subjugation, I expect that would have added too much length and complication to a story that already has a lot going on.
Sadly, this reader didn't care much for the hero. Prince Kai came off a bit blasé and weak as far as dynastic future-rulers go. He's kind and well-intentioned, to be sure...but the limited time spent in his head isn't much for helping readers get to know him beyond his title. Handicapped by a seemingly useless adviser and woefully outmaneuvered by his enemy, I kept hoping he'd come up with some hint of cleverness or way of asserting himself outside of sarcasm...but alas, that didn't occur. I suppose there is hope for future books.
Which brings me to the ending...
Without giving anything away, I think I'm safe saying it's a fairly unresolved cliffhanger. Unfortunately it leaves little satisfaction in it's efforts to entice readers into picking up the next book. But on the up side...there's also no Deus ex Machina to be found.
Despite my mixed feelings, this is an entertaining book I would still feel good about handing to my 14-year-old goddaughter. The pacing is quick, the writing is effective, and the underlying message is empowering. Cinder is a strong-yet-flawed heroine—one whom readers will be more inclined to root for than pity, despite her backstory. And while there is a romantic angle, it avoids going the hyper-sexualized route and takes a far backseat to the plot.
I was just interested enough to pick up Scarlet, the next book in the series.
Now, talking about the book itself, Cinder was a fun protagonist. She was Cinderella meets Kaylee from Firefly, with robot parts. And I liked that although, like the fairy tale, Cinder's romance with the Prince was definitely part of the story, her main motivation was not love, it was independence. Cinder was prepared to pull herself up by her mechanical bootstraps, and I appreciated that about her.
Prince Kai wasn't the most fleshed out of characters, although I liked him well enough. No, I didn't fully understand what made him so very appealing to Cinder, but he wasn't unappealing. I just didn't quite love him. But that's okay, since as I said, the love story was not actually central to the plot. I'm okay warming up to Kai over several books while I stay invested in the rest of the plot. Even Cinder ends the book not entirely sure about how she feels about him, so it's all right for me to feel the same way.
I really enjoyed the way the fairy tale elements were woven into the story. There's still an evil stepmother, and an evil stepsister. There's a prince, and a ball. And there is the classic running-away-down-the-steps scene, although with a twist.
But at the same time, there's an evil queen who rules a race of people who live on the moon, with mind control powers. There's political unrest. There's a mysterious plague. There's androids and hovers and cyborgs. So while it is recognizable as the fairy tale that inspired it, it also brings a lot of freshness and imagination that makes it stand out from the crowd.
I will say it's a bit predictable. I called the big "twist" ending somewhere in the first 50 pages. But it didn't lessen my enjoyment of the book. I still loved to see how everything unfolded. The thing with fairy tale retellings is that we already know all the bones of the story, so I don't think a surprise ending is all that important. What matters is the creativity of how the tale is told, and how it differs from the original. The characters and setting and how they can hold my interest, even if I know (more or less) what's coming. And I think Cinder accomplished that in spades.
If you are looking for a fun, imaginative new series that puts an exciting sci-fi twist on the stories you grew up with, I'd highly recommend Cinder.
However, Marissa Meyer adds her own twists. There are threats of plague haunting New Bejing and hundreds of people are dying. People are celebrating over a hundred years of peace after World War IV while trying to keep peace negotiations going with the ruler of Luna(the moon).
This book combines the romantic elements of the classic Cinderella tale, with the science fiction of Star Wars, and maybe a little bit of deception. It is a book I would recommend to all my middle school students, male and female alike. There is a little bit for everyone. A great read that keeps you on the edge of your seat.
When I think of Cinderella, I think of a perky, blonde-haired, annoyingly chirpy girl who sings to birds. What I don’t think of? Cyborgs. But once I realised that’s exactly what Cinder is, I quickly fell in love with the novel. Cinder is one of the most amazing protagonists I’ve come across in YA fiction. Aelin Galathynius? I don’t know her.
Cinder is a mechanic with a wry attitude that made me laugh out loud. She is feisty, damaged, and wants to be normal more than anything. Cyborgs are detested in Cinder’s society and Cinder has never fit in, even within her step-family. Her stepmother, Adri, despises everything about Cinder and is cruel to her. Pearl, her stepsister, is mean and spiteful. But Peony, her sweet stepsister, genuinely loves Cinder and wants the best for her. And Iko, the family’s personal robot, adores Cinder. Cinder goes through some fascinating character development as she comes to terms with who she is, and learns to accept what she has become.
I had mixed feelings about Kai, the “Prince Charming” of the story. There were many moments I, like Cinder (and Iko and everyone else) fell for him, but just as many where I wanted to, for lack of a better term, punch him in the face. His interactions with Cinder were written to perfection – you could practically feel the chemistry between them. And while he was the romantic interest, that wasn’t his only role like the prince in the original story. Prince Kai genuinely cares for his people and would, literally, do anything for them. At times, this includes making some hard decisions, although he thinks they are for the right reasons.
The plot was ingenious, and I’m a little jealous I didn’t come up with something like this myself. But what impressed me the most was the world building: set almost 150 years after World War IV, the world is split into seperate kingdoms and presidencies – a global Union with one common enemy: the moon; or rather, the people who live on the moon. Levana, the Queen of Luna (moon), is set to wage war against Earth and the only thing that will stop her is marriage to Prince Kai. Levana is a vindictive and unforgiving queen who will stop at nothing to get what she wants. I really look forward to seeing what else she does in the next novel – you guys all know I love the villain.
Meyer’s writing was astounding, and the characters were incredibly well-written. They were fully fleshed out characters, with distinctive personalities. Even the characters I hated I had to admit were real. The story also progressed perfectly, and the scenes, as well as pertinent information, were paced out very well.
I have had Cinder on my TBR longer than any other YA novel. I have been meaning to read this book for years, and I’m so glad I finally got the chance. I can’t wait to read the other novels in the series. If you haven’t read Cinder yet (which I doubt because I’m the last person in the world who has read it), do so immediately. You are in for a wild ride.
I will say the reasons I had for not wanting to read this series were justified. It's written more like a middle grade novel in my opinion. I also didn't like that she was part cyborg. I'm not really into Sci-Fi. I like only one series that is Sci-Fi. So yeah this was pretty doomed from the start I guess.
I will say that I love Kai, I think he's a pretty good character, though he can be a little bit stupid at times. He's an emperor yet he's so quick to bow down to this stupid bitchy Lunar Queen instead of doing everything he can to find a better way.
I don't like the end, we don't even get to see what happens to Cinder, I feel cheated, like this book wasn't finished. I think hype is what killed this book for me mostly. EVERYONE loves this series and I'm so heartbroken that I didn't love it too.
I love being in these huge fandoms and talking about books I love with others but in this case... I'm sorry.
2) Easy Read
In this retelling of the Cinderella story, Cinder is a cyborg mechanic living in New Beijing. Adopted by a man who died years ago, she is left with her hateful stepmother and two stepsisters. Being a cyborg comes with many tensions and inconveniences, including prejudice from fellow citizens and the cyborg draft, an initiative to help the scientists of New Beijing find a cure for the plague that has devastated the world.
Things change when Prince Kai approaches her, asking Cinder to fix his android. What starts as a business encounter turns into something more as Cinder faces new struggles and learns of hidden truths that could change everything.
I was intrigued by this book's high ratings and seemingly endless praise. I finally decided to pick it up, and I can conclude that it is one of the most original, enjoyable and riveting books that I have ever read. I was skeptical at first, as stories of cyborgs and androids generally aren't included within my usual reads, but I must say that I agree with all the five-star ratings and raving reviews.
The world-building in this book blew me away. I was completely and utterly engrossed in the world of New Beijing, and all of the social norms, prejudices and political issues that revolved around it. I feel that in a way, it mirrors our world: people are quick to judge those who are different (like many judged the cyborgs), people become desperate in hard times (for example, times of illness), and of course, there was the tricky and intriguing world of politics. All of these issues were portrayed in a way that made them seem incredibly realistic despite being dystopian and within the realm of science fiction, and this added a whole new dimension to the reading experience that I feel many books, unfortunately, lack.
This was a refreshing retelling of Cinderella. The use of cyborgs and "hovers" and extraterrestrial beings made for an original tale and a nice break from the more fantasy-oriented retellings of fairy tales. Cinder herself was a perfect combination of the traditional view of Cinderella - mistreated, hopeful and pleasant - and an original personality. I hope that readers get to see more of her in the next book!
All of the other characters, including the stepmother, stepsisters (one friendly and one not-so-friendly) and the prince fulfilled their roles from the original fairy tale, however the author also went above and beyond to make them unique and much more than just overused, stock cliches. The combinations of the characters, unique twists and the world itself brought the book to life as I read it and I never wanted to put it down!
While there were some twists that I could definitely see coming, this didn't take away from the reading experience at all. Any disappointment that came from being able to guess some of the big reveals was erased by the author's writing style. I read it for hours on end without needing to take a break, and the time seemed to fly. I was sad when I flipped to the last page, because I don't have the next book yet!
I recommend this to fans of YA and science fiction. Even if you're not a big fan of science fiction, give this book a try! You won't regret it.
Couldn't put it down
Cinder is treated like a slave doing the chores and working as one of the best mechanics in New Beijing just so that she could give all of the money to her stepmother. She's feed up with her life, with the way she's treated like a slave by her stepmother and a nuisance to her stepsister Pearl, the only thing that's keeping her from cutting out her ID chip and running is her other sweeter stepsister Peony and her friend who also works for her stepmother, the perky and stylish android Iko. But then something else occurs the prince disguised turns up to her shop in urgent need of a repair of his android. Cinder like every other girl in Beijing instantly finds her self crushing on the nice prince, who seems to like her as well, to bad he doesn't know that she's secretly a cyborg.
Meanwhile a plague has rapidly been taking lives throughout the Earth even prince Kai's own father has been infected, which means that scientist have rapidly been looking for a cure by testing it on cyborgs. And the Lunar's queen, human beings who went to the moon hundreds of years ago and had gained the power to manipulate bioelectricity, has been threatening to start war on Earth if Kai doesn't meet her demands. The only thing that can possibly keep the queen from starting war on Earth is if the possibly alive Princess Selene is found. What tried to kill her? The queen and she'll do anything to make sure she's not found, even wage war faster.
Soon Cinder finds herself caught up in these events and finds herself worrying about more things then a wicked stepmother and stepsister.
I highly recommend you read this enticing story, I'm glad I finally did!
With the mystery of a missing moon princess thrown into the mix, Cinder is absolutely one of the most interesting and captivating retellings of the Cinderella story that I have ever gotten my hands on. It's got action, romance (put not really insta-love), clever dialogue and great characters. The plot is solid and deviates from the regular Cinderella story enough to make it extra interesting. Seriously, when I finished it, I was rabid about getting my hands on its sequel, Scarlet.
There’s so much to like in this book. We have Cinder, the cyborg Cinderella who is a mechanic, has a good relationship with one of her stepsisters, and lives in New Beijing where there’s all sorts of intergalactic political tension and a deadly plague, and that’s only the beginning. Cinder is such a great character, fresh and unique, and Kai, the Prince in our tale, is the same way. In fact, I really like the character of Kai. In many Cinderella retellings, the Prince is little more than a plot device, but in Cinder he’s a real, living character who has decisions to make and stress on his shoulders and a million things on his mind. Every interaction between Cinder and Kai seems genuine and believable.
I give props to Meyer for making a retelling of Cinderella fresh, because while in some ways it is a classical retelling, in others it’s extremely different. As I read, I thought I had a vague idea of where the plot was going, and I did, but instead of making me lose interest that little bit of plot I could follow just left me wanting to know exactly how everything happened. Even though the book is around 380 pages, I raced through it and read it all in one sitting. I couldn’t leave Cinder and her world when I didn’t know the ending of the book. The “twist” at the end of this book was pretty obvious early on, in my opinion, but it didn’t dilute the power of the book as much as I thought it would.
This world is just so original, I’m left wanting more. I can’t wait to the sequel, Scarlet, releases in February. You can find Cinder on Amazon.
Final Impression: I loved this book. It’s so unique, filled with characters that I think will soon become favorites, and left me wanting to know more of the world. I highly recommend it. 5/5 stars.
Meyer has turned fairy tale into a whole new meaning. We meet a cyborg named Cinder who faces the many hardships we saw in the Cinderella we grew up on. There is a Prince whom everyone fawns over, an evil stepmother, two stepsisters, and hard manual labor. Yet, Marissa made this story amazingly different.
Cinder has no idea how or why she became a cyborg. All she knows is the injustice she has to face everyday because of what she is. I really liked her character. She seemed so down to earth and just like any normal teenager. She has hopes and dreams and a secret crush on the Prince. Speaking of which, Prince Kai was adorable!
Kai has a lot on his plate. He has the loss of his parents and the imminent threat of war against his kingdom and the rest of the world to deal with, not to mention he has to rule as well. I was devastated reading his hardships. I felt that Kai was never going to get a break from the cruelty of the world. He has to also deal with the suffering how thousands as the “blue fever” plague, better known as Letumosis, sweeps through his kingdom. Will he ever find a cure for a disease that has been around for years now?
My favorite character was Iko. She is an android and Cinder’s best friend. Her honesty and perkiness was to die for. She was just too cute! I kind of imagined her as Wall-E, just a cleaner, whiter version. She was the comical side of this book for me. Not to mention she was also infatuated with the Prince lol.
Cinder and Kai have to each deal with the Lunars in a different but similar way. Queen Levana has become too much to handle, and secrets are unraveling faster than anyone can handle. Although I kind of guessed the bigger secret, it was still a pleasant surprise when push came to shove. I was pissed by Kai reaction to Cinder’s revealed secrets. This added him to my cold shoulder list. I cannot explain further since I do not want to ruin this discovery for you.
The most heart wrenching part of the story for me was when Cinder lost two people quite close to her. I was in shock after it happened. I guess when you think of Cinderella you think happily ever after, and that is definitely not what you get with this story. This is by no means a bad thing. I was quite relieved that it took a different turn. Not everything can turn out picture perfect. There is no happily ever after in real life, and what made this story all the more better; the realistic scenarios in the story. I am really eager to read the next story in this series. I hope Scarlet is just as good as this one!
Cinder is a wonderful read that follows retelling pattern of the fairy tale, Cinderella (hence Cinder). We get a robotic twist in this one, where our protagonist, Cinder, is a cyborg. Caught in a terrible fire as a child, Cinder was injured so horribly to the point where surgeons had to replace parts of skin, limbs, and bones with metal parts in order for her to survive. It's great having her life back, but the downside is losing privileges that a "normal human" would have. She's basically treated like dirt, just like the beginning of the tale of Cinderella, and she even lives with two step-sisters and an wicked stepmother. The plus is being a great mechanic--something that's hard not to be good at especially when parts of your body are chunks of metal. Weighed down with the job of being the only source of income for her "family", Cinder really has nothing great to say about her life.
When one of Cinder's sisters contracts the cure-less, ravaging plague "letumosis", the blame is put on Cinder by Adri, none other than Cinder's evil stepmother. Looking for any chance to get rid of a burden, Adri hands Cinder over to the New Beijing government to be a guinea pig for letumosis cure testing, in exchange for money. While being prodded at though, scientists find a special secret about Cinder, one she did not know about herself. She is a double-edged sword. She may be the savior to humankind, but if the Lunars (the enemies in disguise) get their hands on her, it could all be over.
I am a really big fan of the Cinderella story amongst fairytales, so of course I would enjoy any revamp of it. Meyer makes Cinder a witty and sarcastic heroine, and throws her into the most awkward situations (I love reading awkward situations, have you noticed? :D). These situations include our lovely prince, Kai. I didn't feel Kai was a super hot guy, but I liked him, just like in the real Cinderella story. He is a complex character; he is a prince who basically wishes he wasn't one, but must stand strong to his country who lives in fear of the Lunars and the plague. The poor guy can't really catch a break, especially with his father having contracted the plague as well. Cinder automatically grows on him because she's one of the few people who doesn't treat him like a prince, and she actually bothers to joke with him. Some of Cinder's lines really made me LOL during the book, especially this one (No not with Kai unfortunately, with the docs. Probably one of my favorites in the whole book!):
“I don't know. I don't actually remember anything from before the surgery."
His eyebrows rose, his blue eyes sucking in all the light of the room. "The cybernetic opetation?"
"No, the sex change."
The doctor's smile faltered.
Besides the plague, New Beijing has the Lunars to worry about--people of the moon hence their name. With their magic of brainwashing and compulsion, they could bend any human to their will and take over the world. The only thing stopping them is the tense peace treaty signed between Earth and Lunars. It's fragile, and deteriorating. I detest these Lunars with all of my heart, and it was a wonderful twist on top of the normal Cinderella story. I think the conflict with the Lunars is what makes this story stand out, because if it was only the fairy tail it'd be pretty mediocre. Without warning, Cinder is thrown into the heart of the Lunar/Earthen problem, where keeping her secret is the utmost priority.
The only problem with this book is that since it is a retelling, it is very predictable. I could sense the plot twists and the ending from miles away, so I never felt especially giddy at any point in the book. It is a great read, no doubt, but it isn't particularly suspenseful. I love the world and characters though, and they make up for the so-so plot. I am definitely going to be reading Scarlet, book 2 of the Lunar Chronicles, which is the story of Red Riding Hood told Marissa Meyer style!
From Steph @ http://awalkonwords.blogspot.com/
The characters also had a lot more depth than the fairytale. Cinder is not only mistreated by her stepmother, but she’s also looked down upon by those in society who know she is a cyborg. Cinder tries to blend in as much as possible and earns her keep as a mechanic. Her stepsister, Pearl, is cruel towards Cinder, but her younger sister, Peony isn’t. Even though that strays from the original, I loved that Cinder had at least one person who cared for her. Cinder loves her little sister very much, and I felt so awful when her one ally is taken away by med-droids after contracting the plague. At that point Cinder’s life as she knows it changes forever.
Cinder now has to deal with her stepmother’s backlash, since she blames Cinder for her youngest daughter’s illness as well as her husband’s death. It’s no secret that Adri is disgusted by Cinder and wants her gone. Cinder also gets sold off to become a lab rat in order to find a cure for the plague, but her test results reveal a lot of unknown things about her heritage. There’s a bit of a mystery surrounding that, but it was very predictable. However, that didn’t keep me from enjoying it.
In addition to the new technology and the swiftly spreading disease, Cinder also covers some of the politics of the time. The moon is now inhabited by Lunars and a peace treaty is needed between them and Earth. However, the Lunar queen, Levada, is a horrible woman! She wants what she wants, and she wants it now! She’ll stop at nothing to gain power and take control of Earth, but Prince Kai does his best to not allow it. Kai has a huge burden to carry, but he still manages to be incredibly charming. Unfortunately, Cinder makes sure to keep him at a steel arm’s length.
Cinder is a highly imaginative retelling of Cinderella! It keeps just enough of the original premise in tact to make it recognizable, but it also has plenty of unique features to set it apart. It’s also full of characters that you’ll both love and hate, and maybe love to hate! This book is full of twists and turns for our heroine, but she handles them to the best of her ability. The ending has left me wanting more! Damn that cliffhanger!