“Find my full review on my blog: http://667bakerstreet.blogspot.com/
Characters: Cinder is a remarkably relatable protagonist. She’s not overly emotional, like most female protagonists nowadays, and while she often expresses the difficulties of living as a cyborg, and the unfairness that comes with it, she doesn’t play the victim. She bears up remarkably well against her life and does all she can to improve it. She’s also wonderfully practical, though perhaps not the best at forming ideal plans. Her attempt to escape at night without working headlights on her car was a rather important mistake, and her “disguise” for the ball was worse than slapdash. But she was still a good protagonist, and a believable mechanic. Prince Kai isn’t the most memorable prince in the string of fairytale retellings that I’ve read. I liked him well enough, but I also felt like I didn’t really get to know him very well. I won’t say that he was cardboard; that would be too harsh, and untrue. He just lacked the personality of previous princes, and he was also not a very believable prince. Kai has spent his entire life being groomed as the future emperor, and yet he completely lacks any sense of diplomacy, and seems incapable of behaving properly during an important meeting with other nation leaders - not to mention that he’s late for said meeting. While a general dislike for politics is a fine characteristic in a prince character, there’s nothing wrong with him knowing how to be diplomatic, or adhering to propriety when dealing with planetary rulers. The Author “took a page” from Ever After and made one of Cinder’s stepsisters nice, which I liked. Pearl, the mean stepsister, didn’t really stand out at all until the very end. But Adri is properly cruel; I had a lot of fun hating her. Iko was kind of cute, but I’m not really in to androids with personalities. As far as that sort of character goes, though, I did like her. Levanna, the true villainess of the story, at first genuinely frightened me. When a villainess is done properly, they can be so very scary, and in order for that to work, they can’t express anger or frustration - and if they gloat, it has to be in a below-freezing manner. This is how Levanna came across, at first. But then she began to openly show her anger and fear and hatred, and it kind of ruined her.
The Romance: Most retellings of Cinderella revolve entirely around the romance, and there is, predictably, sparks between Cinder and Kai. But the Author is taking time in developing their relationship. It isn’t “love at first sight.” In fact, the book makes it pretty clear that their feelings are friendship, and then they both gradually become smitten with the other. It’s a realistic, sweet romance, without feeling juvenile. I really liked it.
Plot: The political and economical upheaval is what takes center stage in terms of major plot, which I liked. A mysterious and deadly plague is wiping people out on Earth, and people are growing desperate for a cure. Meanwhile, the mysterious and sorceress-like queen of Lunar (the moon) wants to form a marital alliance with New Beijing, but her open cruelty and habit of brainwashing her subjects into absolute obedience deters Kai from any such pairing, and instead looks for an alternative solution. But Queen Levanna is threatening war, perhaps not directly, but certainly without question. And Earth cannot withstand her forces. The plot is as interesting as it sounds, and I enjoyed it. However, the story’s “main” twist is extremely obvious, so the time it takes for it to finally be “revealed” gets a little irritating after a while. It’s a case of “the Reader knows, so why don’t the characters?” Even so, the twist fits into the story, and maybe the Author wasn’t really trying to hide it from the Reader at all. I really liked how the Author connected the traditional parts of the Cinderella story into the plot: Cinder’s reason for going to the ball, the “glass slipper,” and even the pumpkin carriage (the latter requires some interpretation). It was all done cleverly and with purpose.
Believability: Not really applicable.
Writing Style: The writing is nothing special. The Author creates a very engaging world, that is slightly reminiscent of Firefly (in a good way), but I do wish she had taken a bit more time to explore it. However, she might do this in further installments, and I would rather learn about the world through the course of several books, than have a bunch of descriptions bog the first one down.
Conclusion: Like I said, the “twist” is so obvious that by the time it’s revealed, the Reader won’t blink. But at the same time, Cinder doesn’t take a long time accept that it’s true, either, so there’s no frustration on that part. Actually, Cinder is pretty quick to accept everything that she finds out, after a few moments of self-denial. The very end is somewhat abrupt, and I have to wonder where exactly the sequel is going to begin again. I hope it doesn’t skip Cinder’s escape entirely! Overall, Cinder pleasantly surprised me. I wasn’t expecting it to be very good. Cyborgs and fairytale retellings don’t go hand-in-hand; not in my mind. And cyborgs aren’t my thing. But I actually enjoyed Cinder a lot, and I look forward to Scarlet.
Recommended Audience: Girl-and-guy read (surprisingly), any age. I really would encourage fairytale retelling fans to give this a try, even if science fiction and cyborgs aren’t your thing. You may find that you like it, as I did.”
“This book is a cyborg Cinderella tale! I read this last summer and now, I am reading this aloud with my 5th grade daughter. She can't wait for me to get home so, we can continue the story! This is a must read!”Beth Alsen wrote this review 2 days ago. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“For those of you who love a good twist on an old classic, this is the book for you! Marrisa Meyer's Cinder (Lunar Chronicles), is a fantastic futuristic twist on the Cinderella story complete with the stepsisters and evil step mother.
We meet Lin Cinder, a cyborg mechanic with a mysterious past, who lives in this future world, New Beijing in China (123 years after World War IV) and are quickly introduced to our hero, Prince Kaito (Kai), who seems to be the heart throb to every girl in New Beijing. Every girl, that is, except Cinder. Kai visits Cinder discretely and in disguise to repair one of his royal androids secretly...Cinder instantly knows there's more to this android than he lets on. Almost instantly, there is a spark between the two that plays throughout the book.
Within the story lines there are undertones of a serious plague, political unrest, and an unwelcome, possibly necessary, alliance with the evil Lunar Queen, Queen Levana (who wants to take over the world, as most "evil" ones tend to want to do).
Cinder is filled with heart-clenching twists and turns and a strong female lead who does not need a Fairy Godmother to grant her any wishes. The minor characters (Iko, the Doctor, etc) sprinkled throughout added a nice dimension and flavor Ms. Meyer's imagery and descriptions of the characters and city made everything so believable. I, for one, am eager to see how the story unfolds in the series!”
“Finished this just in time for my YA book club this evening. Tomorrow I will pick up Scarlet--the next book in the series at the only branch library that has a copy available. Cinder is a respected mechanic living in Beijing City. She is also a cyborg. Her past is mysterious--she was badly burned in a fire, which necessitated the rebuilding of parts of her body and then adopted by a man unknown to her and brought back to live with the rest of his family--a wife and 2 daughters. She works in the marketplace once a week to make a little extra money repairing various electronic devices and one day Prince Kai comes by with an android that needs to be fixed. The Prince is quite taken with Cinder but she knows that he would find her disgusting if he knew she was a cyborg and basically treats him like anyone else. The Prince's father is dying of letumosis (plague) and the Lunar Queen (yes, she's from the moon), Levana has been trying to forge a relationship with him. Since on one has every recovered from this plague, she sets her sites on Prince Kai. This fascinating retelling of the Cinderella story moves on from here with some obvious parallels but a lot of new plot twists that keep you turning the pages at record breaking speed. I loved seeing everything from the point of view of Cinder--with her mechanical parts, warning lights and biofeedback technology. The book just seems to have it all, light romance, mystery, intrigue, humor, loss, space and futuristic technology, and a great cliff-hanger ending. Highly recommended. Post Script: My particular edition of the book also included a very short prequel--about 30 pages--which filled the reader in a little more about her joining her adoptive family. It is titled "Glitches". ”Beverly R. wrote this review 5 days ago. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I LOVE THIS BOOK!
it is my favorite book EVER!
going to get 'Scarlet' soon!”
“its pretty good, i've never really read anything like it before”jaime rosenfeld wrote this review 6 days ago. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This is a great mixture of the old fairy tale (set in a village-like setting) with modern day technology. However in this story you won't always predict what happens. Aliens, partial robotic parts, a guardian rather than a step mother, and a strong female protagonist. I thought I knew what would happen at the end but I was wrong. And the only thing that really bothered me was that the story didn't end happily every after and made me wish the sequel (if there is on) was ready for me to keep reading on.”dianna_geers wrote this review 8 days ago. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I had high hopes for this book. It started off great. However there were a couple of things that really bothered me. Cinder liked the prince from the beginning, yet she was rude and stand offish. I don't understand how the prince fell in love with her. Also hated that one of the characters died when the author could have saved her. I also think that Cinder didn't grieve very much for how much she claimed to have loved her. She was very self centered. And most of all, the ending SUCKED!!!! It's like the author got bored with writing it. It wasn't complete.”Heysparkly wrote this review 11 days ago. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This book was not what I expected---it was better! A student had recommended it and so I checked it out just to make him happy, but it was great---so creative, with a few twists and well-developed characters. The basic storyline was "Cinderella", of course, but the futuristic setting really freshened it up for me, and every teen I know that has read it has loved it. I can't wait to read "Scarlet", the next book in the Lunar Chronicles series.”Jeri Allen wrote this review 11 days ago. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Great book! A friend referred me to this story and I wasn't sure what to expect. A very interesting take on the story of Cinderella. It has future and dystopia and fairy tales and robots and cyborgs and aliens ohhhhh my.”Samantha O wrote this review 2 weeks ago. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No