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Cinder: Book One in the Lunar Chronicles by…

Cinder: Book One in the Lunar Chronicles (edition 2012)

by Marissa Meyer

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
2,9984221,903 (4.09)1 / 369
Title:Cinder: Book One in the Lunar Chronicles
Authors:Marissa Meyer
Info:Feiwel & Friends (2012), Hardcover, 400 pages
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned
Tags:science fiction, fairy tales, dystopia, young adult

Work details

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

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Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #1
Published by Feiwel & Friends on 3 January 2012
Reviewed by Kj
The Word: Magical retelling that will leave you enchanted every step of the way
I love fairy tales – I always have. I spent my childhood throwing coins into fountains wishing I’d turn into a mermaid and I whole-heartedly believe in true love. There have been a lot of fairy tale retellings in the YA world the past few years and despite loving the originals I have struggled through most of the retellings and I guess this is why I had been dragging my feet when it came to reading Cinder – despite its glowing reviews.

So when chance came about I decided to partake in the #TLCReadAlong hosted by The Book Addicts Guide, I finally picked up Cinder and it was better than I expected.

The plotline closely resembles the original Cinderella tale, stepsisters and the ball included. What makes this retelling so special is the outside elements have been brought in that enhance the original story. Cinder is a cyborg – a human that has been healed with robotics. At age 11 she was adopted with no memories. After her step father tragically dies Cinder is left with her step-mum and two step-sisters. Cinder works as a mechanic, fixing robots, at the local market to contribute to the households income, while dreaming of one day escaping her life for something better.

The story is set in the future and it is unclear, but the world seems to have gone through a lot of suffering – having survived through four world wars, it is now struggling with a plague/disease that threatens to desolate the population, as there is no known cure. Cinder’s youngest stepsister becomes affected with the disease, which pushes Cinder on a path to discover the truth about the disease and herself.

In addition to the disease facing Earth – humans have learnt that they aren’t alone in the universe. Lunar or moon people with the power to influence thoughts have been threatening to declare war on earth for over a decade. The Prince, in search of the truth of Lunar plots on earth, hires Cinder to fix a robot he believes has key information. The two continue to have chance meetings and quickly become enamoured with each other.

I absolutely loved the setting for this book – I’m a big sci-fi fan if you haven’t already guessed from my previous reviews. The Lunar race and their abilities were just plain cool. It was a great add in to the story. The Lunar Queen is fierce, dynamic and pure evil and because of this she is perfect. It really lifted the dynamic of the story and created a great sense of urgency and dread.

Cinder herself was a likeable enough character – she has self-esteem issues because she is a cyborg in a society that deems her as a second-class citizen. She has never truly felt loved, adopted at eleven after her operation that made her into a cyborg, she was then thrust into a family where she is unappreciated and forced to serve. Despite her issues she is strong willed and determined.

Cinder’s relationship with the Prince was a bit underwelming. The Price was everything you’d expect, perfect gentleman, great manners, and charming, but I found his attraction to Cinder slightly unbelievable – not because of her status but because they spent so little time with each other. I wanted the Prince to use his wit and charm and sweep Cinder off her feet for a few hours. Instead most of their interactions were over a few stolen minutes.

The book ended in which I guess was meant to be a plot twist – yet I had predicted the ending by chapter 13. In saying that – it wasn’t bad – it’s what I wanted to happen. After doing a quick search I learned that the story had elements of Sailor Moon and after reflecting – it totally did. If you are a fan of fairytale retellings Cinder is a must – it’s the best one I’ve read and with the added sci-fi elements it appeals to a wide audience. Overall I quite liked the book and it had enough substance to encourage me to continue with the series.

Love you long time ( )
  birdslovewords | Sep 24, 2015 |
Why, on earth, did I buy the next book before I finished this one? That was really stupid. That was really, really stupid. Because by the time I finished this one I hated it so much I wanted to fling my Kindle.

The story was okay. A steampunk-ish retelling of Cinderella – nifty. The additional element of a plague that terrifies everyone – fine. The additional additional element of lunar colonists who have become quite different from those still on earth … okay… There was a lot going on, and at times it was annoying. And I just really, really wasn't interested in the Lunars. The plot would pick up, and I would be engaged for a while – and then Levana would pop up again and I'd sigh. She had to be one of the most cardboard, predictable villains I've seen in recent years: basically, in any given situation think of the worst thing a character could say or do, and wait for her to say or do it. It got old.

Actually, all of the baddies were like that. The wicked stepmother was fairy tale wicked, with no real reason. At least one of the stepsisters was just the same – with the added irritation of a really appalling display of either "behold what an awful character I am" or "oops, the author forgot what should have been going on in this scene": without spoiling anything, there should have been one overriding powerful emotion in the scene (view spoiler)[(grief) (hide spoiler)], but instead the sister was smirking and mocking and being an all-around bully.

I found the writing somewhat shocking. In many places it seemed as though it was written by a teenager (was it? No, according to her blog she's married). The best example: "like tendons stretched to the max". Ew, like totally grody. There were so many odd little did-you-pay-attention-in-English-class errors: "make you look less accusatory at me." "Prime Minister Kamin of Africa grunted most unladylike." Odd – or outright incorrect – phrasing. It was one of the only consistencies of the book.

So maybe I shouldn't have been so very surprised when one character told another, "come meet me in Africa." Well, but gosh; it's a big country. www.youtube.com/watch?v=GNT3BGvyePM ( )
  Stewartry | Sep 15, 2015 |

Linh Cinder is a technology repair 'mechanic' in New Beijing, one of a handful of nations remaining after wars ravaged Earth.

A traditional story based on the Cinderella folk tale set in a land of cybernetics, robots, hover crafts, and an inhabited moon. While futuristic technology abounds, New Beijing is a land of tradition governed by an emperor, holding the cultural traits of the conglomeration of Asian countries that form the Commonwealth. Earth has undergone population loss not only from the war, but from a devastating plague with no cure. When Prince Kai drops in to Cinder's mechanic stall one day with a personal robot needing repairs, the story unfolds with mystery, intrigue, and excitement. As a cyborg orphan living with a resentful 'step-mother', there is no lack of family drama. Cinder is overworked and mistreated just like her fairy tale counterpart. The story touches very lightly on social classes, body image, and social issues revolving around the relationship between people and technology. I personally am partial to cyberpunk, science fiction, and futuristic dystopias and I couldn't put this book down.

While this book is a teen novel loosely based on a traditional fairy tale that is a tad cliche, I found the plot of this story to be complex, interesting, fresh, and satisfying. I simply cannot wait to read the next two books in the Lunar Chronicles series.

I recommend this book to anyone who likes adventurous YA fiction with heroines possessing skills, personality, and intelligence without the plot revolving just around looks.

( )
  jasmataz | Sep 11, 2015 |
I have high expectations with Cinder, especially that most of my goodreads friends really love it. I found this book really promising since I’ve never encountered a cyborg character before and for me, it’s something that I won’t ever forget. But then, I guess I expected way too much. I tried. Honestly. But it didn’t really meet my expectations. *sigh*

However, there are factors that also make this book wonderful. I love Marissa Meyer’s imagination. I love how she created a lively concept of a dystopian world. Cybors. Androids. Insanely high technology. Lunars. New world after world war IV. Wow.! I mean, the concept is really impressive.

But in the long run, I was a bit disappointed. I didn’t expect myself to develop annoyance with the main character Cinder. I love her character, I love how unique she is as a cyborg, but when it comes to the way she acts, I kind of dislike her. There is no consistency with her emotions. I’m upset how vulnerable she is whenever her stepmother and stepsister is around. But whenever she’s with the Prince, she’s so firm with her decisions to say ‘NO’ every time. She always declines the prince’s invitation and she’s acting so difficult like ugh! I also don’t like the way she’s acting like a brat to Dr. Erland when this man is the only person who can give her much information about her past. There are also times when she jokes around and for me it sounds like a sarcasm. No, I don’t like her personality at all.

Prince Kai, however, is a nice character. I love how tough he is when it comes to decision-making. He doesn’t even feel scared with the Lunar Queen. So, yeah, thank goodness he’s not annoying.

During the first chapters, I really hoped that something great will happen in the long run. Um, I don’t know but the twist– that wasn’t what I’ve expected. Well, maybe on the second book everything will turn out great. And hopefully Cinder’s character will improve by then. :)

Book review originally posted on my blog: http://bibliopearl.wordpress.com/2014... ( )
  IAMPEARL | Aug 27, 2015 |
I must really be tiring of the whole dystopian genre because this book went nowhere for me. Meyer was smart to take a stab at a fairytale retelling, because so many people are enamored by classic fairytales that they will read any and all retellings that come their way. Although Meyer changed up the story considerably and used quite a bit of imagination, I feel like the story was too flat and predictable in the non-Cinderella components. Without the Cinderella crutch I don't think this book would be as popular as it is.

The basic storyline is that Cinder is a mechanic who is unfortunately a cyborg (half human/half machine) with little memory of her childhood. Since there is no respect in being a cyborg, Cinder keeps that part of her identity hidden. When the emperor's son, Kai, brings his malfunctioning android to her shop, he takes an instant liking to her. This attraction is complicated by the fact that he later invites her to be his guest at the upcoming ball without knowing her sordid history. A parallel plot to the Cinderella story is that a highly contagious plague is running rampant through the population. When Cinder is sent by her stepmother to be a medical volunteer, she learns information about her past that will put her safety in jeopardy and ultimately bring her face to face with a race of moon people who are enemies of the Earthlings.

The least developed part of the story, is unfortunately a large part of the plot. There is a colony of people living on the moon who is ruled by an evil queen who wants to take over and rule the Earth. This is completely hokey to me, perhaps because there were too many unexplained details. This is further made ridiculous by the queen's ability to use mind control on people and make them see her as more beautiful than she really is. It moves the book away from the dystopian genre and closer to science fiction, of which I'm not a fan. I think if Meyer had kept the plot tighter, worked on character development, and not allowed herself to stray into the absurd, she could have had herself a decent novel. ( )
1 vote valorrmac | Aug 19, 2015 |
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For my grandma, Samalee Jones, with more love than could ever fit into these pages.
First words
The screw through Cinder's ankle had rusted, the engraved cross marks worn to a mangled circle.
Book One: While her sisters were given beautiful dresses and fine slippers, Cinderella had only a filthy smock and wooden shoes.
Book Two: There was no bed for her, and at night when she had worked herself weary, she had to sleep by he hearth in the ashes.
Book Three: "You want to go to the festival, all covered in dust and dirt? Be we would only be ashamed of you!"
Book Four; The prince had the stairway smeared with pitch, and when Cinderella tried to run away, her left slipper got stuck.
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Book description
Cinder, a gifted mechanic and a cyborg with a mysterious past, is blamed by her stepmother for her stepsister's illness while a deadly plague decimates the population of New Beijing, but when Cinder's life gets intertwined with Prince Kai's, she finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle.
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As plague ravages the overcrowded Earth, observed by a ruthless lunar people, Cinder, a gifted mechanic and cyborg, becomes involved with handsome Prince Kai and must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect the world in this futuristic take on the Cinderella story.… (more)

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