Cinder

Cinder

Book rating: 05 Paperback Puffin Books

By (author) Marissa Meyer

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  • Publisher: Puffin Books
  • Format: Paperback | 400 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 196mm x 28mm | 259g
  • Publication date: 5 January 2012
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0141340134
  • ISBN 13: 9780141340135
  • Sales rank: 1,765

Product description

A forbidden romance. A deadly plague. Earth's fate hinges on one girl ...CINDER, a gifted mechanic in New Beijing, is also a cyborg. She's reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister's sudden illness. But when her life becomes entwined with the handsome Prince Kai's, she finds herself at the centre of a violent struggle between the desires of an evil queen - and a dangerous temptation. Cinder is caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal. Now she must uncover secrets about her mysterious past in order to protect Earth's future. This is not the fairytale you remember. But it's one you won't forget.

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Author information

Marissa Meyer lives in Tacoma, Washington, with her fiance and their two cats. Marissa enjoys road-tripping, wine-tasting, and hunting for priceless treasures at antique shops.

Customer reviews

By Najla Qamber 19 Jul 2013 4

I didn't expect myself to actually pick up this book. For one, I never really liked the story of the Cinderella and to read a retelling wasn't really going to change my mind about Cinderella. But when I did start reading Cinder. I was excessively surprised when I realized it may have the vague skeleton of 'the Cinderella Plot' but it was a story that took it's own life and originality.

Cinder is half-human half-robot aka a cyborg. Cyborgs, in this world, have very little rights and were considered nothing better than slaves. So, Cinder was the mechanic slave of her foster mother. All she does is work at the repair shop her family owns, eats, sleep and frequently get into arguments with her foster mother and her evil foster sister.

I know, that sounds very Cinderella. But then the prince of New Beijing appears at her repair shop looking for the best mechanic in the city. He asks Cinder to repair his robot, Nancy. And Cinder manages to make an impression on him. Things escalate and the plague breaks out in the town center close to Cinder's booth, her nicer foster sister gets ill, her foster mother throws a fit and volunteers Cinder to the draft system. The draft system is where cyborgs are sent to become lab rats. They are then injected with the plague then injected again with the latest antidote to the plague to see if it works or not. Most cyborgs don't come out alive.

I'm not sure what part of the book I actually liked the most, the hint of romance or the controversies and the dispute between Earth and the Moon. I'm not one for politics but in this book. I just want to get into it so I can find the way to get the crazy and disgusting queen of the moon off the backs of every one on Earth. She is way to manipulative and irritating to just let her be like that.

Anyways, I linked Cinder a lot more than later because of her kick-buttery and her strength to keep going even after the only family she knew shunned her and society discriminating her because of her mechanical foot and hand. Having a strong protagonist like her to is one of the best factors a wonderful book needs to have. She was easy to relate to in one small way or another.

Overall, I applaud the author for ending the book with the worst cliffhanger ever, and her tenacity to include a little bit of everything for different types of readers out there. If you're a big fan of Cinderella, Science Fiction and Dystopia, you will absolutely love this.

By Ioana Culcea 25 Feb 2013 5

Cinder is an amazing retelling of the Cinderella fairytale (in case that wasn't obvious). I'm not even sure I can explain just how great this book is, I loved it from the first page to the very last. When a story has cyborgs, princes, androids, aliens, a deadly plague that's bound to wipe out the human race, it's bound to be spectacular.

Linh Cinder is a strong female character, her problems and insecurities only leading to her becoming even stronger. It's the first time I agree through and through with all of the character's decisions and ways of handling matters. You can also easily connect not just with her, but with the side characters as well. For example, there's a little child who appears briefly in the book, but it's one that definitely leaves an impression.

The villain is absolutely fascinating! Queen Levana is an extremely powerful enemy, one that you should never ever cross. The entire Lunar race is so enjoyable to read, from their abilities to their quite large family tree :)

There were a lot of plot twists that you could easily predict, however this just makes you want to keep on reading to see how everything unravels.

And it wouldn't be Cinderella without a ball, right? That was by far my favorite scene from Cinder, so much was going on that I just couldn't put the book down.

*Favorite quotes

"Even in the Future the Story Begins with Once Upon a Time."

"Prince Kai! Check my fan, I think I'm overheating."


*Rating

Characters: 5/5

Main character, side characters, every single person mentioned is amazeballs!! - except Adri, of course -

Romance: 4/5

While I absolutely loved it, I wanted much much more (which I'm hoping we'll get in the sequel).

Pacing/Length: 4.5/5

Don't get me wrong, the beginning of the book was interesting too, but in the end you were just getting your face slapped with constant action and plot twists and did I say action?! I'm well aware a book can't be all about that - and that's why the beginning was a tiny bit slower - , but the change was so quick that you can tell from where it started to get really good.

Cover: 5/5

In love with it. Always have been, always will be.

Plot: 5/5

DAMN this story is good.

By Nitzan Schwarz 19 Oct 2012 5

Wow. This book was just AMAZING! From the first page to the last, it was gripping, interesting and mind blowing! I know a lot of people who were slightly disappointed, a lot of people who said this book could do without the Cinderella theme and all that, but I thought it perfect!

I admit, at first I was reluctant to read Cinder. I don't even know why; it's just that among the many books on my To-Read list, this wasn't the one to pop out when I wondered what book to read. Maybe it was the fact it was a first in a new series, and I rarely read those. I hate the wait, you see. Maybe it was because it had cyborgs and all that, and I haven't read much-if any- of those; hence I didn't know if I'd like the genre or not.
Boy, how I'm kicking myself right now over it! I can't believe I didn't read it sooner! Thank god for Goodreads group reads, otherwise it might've taken me ages to get to it!
(Though, now I'm kicking myself for reading it because, honestly, how the hell am I supposed to wait until February 2013 for the next book?! And then another year for the next, and another one... I'll lose my mind! This is exactly why I don't do firsts in new series!)

THE PlOT
Cinder presents itself as a re-telling of Cinderella. In the city of New Beijing, lives Cinder - an orphan, a stepdaughter, and a possession. Her evil stepmother, Adri, treats her as a servant, and everything in the house is left upon her shoulders, while her adopted family spends the money she earns - never giving her a cent. Even when she really needs it.
Then there is prince Kai, the crown prince of New Beijing, a figure many girls dream to meet and one day merry. And of course, there is a ball. And a shoe... sort of.
Oh, and I forgot to mention: Cinder's a cyborg. No big deal.
Yes, Cinderella is part metal, and honestly, calling this book a retelling of Cinderella is underrating it. Cinderella is the theme. But it's not the story.
The story is about very deep things, when you think about it - It's about slavery and people-living people with hearts and minds-being treated like possession. Owned.
It's about death and its horrific form.
It's about dictatorship and its ugly face.
And it's about finding yourself among it all. Or starting to, anyway.
Besides, there were some striking differences between Cinder and Cinderella, all whom I'm sure you'll notice while reading.
I don't want to give up too many details, but the story of Cinderella? You know, the one in which a servant girl desperately wants to go to the ball and dance with a prince, and a fairy comes and-well, you've seen the Disney movie. Well, Cinder has very little to do with that.
Cinder is actually about a deadly plague, war threats from the Lunars - humans who live on the moon and long ago stopped being considered humans, and how someone different, not by his own fault, struggles with the difficulties that is his life.
Meyer takes the fairytale, makes something entirely different to it and inside puts reference to the story we all know in ways that makes you quirk a smile.

THE CHARACTERS
The characters in the book were well developed and I found myself very emotionally invested in them.
Cinder, heroine of the book and its namesake, is courageous, smart, strong and a little lost. She lives like a possession and wants her freedom, wishing she wasn't what she is. Wishing people would stop recoil or send her disgusted looks when they see her.
Kai, prince of New Beijing, is the other main character of the book, who's POV we get to see from the second part of the book on. He's very likable, struggling with the many responsibilities suddenly put on his shoulders. He is sweet, charming and... well - princely? I guess the title "prince charming" fits him well.
Then we have Adri, the evil stepmother, Pearl, the evil stepsister, Peony, the good stepsister, the Queen and a few more. All were well done and added to the story.

I NEARLY CRIED
You know a book is good when I nearly cry when it barely started. You know a book is good when in a couple of pages, it makes you so in tune and living the characters, that you cry for their loses. That you weep for their pain. That you pray for their lives.
And this book did it. My eyes watered and I felt so sad, and I'm sure you'll know what I'm taking about once you read the book.

THE WRITING
Let's start with the simple - the writing style is simply engrossing. It sucks you right in, and I don't doubt for a minute that if I weren't busy with college (meaning: barely time to read) I would've finished this book in a single way. And then cried and whined for hours that it was over.
Now, what I felt was special about this book was how Meyer made us sweat for information. She keeps us guessing, confused, but not in a bad way in my opinion. And I felt she very much intended to get us all confused.
Meyer doesn't explain most of the time - she shows, over the course of the entire book. She lets us see for ourselves, understand without saying the words specifically.
She leaves it up to us to gather the information, trusts us to figure it out through the character's actions, words, memories. And it works. You understood most everything, and what we didn't? I trust she'll explain it, in the future books. Meyer does not seem to be in a rush to show her world to us.

PREDICTABILItY
Yes, this book is predictable. The reader realizes where the big revelation is headed fairy early on, but I don't think Meyer intents for it to be a big secret. She went for something pretty obvious, but the rest of the book is pretty outstanding. We might not be surprised, and yet we are, in a way. Not by the big bad secrets, but by the entire scenario. The entire world. The entire direction taken here.
And there there is that ending...

ENDING
Dear god, what a cliffhanger! Is that seriously where the book ends?! I spoiled it for myself half way though when I went to check when Scarlet comes out, and I don't think I would've seen it coming (I'm not talking about the big secret. I'm talking about what happens to Cinder) without it. It didn't make me any less surprised and anxious to read the ending, though.
And now I have to wait.
Until 2013. It's only 4 months away. 4... months...
I'm going to die.

By Nicola Mansfield 09 Mar 2012 5

Reason for Reading: Upon reading the summary, I knew this book was for me as it had everything I'd love in a YA novel: fairytale retelling, sci-fi, cyborg, and dystopia. I had planned not to start any new series this year but I didn't know this was the start of a series until I started to read the book.

This was fabulous! I have to admit that when it really boils down to it I do much prefer science fiction to fantasy, and yet I don't read nearly as much of it. This hit the spot perfectly. A fairytale retelling that goes far beyond the scope of the original fairytale. Meyer has managed to hold onto the basic characters and some major events while throwing the familiar plot out the window to bring us a new version of Cinderella that had me glued to my seat and turning pages almost faster than I could read. Cinder is the dominant character in this book and one fantastic female lead who carries the plot all on her own. I took to her character right away and found her to be very well-written, with genuine feelings and emotion. She is a person who stays true to her own nature no matter how it will affect appearances sake. I also found the dystopian world intriguing. Set in some unknown future, a century after World War IV, the world has changed its political divisions and ruling systems, is different in many ways and yet not so much that it is still a believable possible reality. The book ends looking forwards to the sequel and yet has a satisfying ending for the book in hand. Something I appreciate in series books. One of my favourite reads this year.

By Stephanie Forster (Stepping out of the Page) 13 Feb 2012 5

After all of the hype that Cinder has received in the past couple of months, I was so happy to finally have a copy in my hands! I loved both the cover and the premise and, thankfully, it certainly lived up to my expectations. This is a retelling of the classic Cinderella, and it is very loosely based around the idea with some parallels. The book starts with a quote from the original version, but we can tell that this is a very different setting and story from the first paragraph.

This story is set in New Beijing, which I thought was original and effective. Often a lot of Young Adult books are set in America or England, so this was a refreshing change. It was interesting to have a story set in a very different cultural background and to see the different aspects of society. We are also introduced to the Lunars - a very interesting society, based on the moon and led by the power-hungry Queen Levana, who is very hostile towards the Earthen. There was also some mentions of 'Princess Winter' of Luna, who I believe we will be seeing in the last novel of this series - and I can't wait!

Cinder, as our main character, was fantastic. I really loved reading about her and she was fantastically formed. Cinder is a cyborg and a mechanic. She is not a 'girly girl' - most of the time she is walking around in her combat trousers which are covered in oil and grease. She is certainly her own person, with a strong determined personality which isn't easily swayed by others. She had a very real attitude, which is what I loved about her.
Of course, she had an evil stepmother called Adri and whom I really disliked, but liked as a villain - she was cruel and spiteful. I actually didn't mind one of her step-sisters, Peony, as their relationship did change and was quite sentimental at points. However, her other was a great reflection of her mother, with a very cruel streak to her.

Prince Kai was our second prominent character in this novel, and I can see why he had such a fan base! From the very first encounter we had with him, he was a likeable character. He didn't give much away and he was very intriguing. Although he is a handsome prince, Kai is not perfect and this is why he is so loveable. He is realistic in his emotions - he gets scared, but he also has confidence and can be brave. The romance between Cinder and Prince Kai was not instant, but the chemistry built throughout the book, which I really enjoyed. There was also quite some subtle humour thrown in by Kai, which lightened the tone of the story.

The whole sci-fi aspect of this book was fascinating. There were some great descriptions of mechanics, especially when considering androids - robots which worked with and around the people of New Beijing. Iko, Cinder's android, confidante and friend was very fun to read about and it was surprisingly easy to build an emotional connection to her, even if she was completely made of metal. A lot of morality issues are discussed in this book and a lot of questions regard personality versus body or shell. Cyborgs and androids are classed as second class citizens in this new world. Cinder discovers more about herself as the novel progresses and faces a lot of internal battles.

There was, somewhat, a sense of mystery to this novel, but unfortunately I found it to be quite predictable and knew what the outcome was going to be around the first quarter of this novel. However, it was still interesting to see how things unfolded and how facts were brought together. The ending was quite a cliffhanger which was disappointing to me as things weren't completely resolved. It's not very clear whether this will be resolved in the next novel, as I believe it focuses on a different character, but I'd like to hope there will be some sort of closure to the story.

Overall, whilst this novel wasn't completely perfect, it was interesting and engaging. I loved the idea of it and thought that the execution was well done. I never thought that a book that was so heavily based around androids and cyborgs would capture my attention as well as this one did. With it's feisty heroine, atypical romance and fantastic idea, this is a book that I'd certainly recommend. I can not wait to read the next instalment to see what Meyer has to offer us next!