Fairytale Retelling Gone Badass: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Monday, August 12, 2013

Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1) 
by Marissa Meyer 
Genre: Young Adult - Dystopia
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends 
Publication Date: January 3, 2012 
Source: Bought/Own copy
Author's website | GoodReads

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.

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.

I can't remember how or when I stumbled upon this book, but honestly, I was sold right from that very short synopsis! I mean—a dystopian world where humans and robots/androids live together? Intergalactic affairs and Lunar (moon) people? The line "Earth’s fate hinges on one girl"? And a futuristic retelling of one very famous classic fairytale? What more could I ask! Marissa Meyer was able to fit each and every amazing idea perfectly in less than 400 pages. (The book probably had its own Lunar power because it was so good perfect to be true).

I had huge and I-thought-unachievable expectations for Cinder. And mind you, it did live up to those expectations—if not exceeded them. Seriously, it was everything I hoped a perfect YA book would be. I couldn't praise Marissa Meyer enough for being able to come up with this whole thing.

Cinder was certainly not the perfect protagonist. Sometimes I got irritated by her stupid actions and decisions, or got frustrated over her being too reserved despite the circumstances. However, her strength was what made her stand out for me. All the bad things were thrown to her (very Cinderella) and she still surpassed them—or at least tried to. As for Kai, his scenes with Cinder were hilarious and very endearing! I also thought him a strong character, given all the things that he had to bear at such a young age. Yet, I feel like he lacked exposure somehow because he didn't leave that much of a mark to me in this book.

Another thing that I admired was how Meyer made such inner-monstrosity-invoking, malevolence-provoking, atrocity-evoking antagonists. I couldn't decide who I hated more—the totally evil stepmother Adri or the wicked Queen Levana. They were able to arouse this monstrous anger inside me from a deep slumber for centuries. Just [cruelly] brilliant. I also liked how all the supporting characters were essential to the whole plot.

The plot was interesting, although somehow predictable. Being a retelling, there were turns in the story that I had definitely anticipated. But what's good was there were [lots of] additional twists and turns that made the story unique on its own. As much as there were foreseeable scenes, there were also ones that I could have never seen coming!

The writing was smooth and fluid. I was easily eased into the story, like I was being imperceptibly immersed underwater until it was too late for me to realize that I was drowning in words. The world building was gradually supplied to the readers and it was executed fairly well. Marissa Meyer successfully created a vivid image of a disturbing dystopian world in Cinder.

In conclusion, I certainly had an adventure while reading Cinder. I need more Kai & Cinder moments, though! I believe the 2nd book wouldn't be entirely about them already, so.. I don't know. I'm just hoping for the best (although with Marissa Meyer, I don't think hope is necessary!). Tell me what you think of Cinder (whether you've read it or not), and/or Scarlet!

Buy the book from: Amazon US / The Book Depository UK / Kindle

*BTW, I just created a Tumblr where I post photos of my books, so I hope you could check that out as well. Thanks!

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  1. I loved this book too! What I loved was the originality--fairy tale re-tellings are touch and go for me--but taking Cinderella, making her a cyborg in a future earth with MOON PEOPLE too? That's entertaining! I've now read Scarlet and if you haven't gotten there yet, I highly recommend it. Also the novella The Queen's Army (Lunar Chronicles 1.5) (which tor.com will let you read online for free) is wonderful and you should read it before starting Scarlet because it gives you a lot of insider info on Wolf in that series. I am so excited to read Cress next year! Great review!

  2. Believe me, Scarlet might be even better! :) There are some great new characters introduced and you can't help but fall in love with them.


  3. I loved Cinder (my review here), but I thought Scarlet was better (my review here), and from what I've seen and read so far, Cress is going to be even better. Unfortunately, we have to wait until February for that one - boo!


  4. So I read your review last night but I wasn't able to comment because I don't know what to say! My review was so spazzy so I'm generally incoherent when it comes to Cinder. I just nodded my way through your review. No guarantees I'll have anything meaty to say this time around...

    First, I do get your views on Kai and maybe it's just because I'm a girl and I love/dream/fantasize about royalty so I still enjoyed Kai so much. Though when I read other people's reviews, I see what flaws they saw, I am still in awe of this book like you. Sci-fi, futuristic, dystopia AND fairytale retelling? I had doubts how everything will work out but it was seamless. Gah!

    And yes, I heard Scarlet won't feature more of Kai and Cinder but that the new characters are awesome so I think I won't have any problems with it except maybe at first when I wish for more Kai and Cinder.

    Great review, Kyle! Hope I made sense.

  5. Oh okay I now am the last person who haven't read this series. Which is a shame considering that I have the book. But I promised myself that I'll read this series once all books are out. Anyhow I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Great review :)

  6. Wasn't this book awesome? It sold me from the summary too :) I really like Cinder as a protagonist and how she's not perfect. I think the more flawed the character is in a book, the more people could find them realistic. I also agree that the plot was predictable. Before Cinder found out, I already knew those stuff (also, the series's title is a big spoiler lol LUNAR). Great review and I'm glad you loved it. It didn't end up as one of my favorites, but it would something I would recommend.

    Little Book Star

  7. Oh my gosh. This is on my TBR list. I'm glad that you gave it 5 stars and you wrote a great review. I'm really fascinated with new adaptations of fairy tales. :)

    Style Reader

  8. Hi Kyle! The Lunar series is one of my favorite. Melissa is a great story teller and Queen of retellings. I agree on your review :) The plot is predictable yet wonderful.

    Awesome review!


  9. I totally agree with you, Kyle! We need more Kai and Cinder moments. And I just hope that they'll have lots of interaction in Cress (I've read Scarlet already and sadly, they only had few moments there).

  10. Eep, sorry for visiting this post so late!!! Lovely review, Kyle. I haven't read this one yet but it's been on my TBR shelf forever. I didn't think much of the synopsis- I'm so uncool, I know- but seeing you enjoyed it so much, I'm convinced to give it a try.


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