Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

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Marissa Meyer
Series: Lunar Chronicles #1
Publication date: January 3rd 2012
by Feiwel & Friends


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.

*A copy was provided by Raincoast Books for review purposes*

When I see retellings of childhood classics I’m automatically a little wary. Can they really live up to a classic? Can they really bring something to the table that hasn’t been tried by dozens before? Somehow, someway, Marissa Meyer thought up of a genuinely creative re-imagining of one of the most popular classics–Cinderella. Set in the future, Cinder is now a cyborg–how’s that for unique? She’s made up of wires and metal–a common way to “fix” humans in this engaging future world. Although she has been bought and is basically no better than a slave to a nasty woman, Cinder is brilliant at what she does. She’s smart and resourceful; a true modern day Cinderella cyborg!

Rather than a glass slipper, we have a poorly fitted foot–an android foot. In this very distant future, androids and humans roam the earth where the plague is a thing to fear in every day life. The world building in this book is fantastic. It’s unimaginably creative with a way of telling that completely grips you and never lets go. The Lunars and the abilities they possess, along with the fear of death at every corner, is perfectly mixed in with classic elements of Cinderella. It’s ingenious. I have never been as satisfied with a fairy tale retelling as I am with Cinder. The characters are witty and fresh, with a love story that has it all: a swoon-worthy prince, a charming personality, great chemistry–a true fairy tale romance.

Even though it’s essentially a retelling, the originality in this novel is outstanding. From the futuristic concepts to the interesting turns to the plot, we have a whole new enchanting world to get introduced to. While there are new spins added to the story, these are not especially unpredictable. From the very start it’s obvious what the big twist is going to be. However, it’s obvious in a way that makes me think this was the author’s intention. As if she wants the reader to know what Cinder does not, making us feel wistful; if only everyone knew, things would be so different for her.

This review feels short, but honestly I don’t feel there is more to say. The book is a very quick read with already so many reviews out there that I’m not bringing anything new to the table. Clearly, I’m late in this game, but I’m glad I finally bit the bullet and read this delightful novel as it is just that: delightful! 

4 Hot Espressos

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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

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38 Responses to “Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer”

  1. Mary @ BookSwarm

    I’m glad you bit the bullet, too! While I’ve read some great retellings, there have been some really scary ones, too. And not in a good way. Definitely makes me leery about picking up new retellings. But Cinder was fab because it was so different and yet the main elements were there in the stepmother & sisters, the prince, Cinderella. Can’t wait for Scarlet!

  2. Christina

    Right? She somehow managed to make something original and mechanical and completely made of awesome sauce. I LOVED that she lost her whole foot at the end. SO funny and perfect. I really, really love these science fiction fairy tale retellings. This and A Long, Long Sleep (which is a sci fi retelling of Sleeping Beauty) make me SO happy. I WANT MORE OF THEM. Oh wait, I have Scarlet. MUST READ.

    You always bring something new to the table Giselle! Your fantasticness. Just saying.

  3. Aylee

    Still need to read this one! Does it ever sound awesome!! I mean, besides the predictability, that is. I would say the most important thing I want from a retelling is originality despite the source work inspiration, so I’m glad Cinder succeeds in this instance.

  4. Megan K.

    I read a couple of pages of CINDER and was quite intrigued! I’m so glad you enjoyed this. I definitely agree that Marissa Meyer did a great job with the originality. I’m more inclined to buy this now, Giselle! Great review! 🙂

  5. Amy

    Great review muffin!! I loved this book!! I actually listened to the audio of it and it was really well done. I am dying for Scarlet!! I thought that it was a very creative and fresh take on the Cinderella story. I agree that it was easy to know what is going to happen, but like you said, it almost seems intentional. Either that or we are just way too perceptive with things. 😉

  6. Ems

    You’ve made a really good point about the twist. It really did feel intentional to let the reader in on the secret long before Cinder knew what was going on, and it really did make me feel wistful. I’m glad you enjoyed this one!

  7. Lyra

    Cinder is a retelling of Cinderella!? Oh wow I can’t believe I never figured that out from the blurb!

    I’ve been avoiding this book like the plague because of its cover but I’m definitely adding it to my TBR now. Great review!

    Lyra @ Defiantly Deviant

  8. Renae

    Definitely agree with you, Giselle! Cinderella was never my favorite fairytale in the first place, and after Gail Carson Levine’s Ella Enchanted, I didn’t see the need to read anything further that dealt with Cinderella. But boy am I glad I did read Cinder—totally awesome.

  9. Paranormal Book Fan

    I think almost every review I’ve read of this book has been good and yet it still doesn’t appeal to me. Everytime I see it in the library I’m like, “will I, won’t I?” Maybe some day. Glad you were another who enjoyed it Giselle 🙂

  10. Addie R.

    I was a little wary about reading this too, but my reason was more because of the science fiction and cyborg aspect. But I am so glad to say that Cinder completely proved me wrong! I’m OBSESSED with retellings now because of Cinder! 😀
    I’m glad you enjoy it. ^__^

  11. Melliane

    Oh you know, since its release I really want to read this one! Well ok, I need to buy it first but I keep hearing amazing things about it. Glad you enjoyed it as well. great review!

  12. Ashley

    For some reason I’m really surprised you hadn’t read this book yet! Cinder totally rocked my universe! I’ll admit, at firs the synopsis didn’t draw me in. My initial thought was “Cinderella? Cyborgs? This is weird.” I feel so stupid for thinking that now. THIS BOOK WAS FREAKING AWESOME!! It totally rocked my world and it was one of my favourite reads all year!

  13. vivalabooks

    I’m glad that you found Cinder delightful too! It was such a unique twist on a timely classic fairy tale and Marissa Meyer does a beautiful job with it. Can’t wait to here what you think of Scarlet!

  14. Amanda

    I am the most oblivious reader ever, so I’ll be interested to see if I figure out this big twist ahead of Cinder – I hope that I can! I actually love retellings – when they’re done well they really can make you see this story/world/character from an entirely new perspective and form a better appreciation of it all. But I’m not sure that this will be able to beat my fave Cinderella retelling, Ella Enchanted. I’m glad that I’m still reading positive reviews of Cinder like yours, I think your review has given me the push I need to actually read this book!

  15. Jen (A Reading Daydreamer)

    Giselle, even if there has been so many reviews for this one already, your review stands out to me greatly! 🙂 I actually haven’t read this one yet, either. :O It sounds absolutely fabulous! I read the first couple of pages and the world building was seriously already incredible. I’m glad you thought so too! I hope you enjoy the rest of the series, once they’re out. Happy reading and lovely review, Giselle!

  16. Amanda

    I still haven’t gotten around to Cinder. I usually love fairy tale retellings, but something about the cyborgs made me pause. Though all I see is great reviews like this. I really should get around to it.

    Great review!

  17. Stephanie Sinclair

    I’m so happy you enjoyed this one Giselle! It was one of my favorites this year and, like you, I had the ARC sitting on my Kindle FOREVER. I regret waiting so long, but the positive was not having to wait for Scarlet too long. I can’t wait to see what you think of Scarlet!

  18. Kara_Malinczak

    Your review was the perfect length. Cinder is truly a fun book. The world-building is outstanding, the characters are written well, and the romance is swoonworthy just like the original. I am glad you liked it. I cannot WAIT to read Scarlet. I hope it’s just as good as Cinder was.

    P.S. I am late in the game on a lot of books. This is the first time I have seen it happen to you!

  19. Rachel

    I’m like you, I’m always wary of re-tellings and to be honest, this one never appealed to me so I haven’t yet picked it up. Your review makes me think maybe I should. Lovely review Giselle. 🙂

  20. missbookreviews

    I loved this book! Cinderella is my favourite fairytale but I haven’t really seen any retellings that I’ve particularly enjoyed. Until I read this that is.

    It mixes my favourite fairytale with my favourite genre, and it does it successfully! I am so excited for Scarlet! I’ve already pre-ordered it!

    Glad you enjoyed this one too!

    Miss J @ Miss Book Reviews

  21. Rebecca

    I don’t think I’ve read a retelling before but this looks like the perfect place to start, especially since I’m really eager to read it anyway. The romance, world building, characters – it all sounds wonderful. I think it’s time I finally bite the bullet, grab myself a copy, jump onto the bandwagon and hope I enjoy it as much as you have.

    Fantastic review, Giselle 😀

  22. Kristilyn (Reading In Winter)

    I think what I worry about while reading a retelling of a fairytale is losing the element of surprise — I mean I KNOW what happened in the fairytale, so it should be pretty obvious what will happen in a retelling.

    Of course, I have Cinder and can’t wait to read it — I’ve heard awesome things about it!