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Cinder: Book One of the Lunar Chronicles (The Lunar Chronicles, 1) Paperback – February 4, 2020
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The first book in the #1 New York Times- and USA Today-Bestselling Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer like you’ve never seen it before, now with new cover art! See where the futuristic YA fairytale saga all began, with the tale of a teenage cyborg who must fight for Earth's survival against villains from outer space.
"An interesting mash up of fairy tales and science fiction . . . a cross between Cinderella, Terminator, and Star Wars." ―Entertainment Weekly
"Prince Charming among the cyborgs." ―The Wall Street Journal
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.
With high-stakes action and a smart, resourceful heroine, Cinder is a Cinderella retelling that is at once classic and strikingly original.
Don't miss Marissa Meyer's other books and series':
The Lunar Chronicles:
The Lunar Chronicles Coloring Book
Wires and Nerve: Vol. 1
Wires and Nerve: Vol. 2
Renegades: Book One
Archenemies: Book Two
Supernova: Book Three
Frequently bought together
From the Publisher
Praise for the Lunar Chronicles:
#1 New York Times-Bestselling Series
USA Today Bestseller
Publishers Weekly Bestseller
"A mash up of fairy tales and science fiction . . . a cross between Cinderella, Terminator, and Star Wars." ―Entertainment Weekly
"Prince Charming among the cyborgs." ―The Wall Street Journal
"Terrific." ―Los Angeles Times
"Marissa Meyer rocks the fractured fairytale genre." ―The Seattle Times
"Epic awesome." ―Bustle
"A binge-reading treat." ―MTV
"Takes the classic to a whole new level." ―NPR
About the Author
- Publisher : Square Fish (February 4, 2020)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 448 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1250768888
- ISBN-13 : 978-1250768889
- Reading age : 12 - 18 years
- Grade level : 7 - 9
- Item Weight : 13.6 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 1.09 x 8.25 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #5,303 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
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Top reviews from the United States
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The beginning piqued my interest, and I remember thinking that I was glad it wouldn't be a dull read. I hate picking up books with amazing covers and then finding out that the pages between said covers didn't live up to the expectations. The world-building for Cinder was solid, the writing grammatically sound and even the style and voice drew me in a little. The setting kind of unsettled me. I've never been a huge Asian-setting person, but this wasn't off-putting in any manner. It was unique and original. Somewhere along the way, this story won me over, hook, line, and sinker. I became heavily invested in the lives of the characters, and utterly obsessed with the newest plot twist. There were some things I found a tad predictable, but in a way, that didn't detract from the story either. I was more interested in the presentation of the few predictable moments and there were plenty of unpredictable events to make up for it. The story was age-appropriate, which is a huge bonus in my world. And as much as I adore fairy tale retellings, I can't get over how few references there actually are to Cinderella. I just loved that the story was its own and that it tipped its hat to Cinderella instead of mimicking it. That was something I found phenomenal. Don't get me wrong, the connections are pretty clear, but they're clever and the story doesn't hinge on them. The story isn't dependent on the connections, but it uses them to its advantage.
I don't like to just dish out five-star reviews, but I think this book truly deserves it. A job very well-done. Part of me wishes I had been brave enough to read this sooner, and yet, the other part of me is selfishly glad because now I don't have to wait for the sequels to come out! I just have to order them!!! :-)
I was never one for fairy tales as a child, and so their retellings aren't something I gravitate to as an adult. But Cinderella is one of the few fairy tales I remember adoring. My favorite parts of Cinder were those that reminded me of the original story. I'm totally on board with a sci-fi Cinderella reboot, and I loved the idea of transforming her into a kick-ass mechanic. Cinder's stepmother, Adri, is perfection. She's cold blooded, but you can get why she resents Cinder even if you can't excuse it. I enjoyed Iko in her role as sarcastic sidekick (taking on that sort of "Gus" role from the Disney movie). The futuristic setting of New Beijing was interesting. Adding in the element of a deadly plague really intrigued me. Prince Kai? Meh. But, ok, he can be Prince Charming or whatever.
What I didn't like is the introduction of moon people with mind-controlling magic. This is my own fault. I hate space. Me and Elon Musk will never hang out. I avoid stories about space travel, aliens and non-earth dwelling. But personal biases aside, I do think this book got weaker as the story progressed. Kai casually reveals things to Cinder that could be considered state secrets. Cinder has a conversation with a Lunar spy who opens up and tells her everything with very little prompting. The plot becomes increasingly predictable. When the big secret from Cinder's past is finally revealed, it isn't much of a surprise. I also would have liked to know why one of Cinder's stepsisters hated her while the other loved her. Those dynamics are never explained.
The parts I liked, I loved and the parts I hated were not a dealbreaker. I didn't think I would continue with the series, but I have to admit I'm dying to know what happens with Cinder. Even if it means reading about dumb space queens.
Top reviews from other countries
Cinder Lihn is a wonderful character, I really liked her. She has a strong will and determination to succeed, even though her stepmother treats her as a slave. Cinder has lived with the Lihn's since being eleven years old, when her adopted father brought her to New Beijing. Now sixteen, she finds herself working as a mechanic in the market to make ends meet. When Prince Kai visits her market stall with a malfunctioning robot, her life is thrown into turmoil and it will never be the same ever again.
This is a fantastic retelling of the classic fairytale, Cinderella, and is set in the future where a terrible disease called letumosis is ravaging the world for which there is no cure, and cyborgs are seen as abominations. It's a story that completely hooked me from the first page and took me on a huge emotional roller coaster ride from start to finish. This book is full of action, adventure, heartbreak, romance, mystery and danger and is told through the eyes of both Cinder and Prince Kai for the most part, but a few other characters have a say too.
I loved meeting the various characters, even Cinder's stepmother, Adri, and her stepsisters', Pearl and Peony. Adri, I feel, blamed Cinder for the death of her husband, even though he died of letumosis. This bred resentment and she took this out on Cinder.
I also fell in love with Prince Kai. He's another wonderful character. He is only eighteen, but he has a good head on his shoulders, even if he acts like a jerk at times. However, there is a lot of responsibility on his shoulders too, so I suppose one could forgive him for it.
Adri may be horrible, but there is one character that is downright scary. She is called Queen Levana and is the ruler of Lunars, who are descendants of an Earthen moon colony which was established several centuries before. However, I found her thaumaturges to be even more dangerous and scary.
There is one character that I really enjoyed meeting, her name is Iko and she is a housekeeping droid in the Lihn household. She is almost human in personality and is Cinder's friend and companion.
As I said above, I found myself completely captivated by this story. I raced through this book at a rate of knots and completed it in one day. It's not exactly a small book either. I normally have a huge love/hate relationship to cliffhangers, so I was actually glad that I had the second one ready and waiting on my bookshelf, because when I reached the end I found myself eager to find out what happens next.
Marissa Meyer has written a fantastic retelling of a classic fairytale. I love her world building, which is extremely believable and scarily realistic. Her characters are well developed, though I would have loved to get to know Peony better, and her writing style is incredibly fast paced, though it didn't feel rushed. The flow was wonderful too. This author has found another fan and I have added her to my favourite authors list. I am now looking forward to reading more of her books in the future.
As this is a YA novel, I highly recommend this book to young readers. However, depending on reading age, I feel this book would suit readers aged 11 upwards even though its recommended for 9-12 year olds. I also highly recommend this book to adults who love reading fairytale retelling's or books in the YA genre. - Lynn Worton
This isn't my usual genre read but it's always good to challange your reading experiences and I'm so glad I did as Cinder was one gripping adventure.
It did take me a little while to get into the story as I'm not used to Cyborgs etc.. but once I got into the plot and it started to ramp up in intensity towards the middle I was hooked!
I Loved the concept of this modern day Cinderella Story where Cinder's is a
Cyborg and they have a Plague epidemic.... bit like what's happening now!
I did like the fact this story was loosely based around Cinderella but it was fresh and exciting and definitely not predictable!
When Cinder's meets Prince Kai at the market she doesn't expect to fall for him, I mean she's a Cyborg she doesn't have human emotions so how can she possible fancy him?
After years of her step family telling her she's useless she covers up her identity around Prince Kai, scared it might make him see her in a different light.
But things are going to get even more complicated when she is taken to the medical centre for testing after her step sister gets the Plague.
It's here she meets Dr. Erland who is about to blow her world upside down, with some shocking revelations!... so juicy! 🙊
I have to admit I was very dubious of Dr. Erland and his intentions towards Cinder.
But things are about to get a whole lot worse for Prince Kai and Cinder when Queen Levana rocks up.
Wow she's a nasty piece of work & I was preying that Kai didn't give into her demands and threats of war and Wed her!!
I loved Prince Kai he really warmed to Cinder and their attraction just kept smouldering. I was willing them together.
OMG though what an Ending!!
Seriously didn't see that coming.
The ending does finish on a cliffhanger so I just had to go buy the second book!
CINDER is gripping, Engrossing, thrilling, it has an element of danger, mystery, plenty of secrets and juicy twists, romance and drama
It mixes fantasy, fairytale and modern day twists seamlessly.
The characters are an eclectic bunch, some good, some bad, some evil, some cunning and some dam right dashingly handsome just as you expect from a fairytale mix.
If like me you want to try a new genre that isn't too heavy on fantasy then Cinder is the perfect book for you!
I've already started reading the next installment I just couldn't wait!
I was sceptical about this one at first, but got myself a copy thanks to the recommendations on the Writing Excuses podcasts. I'm glad I did.
A cyborg cinderella, a chinese prince, malicious magic wielders from the moon and a plague scouring the human world. A great set up for some tension.
- Twists: Marissa Meyer does a good job with red herrings. I definitely thought I knew where the plot was going to go (even without the bigger plot line, since we know it's a cinderella retelling) but she managed throw some great surprises at me that made me turn those pages even faster.
- Worldbuilding: this was some dystopian worldbuilding done well and with lots of room to go wider. I'm expecting to see more of this post WW4 world, and possibly the moon where the Lunars live.
- Romantic tension: although I'm not a fan of insta-love, and the romance did spark up a tad quickly at first, I did enjoy the tension as the story built on and their relationship becomes more and more complicated.
What I missed:
- Depth: I would have liked just a bit more depth to mainly Cinder herself. She sometimes felt a bit bland, even though I appreciated her sarcasm and snark. Saying that, I remind myself this is YA, not adult, and I'm not sure how much more depth we can expect in such a story.
Sexual content: none
Coarse language: none
Violence and gore: mild
Content warnings: child labour, worldwide pandemic
I had a fun time reading, and found myself looking forward to book two more than I would have expected. If you like clean YA retellings with some cool twists, a bit of complicated romance and lots of action and tension, put Cinder on your list.
Sixteen-year-old Cinder is considered a technological mistake by most of society and a burden by her stepmother. Being cyborg does have its benefits, though: Cinder's brain interference has given her an uncanny ability to fix things (robots, hovers, her own malfunctioning parts), making her the best mechanic in New Beijing. This reputation brings Prince Kai himself to her weekly market booth, needing her to repair a broken android before the annual ball. He jokingly calls it "a matter of national security," but Cinder suspects it's more serious than he's letting on.
Although eager to impress the prince, Cinder's intentions are derailed when her younger stepsister, and only human friend, is infected with the fatal plague that's been devastating Earth for a decade. Blaming Cinder for her daughter's illness, Cinder's stepmother volunteers her body for plague research, an "honour" that no one has survived.
But it doesn't take long for the scientists to discover something unusual about their new guinea pig. Something others would kill for.
As you can tell by the blurb, Cinder is a Cinderella re-telling only with loads of twists and turns. One of the things that I absolutely loved about this book was that instead of having two evil stepsisters, Cinder only has the one. And the other stepsister, Peony is Cinder's best friend and the love between the two of them just made me want to cry with happiness.
“I don't know. I don't actually remember anything from before the surgery."
His eyebrows rose, his blue eyes sucking in all the light of the room. "The cybernetic operation?"
"No, the sex change."
The doctor's smile faltered.
― Marissa Meyer, Cinder
I loved that Cinder was a mechanic, I loved that she was a cyborg and she took off her broken foot and put it on her market table and then Prince Kai picked it up, oh my life I was laughing so hard. I just loved every single one of the main characters: Cinder's wit and sarcasm, Iko hilarious comments and banter with Cinder, Peony's love for Cinder, Prince Kai's innocence and naivety, Queen Levana's evilness (and I'm praying that in the future books, Levana's evilness is actually evil and not just Disney evil. I want death and destruction!)
I know that this is a Cinderella re-telling and that there's going to be an evil step-mother, but oh my life, Adri (the step-mother) was just horrible! Every time she opened her mouth, something hateful and disgusting would come out and I just wanted to slap her.
I do recommend that you have the second book - Scarlett - on hand as soon as you finish Cinder because as soon as you finish the first book, you will want to start Scarlett straight away. The storyline is captivating, the characters are beautifully written and I can't wait to finish the series.
However, there is one part of the world building that doesn't make sense to me. In this world cyborgs are looked upon as less than human, but also in this world, cyborgs are the equivalent of people with missing limbs etc, with prosthetics replaced with cybernetic limbs. Obviously there is a little more to it than that, but when you boil it down this is essentially what it is. In terms of plot building this makes sense, as it puts our lead in the social position she needs to be for the plot to work. However, I'm not totally convinced, yet, that this completely makes sense on a world building level. Essentially anyone could become cyborg following an accident. But would one elect to if they knew they were going to be treated as less than human afterwards.
Also, given the target audience is most is young teens, it could send out the wrong message about disabled people in our actual society. Even with the lead being cyborg.
Let's hope future books flesh this out.