Author: Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #1
Genre: Science-Fiction/Fairy Tale Retelling
Audience: Young Adult
~ MY REVIEW ~
Cinder is a science-fiction, subtle retelling of the fairy tale, Cinderella. Though I’m generally not a huge fan of sci-fi, I'd been kind of intrigued by this book ever since it came out (from the cover, the story description, friend’s good reviews … ) I happened to get a free audiobook of it, so I decided to give it a try. May as well, you know?
And into the complex, weird science-fiction world we go. Cinder is a cyborg living with her guardian, a mean woman named Audrey, and the woman’s two daughters: Pearl and Penena. She’s also a mechanic; fixing malfunctioning androids and port-screens and hovers. Whimsical thoughts of princes and balls float temporarily through her mind. But really, who’d want her? A ragged girl with metal and wires as part of her … hardly a human. She’s unwanted. Cinder knows that.
However, a strange disease and an eerie Lunar queen from the moon are about to wreak havoc on Cinder’s mundane life … and bring to light long-buried secrets. Will this hapless servant girl rise to her true calling?
The first half of so of Cinder, I listened with some interest and some leeriness. I had such a hard time getting past the android and cyborg stuff. Like a human but not really a human? I tend to believe that God created mankind VERY special and we can’t just be duplicated by a metal contraption. But within this sci-fi world (which I equate to fantasy to some degree or another), I tolerated it, and eventually got used of the strangeness.
Audrey and Pearl were horrid! *Shudders* I could just gag when I hear their selfish, bratty, mean-spirited voices! A true replica of the original Cinderella’s nasty stepmother and stepsisters.
Penena was sweet.
And also Iko the android. Sweet … in a funny way. Many times she seemed more like a strange pet than an actual soul-bearing human. Perhaps it’s because that’s actually how it was?? I don’t know, it all confuses me.
Prince Kai! <3 He was lots of fun. I loved the romance. So Cinderella-y. Except, the end … Grrr… Kai…!
Queen Lavena and her right-hand lady were SO infuriating! So evil! What disgusting, terrible creatures. I’m so anxious to read the next book with hopes of seeing that dark queen kicked off her throne!
The doctor! I love his accent as enacted by the reader! *grins* I haven’t quite figured out if he’s really a good guy … or not so good guy … But there were some endearing moments with this old man.
Cinder, our sci-fi Cinderella, took a while to grow on me. At first I didn’t really like her. She often seemed sarcastic and whiney, but maybe that was more the audio-reader’s interpretation of Cinder’s personality than actually how the book read. I think if I would have read the book (not listened to the audiobook), I wouldn’t have gotten that impression so much. That being said, I did grow to like Cinder more! *smiles* I hope she strengthens and faces life with confidence and passion(!) instead of shame and an urge to hide herself. I have hopes to see her grow and flourish!
So just a note to follow … the audiobook still was very well done despite my reaction to Cinder’s personality. The reader really did a good job with different voices and accents … so much fun! But I would still like to read the book myself someday and see if I would interpret it slightly differently.
Cinder has some sad happenings. Some slightly frightening incidents, nothing too bad. It quite a bit of icky-ness, what with the fatal illness and some doctoring parts. I would say 15 or so and up, depending on how well you handle slightly creepy situations/gross stuff. But I hear the next book is more dark/violent.
Romance was pretty much subtle and sweet. One kiss. I believe there was a sarcastic reference or two to “sexy”.
So yeah … After getting well into this book, I started to find it very entertaining and even a bit fascinating. *grins* It was a grand sci-fi world; even though sci-fi isn’t my thing! There was a good range of characters. A nice mysterious element. I’m left intrigued … and really excited to see what happens next! Thought it didn’t have a terrible cliff-hanger, it did indeed stop right at a frightening, monumental part. I’m wondering … what is Cinder thinking and what is she going to do?? I caught a glimpse into Cress’s life (Book 3: Cress), and heard some about Princess Winter (Book 4: Winter). Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel… After reading Cinder, I’m thinking a series of sci-fi fairy tale retellings isn’t so bad after all. ^_^ I CAN’T WAIT to see how it all turns out!
So … if you’re into sci-fi, I think you might end up loving this book! It definitely draws you in. Amazing storyline. Intriguing. Romantic. Exciting. If you don’t like science-fiction that much … well, you still might like Cinder. After all, it’s a romantic, adventurous fairy tale.