Review: Cinder

Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer
Release Date ~ January 3, 2012
Feiwel & Friends
ISBN13:  9780312641894
Received from: Raincoast Books for review

Goodreads Synopsis:
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 really good fairytale retelling is amazing because it takes a familiar, well-aged story and maintains those familiarities that we love but gives the reader a deeper appreciation for the story overall.

Marissa Meyer has taken Cinderella to astounding new heights, incorporating a favourite fairytale with the action and intrigue of a sciene fiction novel, but with the emotion that ties it all together. An instant new favourite on my book shelf. Take a look at my copy in 10 years and I'm sure you'll find it well-loved and the pages worn, right next to another favourite of mine: Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine.

  1. A flawless retelling of a beloved tale:
    Flawless. I can't emphasize that enough. I have never been a big fan of the Cinderella story, but for some reason there seem to be hundreds of retellings on it and I've read a large proportion of them. Ella Enchanted is an old standby for it (and a must-read for every reader) BUT Cinder is just as good. JUST AS GOOD. Cinder and Kai are just as likeable as Ella and Char, and I loved them immediately. And there isn't any fairy godmother or glass slippers in this story, but it is just as enchanting. Cinder is the same overburdened, brave and engaging girl we know but is even more admirable for her strength and determination to give all that she can to those she loves. (Also, there's a little bit of Anastasia in here too. Just a few small elements in it, but it's there!)
  2. Impeccable storytelling:Marissa masterfully lures you into her story world and creates this incredible adventure for you to become a part of- I mean literally become a part of the story, because that is exactly what it felt like. She is no stranger to writing, and her experience shines through easily. Is there a Marissa Meyer fan club? Because I'd really like to be a part of that. Somehow she takes this really intriguing, yet bizarre,  mash-up of inspiration and ideas to come up with a bold new face in the YA world. In doing so, she took a chance and completely succeeded.
  3. A whole new setting:
    I only briefly mentioned this above, but Cinder is a really great blend of ideas and I think the setting is the main way we really see evidence of this. Rather than being set in some Medieval fantasy world, Cinder takes place in the future with some distinctive science fiction, futuristic, even post-apocolyptic/dystopian elements. This really makes it stand out among other novels and sets the bar high for those to follow it.
  4. Widespread appeal:
    Not only does it's crossover with genres and the setting make it more interesting for wary readers (even male readers are going to find enough action and no overload of dull romance), with something for everyone. But even better is that it's going to appeal to such a wide variety of ages from younger readers (I'd say that as young as 11-12 year olds would enjoy this and find it appealling) to older audiences as well.
This is the kind of book that will take the book world by storm. A very strong start for YA in 2012, one that will be difficult to follow up. I'm really excited for the remaining books in the series, and dismayed that we have to wait so long (Scarlett comes out in 2013). Presumably these next books look like they will feature other characters, but I'm so attached to Cinder and Kai that I hope we get to see much more of them in future books!

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Anonymous said...

Excellent review, Brenna!
I love, love, LOVED, Cinder!
I even ran out to the store yesterday to buy myself a finished copy...I needed the pretty pretty!

A Cupcake and a Latte: Young Adult Reviews!

Emily said...

Great review! I haven't read this one yet, but I do love fairytale retellings and science fiction.

Ashley Prince said...

I just borrowed this book from B&N (I work there, I promise borrow does not mean steal in this case) and I am SO excited. :D

curlypow said...

I loved this book as well. It was a wonderful retelling with everything a fairy tale needs and then some. Ella Enchanted is another of my favs too.

ChristasBooks said...

I loved this book too! It felt so familiar and yet had all these new shiny elements which just made it so much fun to read!

Anonymous said...

Fabulous review! I absolutely loved this book! I put it down and was immediately mad that the second one isn't out because I need to know what happens next!

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