Thursday, September 13, 2012

Audiobook Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Thursday, September 13, 2012 with 4 comments
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Title:  Cinder
Author:  Marissa Meyer
Narrator:  Rebecca Soler
Series:  1st book in the Lunar Chronicles
Publisher:  Macmillan Audio
Publication Date:  January 3, 2012
Source:  purchased audiobook
Purchase:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, the 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 feared the rave reviews for this novel.  I had more than a few misgivings because even though so many people loved -- I mean, shout-it-from-the-rooftops-LOVED it -- it is still a retelling, and I don't always have the best of luck with those.  Usually, the ones that don't stray too far from the original story are a safer bet for me, so you can see why a retelling of Cinderella involving a cyborg living in Beijing might be a source of some trepidation for me.

But if it hadn't been for that damn cyborg foot, I might have completely forgotten this story was a retelling.  It was one of the best science fiction pieces I've had the pleasure of, well, listening to.  And I can't believe it took me this long to get to it.  Seriously...I let nine months pass since Cinder's release before I even seriously considered giving it a try.  I will not be making that mistake with the sequel!

Cinder made this book.  She is the title character, obviously, but had she not been the mechanically-inclined, self-deprecating, naïve, hopeful cyborg girl that she was, this book would not have been nearly as fun to read.  Cinder is strong but ultimately vulnerable, and both of those characteristics make Cinder my most favorite kind of heroine:  the one who makes sacrifices and tough decisions to protect those she cares about instead of cowering in fear and letting some boy take charge.

Though the boy in this story wasn't all bad.  Sure, Prince Kai is a little untrusting, but given his background, I think it's a little justifiable.  Of course, he's handsome, and of course, he's the object of every girls' fantasy.  But his father's empire, his legacy, is far more important to Prince Kai than his own love life.  I loved that this story didn't jump right to insta-love...Cinder and Kai are friends first, despite their social positions, and it really bodes well for the story.

The disease that plagues the citizenry of New Beijing affects everyone -- tearing families apart -- with no cure in sight.  Its effects are far-reaching, as are its implications.  Is it possible that there are lunar people already on Earth, looking to escape their tyrannical queen?  The very same queen who wants to rule Earth, or at least as much of it as she can lay claim to?  I love where this story is going, and even though the major plot twist was foreshadowed very early on in the novel, I think it was done so ingeniously and has really paved the way for a great series.

I know I say this a lot when it comes to sequels, but I really CANNOT wait for Scarlet.  I plan to get the audio again since the narration on Cinder was so awesome.  This was my first experience with Rebecca Soler as a narrator, but it surely won't be my last if she always does such a fantastic job.  I seriously have zero complaints about this story or the audio represenation of it.  But if you're still not sure if this novel is for you, I suggest you read this prequel story, courtesy of Tor.

Rating:  Photobucket


  1. I had pretty much written Cinder off as a book I didn't want to read. I'm not into SciFi and I'm iffy w/retellings. But you and Amy at Book Loving Mom have both convinced me to read Cinder. I think you both reviewed the audiobook, too. So I'm going to check out the prequel and give this a chance. Great review!

  2. Okay so it only took nine months for you to give this a chance... but glad you finally did.
    I really liked it a lot. Going to go check the prequel out....

  3. I'm so glad you ended up loving it! It was one of my favorites. I'm not into SciFi, but a fairytale retelling is an instant go for me and I am so glad I gave it a chance. Cinder is an amazing character and I can't wait for Scarlet! Great review.

  4. Oh, yes, I totally agree! Retellings are usually either hit or miss - unfortunately, in most of the cases, they're more miss than hit! And yes, I was a bit scared of all the hype surrounding this book, though I picked it up fairly early - when the hype was only just starting! Still, it was fabulous! I loved the world building and the subtle references to Sailor Moon! Oh the evil moon queen and all.. awesomeness! I was in love, I miss Cinder and prince Kai, and all the other wonderful characters (Iko!), and I wish Scarlet was about Cinder, too! T_T
    Beautiful review, you made me want to re-read the book! And you're so eloquent and thorough in describing how you felt about this book! LOVE IT!


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