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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Audiobook Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

TITLE: Cinder 
SERIES: Lunar Chronicles, Book #1
AUTHOR: Marissa Meyer 
NARRATOR: Rebecca Soler
PUBLISHER: Macmillan Audio
PUBLICATION DATE: January 3, 2012
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook, 10 hrs and 6 mins
GENRE: Science Fiction/Dystopia, Fantasy, Young Adult
ISBN: 9781427215000
A wicked mash-up of fairy tale and Terminator—set in a Star Wars kind of world—Marissa Meyer's  Cinder is a fresh and fiercely ingenious futuristic retelling of Cinderella.

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.


I loved this modern retelling of Cinderella! It has been nominated for the ALA Teens' Top Ten Award for 2012.

I love fairy tales, and I have to admit that I was initially skeptical when I heard about a Cyborg Cinderella. I thought that the story would be too high-tech for me or just too weird. I was wrong! I loved it!!

The story takes place in the future after World War IV. Linh Cinder was originally from Europe, and she was involved in a horrific car accident at the age of 11 years which tragically killed her parents. Seriously injured, she had to undergo numerous operations and procedures and some cyborg parts were needed to replaced her human parts that were no longer working. She is approximately 35% cyborg. From outward appearances, she appears human because skin has been grafted onto some of her visible parts. Cinder has no recollection of her life before the accident, and she was told that the part of her brain that is responsible for memory suffered some injuries.

Cinder is brought to New Beijing by Linh Garan, who is a scientist who had been working on a cyborg prototype. Unfortunately, he dies and Cinder is left in the care of her step-mother, Linh Adri, who never wanted her in the first place! Her elder step-sister, Linh Pearl, is equally mean to her. The only one who is nice to her is her younger step-sister, Linh Peony.

Cinder spends her days slaving away in her booth in the market square, where she works as a mechanic fixing anything that is electrical in nature. One day, she is visited by the Emperor’s son, Prince Kai, who brings a cyborg to her to be fixed. I loved the banter between Cinder and Kai, who becomes smitten with Cinder! He asks her to be his date for the upcoming ball, but she declines his invitation because she is planning to run away from New Beijing.

A plague called letumosis has been affecting the world’s population for the past 12 years, and the Emperor has become afflicted with the disease. In an attempt to find a cure before the Emperor dies, the scientists call for cyborgs to become test subjects for plague research. So far, none of the cyborgs have survived the disease either.

Cinder’s step-sister, Linh Peony, contracts letumosis and Linh Adri “volunteers” Cinder to be used as plague research, which results in a hefty sum paid to Linh Adri in recognition of Cinder’s contribution to medical research. The secrets about Cinder that the scientists uncover will change everyone’s life.

To round out the story, Meyer has included a civilization that inhabits the moon called “lunars.” The queen of the lunars, Queen Levana, has tried to make inroads with the Emperor for years and wants to marry Prince Kai so that she can become Empress. Lunars have the ability of mind control and can alter people’s perceptions of them. She is wicked and wants to rule Planet Earth.

I can’t believe that this is Meyer’s debut novel! It was fantastic!! The flirtation between Prince Kai and Cinder was sweet but had great chemistry. I love that Cinder is a little bit sarcastic and that she doesn’t fall all over herself just because Kai is royalty. Linh Adri is delightfully wicked as Cinder’s step-mother, and Queen Levana shows promise as an evil antagonist. I loved the sci-fi futuristic element to the story, and I adored Dr. Dmitri Erland, the scientist heading up the plague research. I can hardly wait for the next in the series, Scarlet, which is slated to be released in February 2013. It sounds like Little Red Riding Hood is going to be intertwined with the Cinderella story, and I can’t wait to see how Meyer accomplishes that!

Narrator Rebecca Soler is new to me, and I enjoyed the attitude that she brought to Cinder. I felt that she brought the right amount of emotion to the characters. Her Dr. Erland voice is my favourite!


  1. I enjoyed Cinder but not quite as much as you. I'm still looking for ward to Scarlett though. The people who have read it so far seem to be loving it.

    1. Hi, Karen. I'm not surprised that Scarlet is another hit! Can't wait for it!!

  2. I so agree with you. I didn't think I'd like it as I did. Great review.

  3. I have this one of my shelf and can't wait to read it. I absolutely LOVE this cover.

    1. I do too, Brianna! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!


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