Evie's Reviews > Cinder

Cinder by Marissa Meyer
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Jan 06, 12

bookshelves: 2012-arcs, arc, debut-author, favorites, raincoast-books, science-fiction, steampunk, fairytale, mind-blowing, pure-awesomeness
Read in January, 2012 — I own a copy

*** originally posted to Bookish Blog

Cinder by Marissa Meyer is one outrageously amazing book! If you haven't read it yet, get on it. LIKE. RIGHT NOW. It's funny, touching, thought-provoking, fiercely compelling and insanely heartbreaking. Ridiculously well-written, taut, original, deeply emotional and gorgeously mesmerizing, it's the definition of a page-turner.

She was a cyborg, and she would never go to a ball.

Linh Cinder is a cyborg, which of course means some of her body parts have been replaced with mechanical ones. It also means, she's a second-class citizen and she is treated as such. She lives with her "adopted family" in New Beijing, in the Eastern Commonwealth, and has to earn her keep working as a full-service mechanic at the Beijing's weekly market. The Earth's population, ravaged by Letumosis, was driven to the brink of extinction. No one knows the cause of this worldwide pandemic that already killed thousands of people. No one knows how to cure it, either.

Imagine there was a cure, but finding it would cost you everything. It would completely ruin your life. What would you do?

Letumosis is not the only thing that Prince Kai has to worry about, though. There is also the threat of war against the Lunar (Moon) Empire hanging over the nation (no pun intended!). The evil Queen Levana has long been lusting over the blue planet. She wants Earth for herself, and she always gets everything she wants. She's powerful. She can manipulate the bioelectricity of people around her, casting a sort of glamour, making them see and feel whatever she chooses. She's despicable and ruthless, yet people can't resist her "charm". She's ugly and disgusting, yet all that others can see is a beautiful, trust-worthy, angel-like woman. And they follow her. And now she wants Prince Kai and Earth, and she's tired of waiting and negotiating.

"My only mistake was in waiting too long to be rid of you", Adri said, running the washcloth between her fingers. "Believe me, Cinder. You are a sacrifice I will never regret."

Cinder's world is flipped inside-out when her beloved little sister, Peony, falls ill and is taken away to die in isolation. Her grief-stricken step-mother blames Cinder for her daughter's sickness. She sends Cinder away, volunteering her as a test subject for plague testing. But that's just the beginning of her problems. What she's about to discover will change not only her life, but also the lives of everyone around her, possibly the whole planet.

He was the fantasy of every girl in the country. He was so far out of realm, her world, that she should have stopped thinking about him the second the door had closed. Should stop thinking about him immediately. Should never think about him again, except maybe as a client - and her prince.
And yet, the memory of his fingers against her skin refused to fade.


This book left me speechless.
When I first started reading, I was, like, "So OK, it looks like just another re-telling of the classic fairy tale with a futuristic cyborg twist". I was intrigued (I have a THING for anything clockwork), but not entirely sold yet. The first 20-30 pages is like that. The beginning of the story was great, but with Prince Kai visiting Cinder's mechanical shop, and then Cinder day-dreaming about His Hotness, it didn't have the air of uniqueness about it. Not until Peony got sick. That's exactly when - forgive my French - shit hits the fan (trust me, it's a very accurate description of how things go really bad from this moment onward). From that point in the story EVERYTHING you thought you knew about Cinderella is re-defined and re-envisioned. For the most part it still follows the simple set up of the original tale, but Meyer adds some seriously insane depth to it. She builds around it, gracefully weaving all the fascinating futuristic details and extraterrestrial elements into the plot, creating a complex, impressive, fantastically imagined world. It's mind-blowing.

Her netlink fished for information, telling her that the palace had been built after the World War IV, when the city was little more than rubble. It was designed in the fashion of the old world, with hearty dosages of both nostalgic symbolism and state-of-the-art engineering. The pagoda-style roofs were made of gold-tinged tiles and surrounded by Qilin gargoyles, but the tiles were actually galvanized steel covered with tiny solar capsules that created enough energy to sustain the entire palace, including the research wing, and the gargoyles were equipped with motion sensors, ID scanners, 36-degree cameras, and radars that could detect approaching aircrafts and hovers within a sixty-mile radius.

Marissa Meyer created a truly unforgettable world. Her writing style is amazingly descriptive and enjoyable. She has such a fabulous imagination (and is not afraid to use it!). I can easily picture New Beijing in my head. I think the setting of the story couldn't be any more perfect. On top of the fabulous world-building there's also the savvy plot line. It's a mesmerizing blend of stempunk, fairy tale AND mystery. Some plot developments are easy to predict, but mostly you're just sitting there with your jaw on your knees and eyes bulging out in surprise. And even if you could predict everything that will happen, you'd still love reading about it - it's a real crowd-pleaser in terms of its readability.

I loved the characters. To say that they had more depth than the characters from the original fairy tale would be a major understatement. For once it's not about the silly ball, dancing with the shallow Prince or running away in a carriage made of pumpkin! The characters are real, their emotions are real, they have real problems, fears, struggles. There is a ball, but it's not the kind of ball you imagine when you think of Cinderella. There's a mechanical foot instead of a glass slipper and the dress is not only wrinkled, grease-stained and not in the least magical, but there is also a profound meaning to it. The Prince is not a brain-dead, spoiled little master with personality deficiency, who fancy sumptuous balls. He's an intelligent, good-hearted young man, who finds himself caught between duty and love. He has some insanely difficult decisions to make, and choosing a bride for himself is the least of his problems. Even the wicked step-mother is not entirely rid of human feelings. As much as I disliked her, she did have a few genuinely heart-breaking moments, when you could see a whole different layer of emotions shining through. My favorite character, though, was Cinder's adorable android friend, Iko. She was ROTFL-worthy, witty, supportive, loyal and just so.. cute! Her hilarious comments made for fantastic tension breakers. I really hope to see more of Iko in the next book of the Lunar Chronicles! Oh, and let's not forget about Queen Levana! Oh lord, what a gorgeously evil character she is! The White Witch and the Snow Queen combined wouldn't stand a chance! The whole concept of the Lunar Kingdom and the long lost Princess Selene reminded me of Sailor Moon - how could it not?! There are of course some major differences, but I'm fairly confident that Naoko Takeuchi's greatly enjoyable manga series inspired this breath-taking YA debut novel in some ways. And I LOVED IT!

To sum it all up: Cinder by Marissa Meyer is one helluva book! It's only the beginning of 2012 and yet I'm 100% sure this book will make it to my TOP 10 of 2012 list. I can't wait to learn more about Queen Levana and the mysterious Lunar Kingdom, and find out what will happen to Cinder, Nainsi and Prince Kai. I strongly recommend this read to everyone!!!

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Quotes Evie Liked

Marissa Meyer
“It looks more like a rotting pumpkin.”
Marissa Meyer, Cinder

Marissa Meyer
“He was the fantasy of every girl in the country. He was so far out of realm, her world, that she should have stopped thinking about him the second the door had closed. Should stop thinking about him immediately. Should never think about him again, except maybe as a client - and her prince.
And yet, the memory of his fingers against her skin refused to fade.”
Marissa Meyer, Cinder

Marissa Meyer
“My only mistake was in waiting too long to be rid of you", Adri said, running the washcloth between her fingers. "Believe me, Cinder. You are a sacrifice I will never regret.”
Marissa Meyer, Cinder

Marissa Meyer
“Imagine there was a cure, but finding it would cost you everything. It would completely ruin your life. What would you do?”
Marissa Meyer, Cinder

Marissa Meyer
“She was a cyborg, and she would never go to a ball.”
Marissa Meyer, Cinder


Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Kimba I have this on my nook and cannot wait to crack it open..:)


Evie Do it! Do it NOW! It's devilishly good!!!


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