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Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1)
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BotM Discussion - SCI-FI > Cinder Overall *Spoilers*

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R.A. | 21 comments A couple people have said that they'd like an overall thread for the book and series so I'm creating one now!

I chose to do sections of the book as I reread it because, for me, that was easier to handle.

But I didn't mean to make anyone feel like they were prevented from creating an overall thread.

So here it is! For Cinder and the series, carry on!


Melissa Ruhl (melissaruhl) | 14 comments Just to confirm...we're discussing the entire Lunar Chronicles series here? Not just Cinder?


message 3: by Roger, Knight Radiant (new) - rated it 1 star

Roger | 1915 comments Mod
Melissa wrote: "Just to confirm...we're discussing the entire Lunar Chronicles series here? Not just Cinder?"

Just Cinder as it is the BOTM, you can make discussion threads elsewhere for the other books if desired.


Sandy | 1497 comments I really like the individual threads - it is a nice way not to get to any spoilers but still participate in the discussion. Way to go! I would be up for a buddy read on the next in the series? Anyone else?


message 5: by Lel (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lel (lelspear) | 1528 comments I find it much easier to comment on the whole book, I try and stay away from the threads until I have finished cause I don't want to be biased by anyone else's views until i'm done and have made up my own mind on the book.

I found this an easy read and a little captivating to see where the story ties in with the classic Cinderella but I think that let the book down a little. I feel that the the story could have been much more involved in places if it wasnt trying so hard to pick up all the important bits from the fairy tale.

I liked Cinders character but felt that she could have been so much more. I mean the access that she had to lie detectors and internet just seemed to pop up when it was convenient to the story. I cant help but think if the book wasn't trying to be such of a twist on a classic she would have made so much more of herself and stood up to her family more no mater what the law states. She had all the edge and advantage after all.

The prince again I felt was a little easily led. He couldn't seem to decide too much on his own without input from his adviser or Cinder. This def. kept the story within the right lines of Cinderella but , to me, it made him seem simple and weak. No wonder the Queen kept challenging him.

I'm not sure that I will read the rest of the series but would be interested in reading a brief synopsis of what happens.


message 6: by Audrey, Queen of the Potato People (new) - rated it 3 stars

Audrey (niceyackerman) | 2403 comments Mod
I knew from the book's opening that Cinder was Celine because the author spent so much time explaining this lost princess that was otherwise irrelevant to the story.

I liked the series in general but felt the pacing was kind of slow. This was partly from trying to tie in to the fairy tales, I think, and I also listened to the audiobooks, which is slower than skimming through them. There's also a lot of YA-style romance -- there are FOUR couples by the end. I think that slowed down the main plot, too.


Shawnie | 1416 comments Audrey wrote: "I knew from the book's opening that Cinder was Celine because the author spent so much time explaining this lost princess that was otherwise irrelevant to the story.

I liked the series in general ..."


Yes, Audrey, I agree completely! I thought that the amount of characters, let along the couples, slowed down the pacing.


Efrat | 87 comments I havent raed the serie, but this book had nice pace, alot of action and easy-to simpathy charechters. As a sciece-fiction book, it do a good job to establish a future cultur, with it new world order. I dont undertand how the moon had become such a powerfull nation, maybe becouse of all the wars?
I'll defenetly read the next book!


Melikka Hmm… I can’t really tune in to all the positive reviews.

For me the book was lacking on so many levels. But maybe that’s because I am not really happy when reading YA stuff.

I think if you are looking for a fluffy, quick and easy read, this book is ok.

But other than that… I found the world building lazy and lacking. What type of future is this supposed to be? How did it come to be? Please give me more than two sentences of explanation.

The characters were more stereotypes. No real characterization is given. Even Cinders is pale and I hardly remember any character trade of hers expect her being a good mechanic. Other than her being the “chosen” one. Naturally. The evil queen is evil, because she’s evil. And so on…

And you can easily do a drinking game, because… let’s be honest… most of it was way too predictable: “I bet the nice little sister will become sick” *raises glass*

In the end I gave the book two Stars (One star is after all reserved for that one and only book I hate… *coughs*) and I mean… I know that this book was clearly not aimed towards me.

But to be fair: It was a fast read for one free weekend or such. Just, for me, nothing to dive into and get lost in. :)


message 10: by Roger, Knight Radiant (new) - rated it 1 star

Roger | 1915 comments Mod
I read this book quite a while ago and have zero interest in doing a re-read, it's your typical YA book trying to cash in on the Twilight fandom. I pretty much agree with everything Melikka said. The only thing I liked was how it was done in a style similar to Cinderella., but that was about it.


message 11: by Paul, A wanderer in unknown realms (new)

Paul | 3460 comments Mod
Have to say it didn't appeal to me at all. Not one I'd happily read so decided to avoid all together after seeing the general reaction


message 12: by Rinn, Captain of the SSV Normandy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rinn (rinnsohma) | 3445 comments Mod
It confuses me sometimes how books get voted in, yet the only people who seem to read and discuss are the ones who didn't like it! Where are all the voters? :P


message 13: by Audrey, Queen of the Potato People (new) - rated it 3 stars

Audrey (niceyackerman) | 2403 comments Mod
It's definitely aimed at teen girls. I liked it enough (barely) to stick with it, and the writing improves a bit over time.


Kimberley de Jong (thebooksmademedoit) I read this book quite a while ago, but I remember not overly loving it and not hating it either. I personally really love fairy tale retellings, and I thought Cinder gave an interesting and fun twist on Cinderella. I remember the plot being fairly predictable, but it was an easy and light read, and I know that I really need that every now and then.

What I read alot is that it's a typical fluffy YA. Let's not forget that a lot of YA is not like this, though, but I agree that this one is mainly aimed at teen girls.

I read a short story that is part of the Lunar Chronicles series once, Fairest, and I liked it more than Cinder. It's a lot less fluffy, it's actually really.. well, messed up at times. It goes into the history of the 'Evil Queen', maybe interesting to some of you :)


Melissa Ruhl (melissaruhl) | 14 comments I loved the book and went on to read the series. I was looking for an engaging read for a long-ish flight and Cinder fully satisfied that need. I bought Scarlet for the flight home and read Cress and Winter over the following weekend and week.

I have no guilt about light reads, what some people disparage as guilt reads. The author of one of my favorite books on writing, The Glamour of Grammar, has the philosophy that all forms of writing -- from Shakespeare to porn shorts -- have value, style, and grammar. I take that view to my reading. I want to consume it all! If it interests/captures me, wonderful! If it doesn't, meh, I set it down. No guilt, only the constant forward flow.

Here are some of the reasons I liked Cinder:

- Cinder was fun and she wasn't overly feminine. I love the idea of giving her a passion, a profession. And I love how she didn't fall head over heels for Kai. In fact, she couldn't reject him enough! Ha!

- All the other characters were fun, too. Iko was great, and continuously hilarious. Kai was a typical teenage boy who had potential, but was way in over his head and not able to fulfill the responsibilities he'd been given. Peony was sweet, and I cried when she died.

- I loved the world. I thought it was incredibly dynamic, especially for a YA. Compare this world to Divergent or Uglies or so many of these cardboard YA books where there is a single thing that defines everything about the world. Or even The Hunger Games. This world had many different themes, and the majority of the people didn't give a shit about the main characters, except insofar as they worked to cure/stop the spread of the plague, kept mind-controlling Lunars away, and generally didn't screw things up. That's nice. That's a well-functioning world, in my opinion.

- A lot of YA is condescending. It must end with a moral -- a clear and full resolution and lesson. This book/series is a bit messier. Which I think is good. That said, there's not much to discuss. It doesn't really challenge many adult notions of the world. But whatever. Not every book has to. Sometimes, it's kinda nice reading a book with a gentle reminder that discrimination is toxic, public health and democracy matter, and people are generally good.

So, I liked it. I liked it a lot. The series happily filled a couple weeks of my life. It's not one of The Greats. I probably won't read it again. But it was a wonderful experience. If it ever gets turned into a movie, I'll go see it. If a friend/colleague/family member wants to read it, I'll enthusiastically encourage them and book a long lunch to share reactions.


Sandy | 1497 comments I very much enjoyed the book and will go on in the series. Seemed that this book mixed a whole bunch of fairy tales together and I kept thinking - oh that is this tale and Cinder is pretty obvious which tale it is.

Really enjoyed the world too - futuristic yet you could relate to it too.

I will read on in the series! 5 stars


Carolyn  (ckarasch) Love Cinder, well really the Lunar Chronicles. Cinder was a fun/OK book to me. However the series as a whole is fantastic.

Things I like about Cinder, she does not play the damsel in distress. She sees a problem, she works on it. We don't get to see her suffer through her insecurities. She knows who she is and she is OK with that - well maybe she didn't want to be a cyborg.

Iko is amazing and Kai is just Kai. Like I said, as a stand alone book it's just OK, but as a series is amazing!


Jessica | 416 comments Finally got my copy of Cinder, just in the nick of time for September! Hope to get it read in the next couple of days!


Melissa Ruhl (melissaruhl) | 14 comments Carolyn wrote: "Love Cinder, well really the Lunar Chronicles. Cinder was a fun/OK book to me. However the series as a whole is fantastic."

Agreed! The ending to Cinder irritated me, but the series as a whole was great.


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Kirsten (ringwraith10) | 60 comments Without reading the potential spoilers, I just want to pop in and say that I only just now noticed that this was the book of the month, and I want to try to read it before the month finishes! I actually bought it very recently and have been meaning to read it soon, anyway.


message 21: by Ed (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ed Erwin | 110 comments I enjoyed Cinder, but didn't love it. I was disappointed that it ended with a cliffhanger. I knew it was part of a series, but I had expected each book to be a stand-alone story set in the same world. Not sure where I got that idea from, but I was disappointed anyway.

Though this is the SF pick for this month, it felt to me more like fantasy, despite the presence of hovercars and rockets, it just _felt_ like a fantasy book. Probably from the influence of the fairy tale, plus the moon people's magic. (The doctor character says it isn't really magic, but it still looks like it.)

So, of the two YA fantasy picks for this month, I enjoyed Sabriel much more. It felt richer and more complicated. It was a self-contained story, yet I immediately jumped into the next book so I could stay in that world. Cinder ends with a cliffhanger, and yet I don't care enough to go on to the next book.

Apart from Cinder herself, and maybe the doctor, every character is as flat as a sheet of paper. There is nothing wrong with the fact that the book is not complicated. Not every book needs to be. It was fun and easy to read.

The discrimination against the mechanically enhanced people made no sense. People always have found reasons to discriminate, but.... They were treated as essentially no longer human. How much modification do you have to have before that happens? If you get a prosthetic leg are you suddenly non-human? What about a hearing aid?

The doctor character made some, er, interesting, moral choices. He acted really evil in some parts, and yet Cinder trusts him later.

Anyway, it was fun and I could recommend it to younger readers.


message 22: by Audrey, Queen of the Potato People (new) - rated it 3 stars

Audrey (niceyackerman) | 2403 comments Mod
Good points. I still don't buy the "science" of the lunar gifts. That's over in the fantasy realm.

I was reading Menagerie this month, and there's a lot of discrimination against human hybrids (like centaurs and sirens and shapeshifters), but the story included the background of why it exists. It reminded me how Cinder didn't do that.


Sandy | 1497 comments Hope wrote: "Audrey wrote: "Good points. I still don't buy the "science" of the lunar gifts. That's over in the fantasy realm.

I was reading Menagerie this month, and there's a lot of discrimin..."


Ah Star Wars meets Cinderella - interesting concept...


message 24: by Audrey, Queen of the Potato People (new) - rated it 3 stars

Audrey (niceyackerman) | 2403 comments Mod
I guess Star Wars made me believe it better.


message 25: by Ed (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ed Erwin | 110 comments "The force" does feel like a magical thing. But Star Wars overall feels like SciFi, whereas Cinder feels, overall, like Fantasy to me.

I don't like making rigid boundaries for genres, and the works I like the best frequently mix together ideas from different genres. So I'm not trying to debate what is real SF or real Fantasy. I guess I was just pointing out that the two books-of-the-month this month seemed similar in that both were YA and fantasy(ish).


message 26: by Audrey, Queen of the Potato People (new) - rated it 3 stars

Audrey (niceyackerman) | 2403 comments Mod
That's kind of what I was thinking -- the fairy tale background makes you predisposed to a fantasy expectation.


message 27: by Greg (new) - rated it 3 stars

Greg | 998 comments Audrey wrote: "It's definitely aimed at teen girls. I liked it enough (barely) to stick with it, and the writing improves a bit over time."

I do completely agree with this Audrey. It was an ok book - not great, not terrible - but it definitely had a certain audience in mind. It was only grating with the love/angst/hair falling in his eyes way in a few places; so not bad that way, but the overall focus was clearly on the relationship between Cinder and Kai.

The writing in the beginning was a bit marginal, but it did actually get a bit better. The fast pacing and active, vivid descriptions in chapter 36 in particular struck me as fairly well done.

As far as the story/world building, I don't mind shallow books or light books, but I do think this one was pretty darn paper thin. As Ed says, it wasn't at all clear where this vast cyborg prejudice stems from. None of the social concepts are well developed at all .. I'd mentioned in one of the earlier chapter threads that many other works of sci-fi deal with fears of robots/AI in a much more complex and satisfying way. This book obviously has different goals, but still, the world building is so thin that it's barely coherent. Iko the robot seems to have a crush on Kai .. that's AI, right? She wouldn't be programmed to do that, I don't think .. but in a world of prevalent AI, why would a completely normal human with an artificial arm or leg be feared or hated? It's not impossible, but a little background or explanation would be nice.

Also, like Melikka says, the characterizations are pretty thin. Partly that's due to the fairy tale .. the stepmother is going to be a monster, isn't she? But even the main characters are pretty thin. Kai for instance: a real crown prince would probably either be a pampered brat or he'd be a much more together/collected person than he is. If he didn't care about his position, he'd be spoiled by privilege. If he did care, he'd be a bit more politically astute. By contrast Kai seems just a regular well-adjusted adorable guy with no hangups, arrogance, preconceptions, or special political skills .. just a guy next door who happens to be hot and royal. Possible? Maybe but not very likely - his complete lack of political skills is a bit surprising, maybe even irritating.

All the characters are written like this - it's a pure fantasy in a romancy way. And yet, the story isn't boring. I was somewhat entertained by it, though I was by no means thrilled or blown away. I'm not the target audience, but for what it is, it's not a bad specimen. Not a stellar one either.

I'd give the book about 2.5 stars, rounded up to 3.


message 28: by Audrey, Queen of the Potato People (new) - rated it 3 stars

Audrey (niceyackerman) | 2403 comments Mod
Good points there.


Carolyn  (ckarasch) @Greg - I think Cinder is the weakest book in the series. I almost didn't care to pick up Scarlett after it, and I think Cress was my favorite. It is hard for me, just to look at Cinder, when the rest of the world is so nicely done. Also, Fairest - which is Levana's story, is pretty awesome and dark.


message 30: by Greg (new) - rated it 3 stars

Greg | 998 comments Carolyn wrote: "@Greg - I think Cinder is the weakest book in the series. I almost didn't care to pick up Scarlett after it, and I think Cress was my favorite. It is hard for me, just to look at Cinder, when the r..."

Thanks Carolyn, good to know! I may continue with the next book at some point. I am kind of curious to see what happens.


Jessica | 416 comments Rinn wrote: "It confuses me sometimes how books get voted in, yet the only people who seem to read and discuss are the ones who didn't like it! Where are all the voters? :P"

I was just thinking the exact thing, Rinn!


Jessica | 416 comments Overall, I found the story/re-write to be clever and I enjoyed the book (despite the slight overload of angst and swoon), but with one little glitch that just kind of got to me. I don’t understand the animosity and revulsion towards cyborgs, and wish she would have delved into it more. I am not buying that we would so drastically go from celebrating human ingenuity and progress regarding artificial limbs and organs to deeming the recipients cyborgs and inhuman. More background is necessary here. Not sure if I will go on with the series, but it seems like people enjoyed the other books.


LittleBookDruid | 89 comments In the first book, I had quite a few issues. First of all, Kai's character was too passive. And the tie-in of Cinderella seemed to bog down the impact of the real story in quite a few times. Especially the climatic scene, the whole ballroom drama felt too over-the-top.
But I started liking it more as the story progressed. The third part, Scarlet, is definitely one of my favorites.
And the other characters were more colorful and interesting to read.
Only Kai seems passive. Overall, I like this series very much. Especially the world-building.


message 34: by Ed (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ed Erwin | 110 comments Rinn wrote: "It confuses me sometimes how books get voted in, yet the only people who seem to read and discuss are the ones who didn't like it! Where are all the voters? :P"

I vote on books based on what I want to read, not what I already know I like. So, for October, while I did not vote on The Fireman, I almost did so; it was my second choice. And yet, I'm disappointed and probably won't finish it.

Anyway, most of the reviews here for Cinder seem to be "Liked it, but with reservations."


message 35: by Audrey, Queen of the Potato People (new) - rated it 3 stars

Audrey (niceyackerman) | 2403 comments Mod
Also, the books win by a plurality, not a majority.


message 36: by Greg (new) - rated it 3 stars

Greg | 998 comments Ed wrote: "I vote on books based on what I want to read, not what I already know I like...."

Me too Ed - I always prefer to vote for things I haven't read yet; so I never know for sure what I'll think.

And good point Audrey!


message 37: by Roger, Knight Radiant (last edited Oct 14, 2016 06:05PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Roger | 1915 comments Mod
I'd say most of the reviewers that liked it like this kind of book, YA with a whole bunch of teenage romance, personally I thought the book was garbage and not worth the paper it was printed on. I thought the premise of using fairy tales was cool, but after that not much...


Jessica | 416 comments The topic of Cinder, and how divisive it was as a book club read, just came up on the Snow Crash thread. Although I didn't care all that much for Cinder overall, I did think the re-imagined fairy tale was clever, and I decided to give Scarlet a go. I am almost half-way through, and I have to say I am enjoying it more than Cinder. I've been in a sci-fi rut for the past few weeks, and this is nice and light and easy to read. Sometimes that is all I can handle!


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