Cinder: Book One of the Lunar Chronicles (The Lunar Chronicles, 1)

by Marissa Meyer

Paperback, 2020





Square Fish (2020), 448 pages


As plague ravages the overcrowded Earth, observed by a ruthless lunar people, Cinder, a gifted mechanic and cyborg, becomes involved with handsome Prince Kai and must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect the world in this futuristic take on the Cinderella story.


Soaring Eagle Book Award (Nominee — 2016)
Young Hoosier Book Award (Nominee — Middle Grade — 2015)
Sequoyah Book Award (Nominee — High School — 2015)
Utah Beehive Book Award (Nominee — Young Adult — 2014)
Kentucky Bluegrass Award (Nominee — 2014)
Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Award (Nominee — Young Adult — 2014)
Nutmeg Book Award (Nominee — Teen — 2016)
Iowa Teen Award (Nominee — 2014)
Oregon Reader's Choice Award (Nominee — 2015)
Grand Canyon Reader Award (Recommended — 2014)
Colorado Blue Spruce Award (Winner — 2015)
Truman Readers Award (Nominee — 2015)
NCSLMA Battle of the Books (Middle School — 2019)
Kids' Book Choice Awards (Finalist — 2013)
Charlotte Award (Winner — 2014)
Volunteer State Book Award (Nominee — High School — 2015)
Evergreen Teen Book Award (Nominee — 2015)
Maud Hart Lovelace Award (Nominee — 2015)
Rhode Island Teen Book Award (Nominee — 2014)
Best Fiction for Young Adults (Selection — 2013)
Children's Favorites Awards (Finalist — 2013)


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

448 p.; 8.3 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member DeltaQueen50
I have been unable to get anything done for the last couple of days as I have been lost in the pages of Cinder by Marissa Meyer. This is a futuristic re-telling of the Cinderella story, but the author has done a wonderful job with the setting and the added details she has put into the story. In
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Meyer’s version, Cinder is a cyborg whose guardian is a mean-spirited, greedy woman. Cinder is a mechanic and is sent out daily to earn the money that the household runs on. One day while working at her booth, a handsome young man comes with a broken android for Cinder to fix. It turns out this young man is the Prince and through her friendship with him, Cinder is drawn into the complicated politics of this Eastern Commonwealth and along the way discovers some of the secrets about her own past and her identity.

This is a story that is peopled by interesting and intriguing characters. Cinder is a heroine I can gladly root for. She is a strong-willed, competent, compassionate young woman who, although due to being a cyborg is considered less than human, is well able to fend for herself. With Prince Kai, Meyer has taken the clichéd character of the romantic prince and given him enough personality to allow him to stand out. From a kindly yet secretive older doctor to a wonderfully quirky android, each character has their own distinct personality. Even the Lunar Queen, Levana, is wonderfully crafted and although she is over-the-top evil, she is a great foil for both Cinder and Prince Kai.

The setting of Cinder is both fascinating and colourful. With such a wide scope for visual description, I am hoping for even more information to be provided in the next book on both the history and the cultural developments of this interesting world.

This is truly a wonderful story, and the author engages the reader immediately with her inventive original story. And although the ending seemed abrupt, it has certainly whetted my appetite for the next book.
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LibraryThing member bluesalamanders
In this futuristic, science fictional Cinderella retelling, Cinder is a cyborg, part human and part machine. When we first meet her, she is removing her mechanical foot in order to put on a new replacement part. She is a mechanic whose income supports her stepmother and stepsisters. And she meets
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the prince.

I've been in a reading slump, but then I picked Cinder up and couldn't put it down, started and finished in one day. Cinder is a vibrant character. Iko is darling. The stepsisters and stepmother are a little one-dimensional, as is the Lunar Queen, but there are other interesting characters that make up for that. The writing is lovely and I found the whole thing enthralling. Highly recommended!
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LibraryThing member jnwelch
"Cinder had to download a map of the palace's research wing to find her way to the exit. Her nerves were on edge, with the prince, with Peony, with everything. She felt like an imposter roaming the slick white halls with her head bent, avoiding eye contact with the scientists and white-plated
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androids. Even if she really was a volunteer now. A valuable one."

Cinder by Marissa Meyer is an enjoyable take-off on the Cinderella story, this time with a cyborg who doesn't have to sleep in the hearth's ashes, but is a skillful mechanic exploited by her stepmother. Stained with grease, she can fix portscreens, old cars, androids - including Prince Kai's android, which turns out to have critical information relating to the lunar Queen Levana's designs on marrying the prince and thereby becoming empress. Yes, there's a lot going on in this book! The prince is in a tough spot because of a plague-like disease that is decimating New Beijing's population, and the possibility that the domineering, scheming Lunar Queen may be the only one with the resources to fight it.

This is a fast, fun read. Some elements are predictable, but they don't detract from the enjoyment of this otherwise imaginative tale. It is the first book in what I believe is a projected trilogy. I'm looking forward to the next one.
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LibraryThing member dasuzuki
I have to admit the idea of cyborgs and androids appealed to the geeky side of me and then you throw in the Cinderella aspect and this book immediately made it's way onto my must read list. It certainly was a fun read but nothing that totally blew me away. I enjoyed Cinder's character although
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sometimes her denseness would really get on my nerves. I mean what part of "do not let the Queen see you or she will kill you" was hard to understand? And yet she still goes basically to swoon over Prince Kai (yes she had his android but she could have sent it back another way). Speaking on Prince Kai's android that was another piece of the story that bugged me. You would think if the prince you are crushing on brings you his android begging to have it fixed as soon as possible you would put that on top of your priority list. Instead, Cinder often seems to forget about it and instead goes working on her car or doing other things.

Her step-mother's character was way over played. Everyone knows she is the evil step-mother but it would have been nice to see something else added to her character or personality that made her rise above the fairy tale character she is supposed to portray. At one point there is a hint that maybe she regrets what she does to Cinder which actually would have made a nice counterpoint to her personality but then it's pushed aside again by her being outrageously "evil step-motherly". The one character I was surprised how much I enjoyed was Dr. Erland. When we first meet him he seemed like he was going to be one of the bad guys as he's crochetchy and dislikes one of his assistants because she's too tall but then we get a hint that maybe he's not so bad as he spares a cyborg who is a father of a young son with what seems like a flimsy excuse. This threw me for a loop because it didn't seem to fit with the fact that he did seem to target teenage girl cyborgs for his plague research. His absent minded professor-like demeanor grew on me and though you could see the revelation of who he is coming a mile away I still loved watching and listening to him as he deals with Cinder.

I suppose I can't get away without mentioning Prince Kai but really i just feel ho hum about him. Is he hot? Check. Is he rich? Check. Sweetest guy in the world? Check. So all the makings of a swoon-worthy hero but he was just missing that charisma that draws me in for most of the book. I did start to enjoy him more in the later half as we see he and Cinder interacting more and joking around but not enough to really make me want to go all gaga over him.

In the end, was this a fun book to read? Definitely! Can you see all the plot turns coming a mile away? Sure. Would I recommend this book? Yup. It may not top my list of favorites but I did enjoy reading it and am hoping for more in the next book.
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LibraryThing member renbedell
A refreshing SciFi take on the Cinderella story. The story line is interesting, not too much different then the fairy tale, but does update it and makes it flow really well. I really like how strong Cinder is and how she does not rely on the Prince, like typical fairy tale stories. Some of her
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decisions don't really make any sense, but it's a new world, different shoes, so who knows. The main problem with the book is that Marissa Meyer tells you what is going to happen before it happens and before the characters know it is going to happen. So you are reading about a character being in suspense, but you already know the outcome. So while there are suspenseful moments for the characters, there is absolutely zero suspense for the reader. On a more minor note, the villain is pretty cookie cutter. Maybe the villain's motives will be explained in later books, but in this book pretty much just Cinder and the Prince are not one dimensional.

I listened to it via audiobook. The narrator, Rebecca Soler, did a great job of bringing the character's to life and capturing their emotion.
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LibraryThing member jennrenae
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Published by Feiwel and Friends
On Shelves Now
Reviewed by: Middle Sis Jenn
The Sisters Say: Charming (as in Prince….hehehe), Captivating, and Cool

So, I finally broke down and read Cinder because I have an ARC of Scarlet, and I needed to know what all the hoopla was about. I
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really enjoyed it; however, it had been put on such a high pedestal that I don’t think it could have ever lived up to the hype for me. I was expecting it to just blow me away, and I ended up just getting another good YA book. (Now, Scarlet, on the other hand, did blow me away!)

I am kind of new to fairy-tale retellings, only having read a few, so I really enjoyed that part of this story. I loved how Marissa had taken the classic characters and morphed them into something new and different, yet echoing the sentiments of the originals. I especially loved what she did with Cinder, making her a cyborg in a world where cyborgs are looked upon as little better than scrap metal. She was a pariah, yet she didn’t let that hold her down. Cinder knew exactly what she wanted, and even in the face of adversity, loss, and unimaginable revelations, she kept her focus and her strength. I found myself cheering for Cinder to succeed and win the guy. Cinder herself was by far the best part of this book—so unique, and I really loved her personality as it shined through the pages.

Now, I’m not sure I understand the fandom behind Kai. I remember during our Crush Tourney this past summer that so many people loved him, but I just don’t see it. Yes, he’s this Prince Charming guy, but other than that, there wasn’t anything striking about him. He just seemed to be this normal guy in a not so normal situation and place in society. He seemed weak with the Lunars (although most people are I will admit), and I just wanted him to be more…confident and charismatic. I’m hoping that in the future books he will grow into his position more, and stop worrying about what the world thinks/wants.

I really enjoyed the world that Marissa created—futuristic in some ways, but in other ways, the same as ours. Earth is being ravished by a deadly plague, and as a result, fear and panic are overwhelming. I could feel the tension and the uncertainty in Marissa’s words, and her world seemed to come alive around me. I loved the androids and technology that Marissa described, and I look forward to seeing more of it in the future.

I wish that it would have been a little less predictable. But maybe Marissa wanted us to be able to predict what was going to happen, I don’t know. However, I like when I am surprised by the ending or a revelation in the book, and unfortunately, I did not get a surprise in this one. I saw everything coming, and that was without knowing anything about the book in the first place. Here’s to hoping that the next books will leave more in the shadows.

Overall, this was a great and fun read. Is it one that I will rush over to my friends and demand they read at once? Not normally, but having read Scarlet and knowing what is coming, I just might do it anyway.
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LibraryThing member gilroy
I kept seeing this on a list of books one should read. It offered an Interesting opening, but felt like a squished together concept of three different storylines. There's the obvious - the retelling of Cinderella. Then there's the Lunies or Lunar Colony people and their affect on humanity and the
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pandemic plague that's taking everyone to quarantine. You don't realize how linked these stories are until you get deep into the book.

The whole wicked step mother, the handsome prince everyone drools over except the Main Character, all there. Once the author started releasing the details, things became too obvious. The ending is very anticlimactic. Like there should be more but isn't. (Then I read into the descriptions of the rest of the series and just sigh) It feels like the storyline isn't complete, which it isn't.

Not sure I want to continue the series. It will be pondered.
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LibraryThing member LisaRector
This story had me hoping for a fairy tale happy ending.

Cyborgs, androids, incurable plague, adorable prince, rusty heroine. Not your usual Cinderella story.

BUT, I loved it! Such a unique world, unique take on this classic fairy tale. Cinder has a cyborg foot instead of a class slipper. Amazing.
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The writing style is excellent--engaging. No stupid back-flashes or back story. The author blends all the elements of this future world seamlessly.

I only wished there was some resolution between her and the prince. To be continued is so T.V. You shouldn't have to feel obligated to buy the next book because the story is unfinished, you should have to feel obligated to buy the next book because you loved it. Which lucky for Ms. Meyer, I did. This book was great up until the end. It left you with no closure. You absolutely have to read the next book. I hate that.

Excellent read. Clean. Adorable. So Cinderella-esque.
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LibraryThing member JadeI.B2
Cinder is a book about a girl who is a cyborg mechanic. It takes place in the New Beijing after Wold war 4.Along the way she meets Prince Kia, a soon to be emperor . Cinder is called to be a test subject in the research to stop a plague that is going around. It is there that she finds out she is a
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Lunar Princess.

I gave this book 4 stars because it was a very interesting book. I liked how it took place in a futuristic setting. By the setting alone you could tell the author really thought it out. All in all it was a great book.
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LibraryThing member bookczuk
Clever retelling and new slant on Cinderella, giving her a bit more spunk and spine, and not just the metal kind.
LibraryThing member stephxsu
In the future city of New Beijing, Cinder works as a talented young mechanic, but her status as a cyborg and ward of her stepmother means that she is trapped. When a mysterious and deadly plague touches her family, Cinder is thrown into the paths of members of the royal palace, including the
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handsome and caring Prince Kai. There may be something about Cinder that will be the key to finding a cure for the plague, but will Cinder ever be regarded by anyone as more than simply a cyborg?

A futuristic cyborg retelling of Cinderella sounds outrageous, but Marissa Meyer really takes the timeless tale and makes it her own with CINDER, first of a four-book series. Imaginative and action-packed, with likable characters, CINDER will appeal to readers looking for a dose of creative adventure.

Where do I start in gushing about how enjoyable CINDER was? Cinder the protagonist was a lovely protagonist. She is smart, resourceful, and brave. Cinder belongs in that small group of YA heroines who do not possess any extraordinary survival tactics and yet are fighters: she deals with her troubles in a way that many of us can imagine ourselves doing if we are ever in her position.

My next point is contentious, as many great reviewers have considered this part underdeveloped, but I felt that CINDER did a great job of creating a unique future world. No, it’s not quite a dystopian, and it’s not “hard” sci-fi: if it were either of those, the world’s connections to our present-day world would need to be more convincing. However, I was able to enjoy CINDER’s setting of New Beijing as almost a fantasy world, set on a planet with a similar layout to ours, with new technology but similar problems of politics and society. Story and setting complemented each other well: the plot never dragged in order to appease world-building, and the world-building was enough such that the story was supported well.

Overall, CINDER may not win any literary awards in the near future, but it is an utterly enjoyable retelling of a classic in a futuristic fantasy world, with recognizable elements from the old tale but enough new things to keep things fresh. I was surprised at the abruptness of the ending, until I learned that the Lunar Chronicles is a four-part exploration all about Cinder and her adventures, not separate stories each. Oh. Okay. There will be resolutions in the future, then! You can bet I’ll be tuning back in to the next books in this fun series.
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LibraryThing member lillybear
I'd like to start this off with a profession of adoration for the cover art. It's completely perfect! It's dainty and feminine with a twist of futuristic, kick-ass cyborg. What more could you ask for in a cover? The font works really well, too. It's very fairytale-esque and still almost mechanical
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at the same time. I also happen to be an obscenely huge fan of fairytale retellings (although Beauty and the Beast variations are my favorite), so you can see why I'm fangirling over this book. Plus, I'm a shoe girl, and Cinder is working those heels!

For me, Cinder was a huge improvement on the classic Cinderella tale (or at least the Disney-fied version that we're all familiar with). This girl doesn't wait around wishing that things would get better or waiting for a fairy godmother to rescue her. She tries to rescue herself (and a whole lot of other people while she's at it), which makes for a much better story, don't you think? I like my heroines strong and feisty, thank you very much. Not only is she self-sufficient, she's also an amazingly proficient mechanic, which kind of makes sense, her being part machine and all that.

One thing I really liked in Cinder was the romance between the protagonist and her love interest, Prince Kai. I thought it was slightly understated and more mature than a lot of the relationships I've been reading in YA lately, and by that I mean that is was blissfully void of the pining and woe-is-me inner character monologues that usually make me cringe. I mean, sure, Cinder imagines about how great it would be to get with that hot and wealthy prince who keeps asking her out (I mean, who wouldn't?), but she's very matter-of-fact about it. When the reader sees things from Kai's view, there is no strange, all-consuming, supernatural longing for a girl he's known all of two minutes. He likes her, but he's not obsessed with her. He asks her out, he doesn't stalk her from outside the tree by her window while she sleeps. The other men of YA should take notes (cough, Edward Cullen, cough). It is to be noted, too, that I have just finished reading The Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon which features a creepy/stalkery insta-love, so I might just be super sensitive to this issue.

I really enjoyed the mythology (for lack of a better word) that Meyer has created in this series, too. A futuristic Earth that is ravaged by a vicious pandemic brought on by contact with the Lunar alien race. Oh, did I not mention that there are aliens in this book? Because there are. Cyborgs, aliens, plagues, princes. What more do you want? This book has something for everyone. Meyer has also introduced an interesting and relevant social aspect in the way that cyborgs are treated by society as if they were lesser people or property. Cinder's stepmother can literally control every single aspect of her life, including whether she lives or dies, simply because she is part machine. I can't wait to see how Cinder challenges and changes these ideals in future books.

Now for the things that weren't so great: there were a few parts in the book where I just automatically knew where the author was heading with certain plot points. Without giving anything away, there's a pretty big revelation at the end of the book that any reader with average observational abilities could see coming from a mile away. One thing retellings generally do have working against them, though, is the same thing that makes them kind of great: they are stories people are familiar with. It's hard to surprise people with a story they've heard before. The details are different, but the core is a Cinderella story through and through.


A wonderfully updated fairytale for anyone that likes their heroines with strength, spunk, and part mechanical body composition. It was a very easy, fun read that you can easily finish in one sitting. I want just to shout it from the rooftops: READ IT. READ IT NOW.
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LibraryThing member lifeafterjane
I have some very mixed feelings about this book. While not all of them are positive feelings, when you tally them all up there’s still more awesome contained in this book than not.

The very first thing I have to mention is the first thing you notice about the book- the cover. And how could you
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not? It’s freakin’ fabulous and I can’t remember the last time I LOVED a cover this much.

Cinder is a very fanciful and highly imaginative spin on the classic Cinderella tale with some wildly fantastical and unique twists. For starters, this Cinderella isn’t all there- physically. Cinder is a cyborg, a creature that was essentially human at one time but whose various body bits have been replaced with mechanical parts. Thanks to the miracles of modern science and better living through chemistry, Cinder was able to survive a horrible accident that left her human body nearly unsalvageable. She was adopted by a kindly gentleman and taken to live with him and his family, a step mother and two step sisters who were less than thrilled to have a machine in the family. After the untimely death of her adopted father, Cinder was forced to accept the only role her step-family was willing to allow her, that of a servant, a machine and the legal property of her 100% human family. But in the market where Cinder works as a mechanic, not everyone is aware that she isn’t entirely human. When the Prince Kai, heir to the empire stops by her shop for some impromptu android repair, Cinder quickly finds herself thrown into the midst of a palace scandal that could destroy the entire nation. Kai has no idea that his new confidant isn’t all that she appears to be and in fact, she’s so very much more than even Cinder herself knows.

All those positives I mentioned early? The majority of them go to Meyer’s writing, her powerful story line and excellently founded world. Meyer’s city has a tremendous amount of suction and I found myself imagining far beyond the written world, down side streets and behind palace doors, because I simply wasn’t able to pull free. I can’t fault her story telling.

The few negatives that reared their ugly heads, popped up in various places throughout the story. Without going into what could potentially be seen as spoilers, there were quite a few elements that bordered on absurd. The foot, the car, the “superpower” that was dormant for nearly two decades (really?) and the chiropractic move that brings it out. There was enough actually story line that those little avenues could have gone unexplored and nothing would be missing. But these were personal pet peeves and maybe someone else will see the beauty in them.

At the end of it all, it’s still freakin’ Sci-Fi Cinderella with Cyborgs and you just about can’t top that sh*t. Solid stuff this. It not only FULLY warrants a sequel but I also have NO doubt that Meyer can pull off an entire series.
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LibraryThing member BeckyJG
When Linh Cinder first meets Prince Charming, I mean the prince (who is indeed charming), she is covered with the grease of her trade. They are equally suprised to meet. Cinder is barely able to believe the prince and heir to the imperial throne is in her tiny stall in the crowded marketplace; when
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she recovers from her shock and remembers what etiquette and protocol dictate, she finds herself unable to rise, as she has removed her too-small prosthetic foot in anticipation of the slightly-used but better-fitting foot her android assistant is bringing her. Cinder is sixteen and a cyborg, but that's not what surprises the prince (since he doesn't actually know about her extensive non-human parts, both internal and external). No, what surprises Prince Kaito is that the mechanic who has been recommended to him as the best in the imperial city of New Beijing is a girl.

She's a girl, we soon learn, who lives with a foster mother who resents her and makes Cinder work as a mechanic, turn all her earnings over, and won't even let her buy new parts as her body grows. She's a girl with two foster sisters, Peony and Pearl, who are eagerly preparing for New Beijing's annual ball. She's also kind of a bad-ass, who thinks for herself and plots an escape from her intolerable situation, since no fairy godmother or charming prince is going to do it for her.

Marissa Meyer's futuristic fairy tale is set far enough in the future for it to be 126 years after the end of World War IV. The Earthen people have realigned themselves into just six large countries or republics, and there has been a colony on the moon long enough for the Lunars to have evolved into a people possessing mind-bending magical powers. A simmering resentment exists between the people of Earth and those of the Moon, and war is imminent.

This is not your mother's Cinderella.

Cinder, the first in a projected tetralogy called "The Lunar Chronicles" is a fairy tale for the Hunger Games set. Our heroine is no passive Bella, eager to be consumed by her wan lover's world. No, she's a fighter, a scrappy computerized Katniss, a doer who will not be anybody's victim and who will fight for what's right. Marissa Meyer's Cinder is richly realized, using contrast--the lushness of the imperial palace and its gleaming, sterile scientific wing versus the dust and grease and mud of the marketplace where Cinder works, the glittering gowns of the wannabe princesses at the ball versus Cinder's dirty, tattered hand-me-downs--to great effect. Some of the characters are subtly drawn and deeply conceived: Cinder, Iko the android, Dr. Erland, and some are deliciously caricaturish: Adri, the evil stepmother, Queen Levana of the Moon and her minions. The action ramps up steadily throughout the novel, and by its end, after secrets have been exposed and hidden powers revealed, the excitement has built up to a nearly intolerable level, leaving this reader, at least, eagerly awaiting Scarlet, the next installment.
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LibraryThing member Kaydence
Cinder: The Lunar Chronicles Series #1

By Marissa Meyer

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780312641894
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication date: 1/3/2012
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 720
Age range: 12 – 17 Years
Lexile: 790L (what’s this?)
Series: Lunar Chronicles Series, #1
Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x
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8.30 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Summary: A play on the Cinderella story, Cinder is a cyborg in New Beijing. Cyborgs are basically second class citizens, so her adopted mother treats her like dirt. The great thing about Cinder is that she is an expert mechanic, so she has some freedom to run her own booth at the market. While she is working, the prince, Kai, drops in to have her fix his android. It is apparently a matter of national security. Shortly after the prince leaves, there is a plague sighting in the market which closes everything down. Once Cinder gets home, she walks in to find her two stepsisters getting brand new dresses for the ball. The slight shift from the Cinderella story is that one of her stepsisters is actually a sweetheart. After the fitting, Cinder and her stepsister go to the junkyard to find spare parts. While there, Cinder’s sweet sister breaks out in spots, showing that she has the plague. This is one of the turning points of the story. After this, Cinder’s life is sold into plague research and she finds out all sorts of new things about herself. It still has aspects of the Cinderella story, but strays more to make Cinder an intriguing character that you can’t wait to find out about. Her relationship with Kai blooms with short, interspersed run-ins, and the villain presents herself. The villain is Queen Levana of Luna. She wants to marry Kai to become empress, and will do just about anything to have those wishes come true. If needing to know what happens between Levana, Kai, and Cinder doesn’t make you interested in reading, then you need to know that there is a killer of a cliffhanger at the end. It is wrapped up enough that you don’t think the book was worthless to read, but definitely makes you crave the next installment of the series.

My thoughts: I’ve already strayed into my thoughts a bit. I really enjoyed this novel. I was skeptical going in and had put it off for a while. I’ve read a lot of re-imagined fairy tales and some are just not worth the attention. This one definitely is. It strays away from the typical tale enough that you don’t really know what is going to happen, but stays close enough to the tale that the fairy tale elements are in place. The good thing about me putting it off is that I have less of a wait for the next novel. There are only two criticisms that I have.
First, there are parts that are extremely predictable. Cinder’s true identity is like a neon sign flashing above her head. I can’t imagine any reader being surprised about who she turns out to be. This didn’t both me that much. There are a lot of very predictable novels that are still entertaining.
The second bit of criticism bugged me more. There is not enough world building for me. The setting is described a little, but part of the fun of science fiction and fantasy is being transported into another world. I was disappointed by how glossed over the setting was. Luna and the Lunars are barely described. Also, Earth has changed and I want to know what I should be thinking about while the story is going on. I think that Meyer spent more time developing Cinder and her personality than the world around her. Since Cinder is a very good character, this holds the novel together, but I’d like to care more about the surroundings in the future books. There are four more and I’m not sure that just loving Cinder is going to hold my interest through the story if I can’t fully picture where I am.
* 5 Stars
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LibraryThing member booksbonesbuffy
She has grease stains on her face instead of ashes. She’s looking for the mechanical foot that fits her best. And she drives to the ball in a beat-up gasoline car instead of a magical pumpkin. Welcome to Marissa Meyer’s inventive re-imagining of Cinderella, the first of four books in the Lunar
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I finally got around to reading Cinder, and I’m so glad I took time off from my scheduled review requests to do so. Cinder was everything I was expecting and more. Yes, I would say it exceeded my expectations. May I make a suggestion to all aspiring writers out there, including the ones who are self-publishing their books because they believe they can write: please read Cinder, for it is a perfect example of how a book should be written. Not only is it a bang-up story that will have you turning pages faster than a runaway hover craft, but it is perfectly written, perfectly paced, and packed with so much emotion and so many engaging characters that you will wonder where the time went. I flew through it in a couple of days, and it only took me that long because I had to stop and (reluctantly) feed my family.

When Cinder begins, World War IV is over, but the country of New Beijing is fighting a losing battle with a deadly plague. Cinder, a lower class citizen who is virtually the property of her stepmother Adri, is a cyborg mechanic who runs a repair stall in the town marketplace and also fixes everything mechanical that breaks down at home. Like Cinderella before her, she also has two step sisters. Pearl is mean and spiteful, but Peony is Cinder’s only human friend. Until one day Prince Kai himself, heir to the throne of New Beijing, comes to her stall to have his favorite android repaired. The prince is intrigued by Cinder’s secretive nature and her lack of interest in him. But although she is attracted to the prince, Cinder is afraid of Kai discovering her secret: that she is part machine. Indeed, her cyborg parts include a foot and a hand, which she covers up with a grease-stained glove.

When Peony contracts the dreaded letumosis plague, Adri forces Cinder to “volunteer” as a test subject to find a cure for the disease. At the medical center Cinder meets Dr. Erland, a kindly but determined old man whose task is to save the dying Emperor, Prince Kai’s father. In Dr. Erland’s medical facility, Cinder learns a horrifying truth about herself, giving her one more reason to avoid Prince Kai. As is the case with many of the characters, Dr. Erland has his own secrets, and although he seems suspicious at first, he later becomes Cinder’s trusted friend and ally. With the arrival of Queen Levana, the evil ruler of Luna, the future of New Beijing rests on a terrible decision that Kai must make, and more than one life hangs in the balance. Readers may be equally thrilled and frustrated by the ending, which comes all too soon.

Besides her creative take on the Cinderella story, Meyer fills her story with details that remind us that we are indeed in science fiction territory. For example, Cinder is programmed with an orange warning light that flashes at the corner of her vision whenever someone is lying to her, and her mechanical leg has a hinged door behind which Cinder stores her tools. One of my favorite characters in the book is Iko, Cinder’s wonderfully quirky android and constant companion.

I’m always grateful to writers who can surprise me, and Meyer surprised me throughout the entire book. She doesn’t go for the obvious happy ending, and for that she should be applauded. At the risk of giving too much away, there were many times during the story when she could have saved a beloved character, but didn’t. It is this bravery in part that elevates Cinder above the many other young adult fantasy books on the market today. When you read the final paragraph, just keep this in mind: luckily for us readers, Cinder’s story isn’t finished. The second book in the series, Scarlet, arrives in 2013.
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LibraryThing member foggidawn
Linh Cinder is one of the most talented mechanics in New Beijing. She's also a cyborg -- socially beyond the pale. Her stepmother tolerates her because of the income Cinder brings in, but she never lets Cinder forget that she was an unwelcome addition to the household. When the prince brings a
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damaged android to Cinder for repairs, Cinder finds herself caught up in a web of intrigue, and she may play a larger part than anyone could have expected.

I'll state right off that I saw all of the plot twists in this book coming a mile away. However, that didn't detract from my enjoyment of the story. Fairy tale retellings are one of my favorite things to read, and I loved how Meyer wove the familiar threads of the Cinderella story into this book, making it much more than the original, but still delightfully recognizable. I certainly recommend it, and will be seeking out future volumes in the series. A word to the wise: the ending of this book is first cousin to a cliffhanger -- not enough of one to cause screams of outrage (at least from me), but enough to leave readers craving the next book, which won't be out for some time yet.
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LibraryThing member shellyquade2
Overall, I enjoyed this novel. I had some problems with it, but I wanted to continue reading it, and felt that overall, the writing was fairly accomplished.

So, let me begin by talking about my biggest problem with the book: predictability. I realize that, as a fairy tale re-telling, obviously, some
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of the plot should be obvious. Unfortunately, more of the novel than merely its' similarities to the Cinderella story is easy to discern. Yet, despite the predictability, as I mentioned previously, I did want to continue reading.

Upon finishing this book, I am actually interested to continue the series -- which lately, has felt pretty rare to me when I pick up a series.
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LibraryThing member sarakovach
Cinder is a very Cinderella story mixed with a little science fiction. I read on another blog (and I cannot remember which one at the moment - please forgive me), but they said that Cinder was Cinderella meets
Star Wars. I think this is a wonderful comparison. There are the elements of Cinderella -
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step-sisters, step-mother, a prince, and the ball. There are the science fiction elements - intergalactic conflict, androids, cyborgs, post-apocalyptic earth, the plague, etc.

Cinder - a cyborg, is a mechanic, living in New Beijing with her step-mother and sisters - who are, of course, mean to her. She struggles every day, along side her android friend, Iko, making a living at the town market in a booth (having to give what she makes to her step-mother, Adri). She comes home each evening to a closet of a room. And gets back up and does it over again each day.

The Plague is ravaging the earth. Cyborgs are being drafted to be heroes for society by "helping" find a cure for the plague. So, this is a constant concern for Cinder. One day at the market, the Prince Kai visits her booth. From this day forward, her life changes - both in a positive and negative way. There is love, there is death, there is internal struggle with knowledge she gains and decisions she needs to make. Shortly before the festival, the Lunar Queen arrives. She is a cruel queen who runs her planet very differently from the earthen Commonwealth.

This would be a good read for middle school students or young adults, and anyone who loves science fiction. The plot is somewhat predictable, but the science fiction aspects give it a few twists that are unexpected.

Cinder is the beginning of the Lunar Chronicles and I am sure that anyone, like myself, would yearn to read more when they come to the end of this first novel.
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LibraryThing member gildedspine
Where my tween-aged self found a soulmate in Ella Enchanted, I seem to have found it in Cinder.

The whole Cinderella oddball meets Wonder Boy Prince Charming might seem a little overdone by now, but really, Ms. Meyer does an awesome job of keeping the basic details of the storyline alive with her
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own little twists. First of all, there's the whole sci-fi cyborg thing. Of course, who wants to live with that - especially in Cinder's world where being half-robot makes you subhuman - but how cool of a character trait is that? And then there's the evil queen that lives on the moon, an android with a smart-mouthed personality, and of course...the Prince.

Who is very, very charming.

Cinder holds her own as a heroine. Who can't love a girl who can detect lies, has a dark, mysterious past (though, I must admit, the mind-bending twist the author throws in the last five pages was a bit of a far stretch, even for me...) and is loyal to a girl whose mother tortures her every chance she gets? No self-suffering, "someday my prince will come" warbling for this girl. She's like a matured, street-smart version of Ella, and she has the nuts and bolts to prove it.

Maybe I should have written this review a few hours after the "gah I just read a good book" high wears off. Do I sound like I'm babbling? Okay, in summary...

Sci-fi + fairy tale retelling + charming prince + high-wired heroine = MUY BUENO.

Go read. Right now.

Warnings: A heartbreaking character death (I'm not trying to give any spoilers, just letting you know that you might need a hanky on hand) and a sprinkling of innuendo here and there but NO PROFANITY. It's a miracle.

Final verdict: Yes. Yes. YES. (Why do all these books have to be part of a series?!)
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LibraryThing member msbarham3
Cinder is a compelling re-telling of Cinderella with a sci-fi twist. A re-telling that I absolutely fell in love with.

Cinder is a great character that was determined to get her freedom. You see, Cinder is a cyborg, a person worth nothing in New Beijing. Her adoptive mother despised her as did one
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of her stepsisters. She didn’t know why she was what she was, she didn't remember anything before her surgery, but she did know that she wanted to get away from her “family”. I admired her heart and her hard-working attitude. She was spunky and sarcastic, yet honorable.

Iko, her sweet android was a great addition. Her personality chip made her humorous and realistic and I'm glad that Cinder at least had a friend in her.

Prince Kai was absolutely endearing. He would never give up when it came to getting Cinder to notice him. I absolutely adored him and his charming smile. He was modest when he didn’t think he would make a good emperor, but he even proves himself wrong with his wisdom and love for his people.

Although this is a re-telling, it wasn’t what I expected. When I think Cinderella re-telling, I thought that the first half of the book would be about how she is mistreated, then she would go to the ball, meet the prince and live happily ever after with a few differences in there….WRONG! Honestly, If I hadn’t been told that this was a re-telling, I probably never would have even guessed. But don’t get me wrong, that made me love it even more! Meyer kept true to the basics of the story. Cinder is the mistreated daughter who is pretty much a slave and there is a prince, but that’s pretty much where the similarities end. Marissa Meyer takes the story on a completely new and unique path. There’s a plague, cyborgs, and a crazy queen from the moon. There’s action, adventure, and heart. And although there was one part of the plot I saw coming from the beginning, it didn’t bother me that I knew because I thought the idea was great! This new take makes for an absolutely stunning debut and I can’t believe I must wait an entire year for the next book.

Cinder is an extremely intriguing story of a cyborg Cinderella with more than one twist. It is a prime example of addiction. After reading this, I have come to the conclusion that it is unfair that I must wait a year for the next novel. It should be law that the authors must write and publish all of the books in the series at one time so that we, the readers, don’t have to suffer that awful thing called “anticipation”.
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LibraryThing member midnightbex
In the city of New Beijing there are plenty of worries for the average citizen. A plague is ravaging the population, the ever present threat of the Lunar people looms from the moon, and the Emperor is dying. For Cinder, the teenage heroine of the story, her life is even more complicated. She is a
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gifted mechanic and the sole bread winner for her family, all of which is overshadowed by her second-class citizen status as a cyborg. When the Prince seeks her out to fix a broken android, Cinder is drawn into plots that will ultimately cost her more than she could ever imagine but just might shed light on her mysterious past and give her a future she never dreamed possible.

In the last few, well, decades really there have been a vast number of novels which draw upon fairy tales and attempt to retell them. Of the heaps of these tales out there, Cinder is a true diamond in the rough. Unlike many books with a similar inspiration, Cinder takes a unique path by using the original story of Cinderella as a touching point without simply retelling the original tale. Elements of the story are certainly used, for instance Cinder is under the guardianship of her reviled Stepmother and has two Stepsisters, but these tastes feel more like an homage than a checklist of the fairy tale's components. These homages are woven into the story in a way that breaks the bounds of the original fairy tale, making the novel entirely its own.

The world revealed through out the story is a unique one as well. It is populated not only by androids and cyborgs, but a race of humans which have adapted to life on the moon, a world of only six countries, and an Earth that is made up of people not races. The sci-fi elements are prevalent and well handled. Cinder never feels like it is being overwhelmed by technical jargon but rather has enough to flesh out the world without dragging down the story.

Everything in the novel, from the characters to the setting draw a reader in. The book is one of those rare creations which is not only engrossing but enchanting. It takes a reader into its world, making it a tough book to put down, not just because you can't wait but because you genuinely care about what happens next.

This story isn't perfect, so few are, but it is a solid enjoyable read that pays honor to the classic Cinderella without losing its own originality. It gives a view to a world and a group of characters that I can't wait to visit again when the next installment comes out.
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LibraryThing member theepicrat
I know I am late coming to the debut ball, but I am here now and I will join the masses who say that CINDER will rock you to the moon – and no, I am not saying this because the Lunar queen has brainwashed me. I envy Marissa Meyer for dreaming up such a wonderful Cinderella re-telling and creating
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a breathtaking world with a cast of characters that you will fall in love with. I love a heroine who does not mind getting her hands dirty and can talk shop, not to mention a prince who slums it among the commoners for a little slice of freedom. I am still curious to see how Cinder’s cyborg-ness will factor into things; currently Marissa Meyer has used it to present some minor drawbacks which make Cinder all the more adorable when she interacts with Prince Kai. The story ends right before trouble can fully unfurl its nasty head, but CINDER leaves readers in a rock-solid happy place with a sense of satisfaction for how the fairy tale pans out. Of course, you will want MORE, but trust me when I say that CINDER will not leave you barely hanging on the cliff – you will hang for certain, you will ask for seconds, but you will feel safe in knowing that Book 2 will be SO worth the wait!
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LibraryThing member Krista23
Amazing cover, it suits the story perfectly, and it's gorgeous, love the red

This question is always the hardest for me to answer. I am usually on the side of the villain, because they make the story interesting. Even though this story had an awesome villain I think it's a tie
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between Cinder and Kai. They are fantastic characters they really drive this story. Cinder is so smart and protective and Kai is caring and sweet. I loved both of them so much.

Least Favorite
Adri, the step mother plays the part well. I hated the thought that Cinder even had to deal with her on a daily basis. But as we all know she is a necessary character in the story of Cinderella

The reader gets to jump right into the world, jumping into Cinder's daily life and get information about the world through dialogue or actions of the characters. I love this, I have never been a fan of big info dumps. The reader is introduced to Cinder, her job as a mechanic in the market and her family and job. We also get introduced to the Prince right away and his need to have all of his affairs in order before the big ball takes place.

Cinder who is a mechanic and cyborg in the city of New Bejing, finds herself in the middle of a world being seriously threatened by the Plague. Her own sister has fallen ill and everybody is fighting for the cure. When she accepts a job from Prince Kai she soon finds herself in the middle of a galactic war in which the lunar people have been watching and preparing for.

Heart pounding ending. It is like the tension being pulled in a rubber band and just about to snap. Sit on the edge of your seat kind of suspense that will leave you craving for the next book immediately. This is just the beginning of Cinder's story and I for one cannot wait to see what happens next.

I thought this story was very imaginative and very well put together. It had a growing sense of foreboding and suspense that kept me reading so fast that I never wanted to set it down. Although I did not like Adri because of how awful she treated Cinder, all of the characters were really amazing and made such an impact to the overall story. Perfect pacing and an all out enjoyable read from start to finish.


“Even in the Future the Story Begins with Once Upon a Time.”

“Vanity is a factor, but it is more a question of control. It is easier to trick others into perceiving you as beautiful if you can convince yourself you are beautiful. But mirrors have an uncanny way of telling the truth.”
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LibraryThing member lprybylo
Age 12 and up 6th grade Sixteen old Cinder has a nack with all things mechanical including her foot that she has had since she was 11 and needs replacement. Add in a plague , a big city-New Beijing, androids, Lunar colonies, a stepmother who doesn't want her and two step sisters
Cinder, Prin




(2881 ratings; 4.1)
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