Friday, December 30, 2011

Audiobook Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Publisher:  Fiewel & Friends/Macmillan Audio
Publication Date:  January 3rd, 2012

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.

In this thrilling debut young adult novel, the first of a quartet, Marissa Meyer introduces readers to an unforgettable heroine and a masterfully crafted new world that’s enthralling.
(Courtesy of Goodreads)

If you had asked me three months ago if I had any interest in reading this book, I would have said "No!", with absolute certainty.  While I always love a good Fairy Tale Retelling, the whole android/cyborg-meets-Cinderella thing didn't really sound feasible to me.  I don't ever like to admit this, but I was beyond wrong!  Not only does it work, but I dare say that this is my favorite retelling EVER!  Now that I know the story, I think the concept is genius, and cannot wait for the subsequent three books in this series (based on Snow White, Rapunzel, and Little Red Riding Hood).  I can't wait to see what is in store for Cinder, Prince Kai, evil Queen Levana, wicked stepmother Adri, and (my favorite character besides Cinder) Dr. Erland!

This book was so well done on so many levels.  The world building was top notch!  Everything fit together, made sense, and I could picture the setting perfectly.  Honestly, it's really difficult for me to believe that Marissa Meyer is a debut author; she writes like a seasoned pro.  As you probably ascertained from the previous paragraph, I also connected well with the characters.  They were really well developed, with just enough mystery surrounding each to keep me coming back for more.  The story itself was the best part.  It was fresh, action-packed, and intriguing. It was well organized and it stuck to the original tale just enough to be a true retelling, while at the same time being completely unique.  I see an extremely bright future for Marissa Meyer!

I listened to the audio version of this book, and it was fantastic.  Read by the very talented Rebecca Soler, this audio brings the story to life.  Rebecca does different accents for different characters, and really captures Cinder's essence with her reading; her pacing was excellent and I found myself thoroughly absorbed in the story while listening, which is sometimes troublesome for me with audiobooks.  I was very impressed!  If you are thinking about picking Cinder up, I highly recommend the audio version.  It was so good, I found myself looking for chores to do so that I would have a reason to put my earbuds in and tune everything else out.

Overall, it doesn't matter what format you experience this book in.  The important part is that you do.  I am certain that next December you will see this book on my Top 25 YA Books of 2012.  Other 2012 debuts have a very tough act to follow!

My Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★  

Grade Level Recommendation:   Totally clean.  Fine for 5th grade and up (ages 10+).  In fact, I can't wait for my 10 year old daughter to read it!


  1. I've had my eye on this one for awhile. I can't wait to get my hands on a copy!

  2. I loved this too! Barnes & Noble had it out TODAY! Some girl picked it up to look at and I couldn't keep my mouth shut. Had to tell her how great it was.

  3. I read Cinder and loved it, but may try the audio as well. Thanks for your great review.
    -FABR Steph@FiveAlarmBookReviews


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