Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

December 28, 2012 5 stars, Book Review, Science Fiction, Young Adult 6 ★★★★★

Review: Cinder by Marissa MeyerCinder by Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #1
Published by Feiwel & Friends on January 3, 2012
Genres: Romance, Science fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 390
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
My Reviews in this series: Scarlet , Glitches, The Queen's Army, Cress, Fairest

*This book was provided by the Publisher for review. No compensation was provided and all opinions are strictly my own.

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.


A cyborg Cinderella who throws a monkey wrench into the reselling of an age old classic!

“I’m not sure I would label it a ‘survivor'” said Iko, her sensor darkening with disgust. “It looks more like a rotting pumpkin.” – pg 47

Cinder is one of my favorite YA books that I have read.

Fairytales – everyone knows them – the beautiful damsel in distress, the heroic young champion who saves her. But Cinder, is so not your classic fairytale. I love how Meyer reinvents the story Cinderella with such wonderful twists! She takes all the main points that everyone knows and tweaks them into a fabulous new story – which for our day and age is a million times better. It is still a fairytale in my mind – but so much more. It’s drama, it’s sci-fi, it’s paranormal!!

Cinder isn’t just a young girl enslaved by a hateful stepmother and her two daughters. She is also a cyborg. A member of a minority of people who have had parts of their body replaced with cyber engineered parts. She suffered an accident when she was very young and was saved by these advanced in medical technology. Unfortunately, this minority is treated rather harshly by the rest of the populace. This is a futuristic Earth, based on the year in the book, at least over a hundred years into the future. The world has warred, changed, Nations have been combined and some cease to exist. Technology has advanced such that we have hover cars, AI robots and a lot more. So with that we are given a sci-fi aspect to the story.

Cinder lives in the Eastern Commonwealth which appears to be the bulk of all the former Asian countries combined. There are still politicians and nobility, doubt the world will ever get away from that – Plus we needed our prince now didn’t we? So perhaps there will be a bit of romantic feelings developed? I’m not telling – but the interactions and acquaintance formed between Cinder and Prince Kai (Prince of the Eastern Commonwealth) – are interesting. Both Cinder and Prince Kai’s characters were fleshed out so well that I didn’t feel like there were any wasted pages what so ever. Often, I find that supporting lead characters are never done quite so well as the main protagonist. Not so here.

The descriptions in this book are perfectly executed in my mind. Particularly, I enjoyed the description of the market. I could feel the masses of people going about their business, hawking their wares, rushing here and there. I still got that sense of a busy street market like we have today in Asian countries, but also filled with a lot of technology. Meyer really made it a point to add nuances of several different Asian cultures into the Eastern Commonwealth and I thought she blended them so nicely.

Now to add some more drama to he mix – there happens to be a very nasty plague that has been afflicting the inhabitants of Earth for some number of years. Her adopted father was stricken with this illness right after she was taken in some 10 or so years ago. Others close to her, (who shall remain nameless – no spoilers allowed) are also afflicted. The incubation of the illness and subsequent death of the patient is very short – usually a matter of days. Currently, there is no vaccine or cure. This to me is the gritty realism needed in a great tale.

Lastly, where does she get that title for the series? – The Lunar Chronicles? Why because there are people that live on the moon! Descendants of Earth that colonized the Moon long ago and who have evolved to have unique paranormal abilities. I won’t go into it too much here – but they are a very key element to this tale.

And don’t worry folks, we still have the pumpkin, glass slipper and godmother – you’ll really enjoy their interpretations. So preorder it – it is so worth it! I’ve been foaming at the mouth to get my hands on the next book when I wasn’t even halfway through this one.

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1)

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Tabitha (Pabkins)

When I'm in the zone I can flip book pages faster than the eye can see - screaming "More Input!" I'm a book, yarn, & art supply hoarding goblin who loves to draw, make toys and craft all sorts of creepy cute things. My current habit is to listen to audio books while I'm arting it up!
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6 Responses to “Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer”

  1. Bookworm1858

    “Cinder is one of my favorite books YA books that I have read.” Wow-what high praise!

    This isn’t my favorite fairy tale retelling (I tend to prefer more fantasy to sci-fi) but it was a fun read and I’m excited to see how the next book ties in. Hope you can pick it up soon!
    Bookworm1858 recently posted…The Crown of EmbersMy Profile

  2. [email protected]

    I also LOVED Cinder and I can’t wait to read Scarlet. Fairytales and retellings is my favorite genre and she really made something special from Cinderella. While I’m not a huge sci-fi fan, this book managed to blew me away in an unexpected way! A cyborg, so unique 😀 The descriptions were spot on, I agree!

  3. La Coccinelle

    I’m in the minority with this one. Everyone says the characters are so well developed; I actually felt the opposite way. And, while I appreciate the sci-fi take on the classic stories in this series, I also didn’t feel the world-building was that strong. There are a lot of unanswered questions (especially in the first book).

    Oh, well. Can’t like ’em all!
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    • Tabitha (Pabkins)

      Sorry to hear that! I know exactly how it feels to not like someone when everyone else seems to love it (I felt that way about Crewel and Altered).

      You know you might like Earth Girl by Janet Edward – the character development there of the main character is really great.

      ps you can comment bomb me anytime! haha I haven’t had comments on some of these older reviews in forever!
      Tabitha (Pabkins) recently posted…Interview: Janet Edwards on Sci-Fi, Dating & Meerkats!My Profile