Monday, September 09, 2013

Review: Cinder (Lunar Chronicles: Book One) by Marissa Meyer

How I Came to Know About This Book: Through Goodreads

Format of The Book: Ebook (pdf version).

Genre: Young Adult/ Fantasy/ Retelling.

Length of The Book: 387 Pages (Hardcover).

A Short Synopsis: 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. (Goodreads Description).

Characters of The Book: 
  • Linh Cinder
  • Prince Kai
  • Dr. Erland
  • Linh Peony
  • Linh Pearl
  • Linh Garan
  • Linh Adri
  • Iko
  • Queen Levana
  • Emperor Rikan
  • Chang Sacha
  • Konn Torin
  • Cress
  • Sybil Mira
  • Nainsi
  • Li 
  • Fateen 
  • Queen Camila 
  • President Vargas 
  • Princess Winter

My Review: 

I started reading Cinder with the expectation that it was going to be pretty much a straight retelling of Cinderella but with the whole Cyborg twist to it. I was surprised to find however, that it is basically a story on it's own with the fairytale inspirations sprinkled throughout it. Fair enough, there's an Asian Prince, a ball, an evil stepmother, but there's also the New Beijing setting! An evil Lunar Queen! Prince Kai! And there's also Cinder, who is just so charming, witty, kind, and head-strong. 

The characters within this book are so incredibly charming that you can't help but love them. Iko is a stand out for me, she's a cute little robot that believes she's a human. Prince Kai is persistent, honest, caring, and handsome. The evil stepmother and step sister played their parts well, but did not grate so much as the evil Lunar Queen. 

Rather than a glass slipper, we have a poorly fitted foot--an android foot. In this very distant future, androids and humans roam the earth where the plague is a thing to fear in every day life. The world building in this book is fantastic. It's unimaginably creative with a way of telling that completely grips you and never lets go. The Lunars and the abilities they possess, along with the fear of death at every corner, is perfectly mixed in with classic elements of Cinderella. It's ingenious. I have never been as satisfied with a fairy tale retelling as I am with Cinder. The characters are witty and fresh, with a love story that has it all: a swoon-worthy prince, a charming personality, great chemistry--a true fairy tale romance. 

Even though it's essentially a retelling, the originality in this novel is outstanding. From the futuristic concepts to the interesting turns to the plot, we have a whole new enchanting world to get introduced to. While there are new spins added to the story, these are not especially unpredictable. From the very start it's obvious what the big twist is going to be. However, it's obvious in a way that makes me think this was the author's intention. As if she wants the reader to know what Cinder does not, making us feel wistful; if only everyone knew, things would be so different for her. 

Despite all of that, there are a few downfalls to this book. Firstly, the predictable storyline kind of ruins any sort of major reveal later on. Being inspired by fairy tales sort of chains you in a certain corner, where certain things need to happen in the book. There's also an incredible lack of world building, considering the amazing world that Marissa has created. I did find that there were a few details missing, which I'm glad the free prequel has filled in for me. 

These however, won't decrease my love of the book. I'm just left with such a feeling of warmth upon finishing it. It's such a charming little tale, with so much love put into it. I definitely recommend it for anyone who loves a good read. 


My Reaction: 


  1. The characters sound amazing. Iko especially <3
    I love the new setting of this Cinderella. I don't know if it being more of it's own story is better than it being more of a retelling of Cinderella for me.
    I actually don't mind being set in the same type of storyline because it's a retelling. Beauty - the Beauty and the Beast Retelling was great and I loved the differences and the similarities of the two. Great review (:

    1. Thank you, Adriana. :)
      The Characters are amazing indeed!
      And yeah since it is basically a retelling, the similarities are acceptable.
      I haven't read Beauty-The Beauty and The Beast Retelling, but would like to read that.