Monday, November 11, 2013

Review: Cinder (Marissa Meyer)

Cinder (Lunar Chronicles, #1)
Title: Cinder
Series: Lunar Chronicles, Book 1
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian Fairytale Retelling
Told: Third Person Multiple, Past Tense
Content Rating: Teen (violence, scary situations)
Format Read: Hardcover (library)
Find On: Goodreads
Purchase OnAmazon | B&N | TBD

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.

*          *          *

Three Words: Dystopian fairytale retelling.

Writing: It felt like I was watching a television show, not reading a book. I consider this a great feat of writing, because I can become quite engrossed in a good TV show - and I most certainly was with this book. The story didn't follow just the main characters, but focused on whoever had the best viewpoint of the story at that moment. Usually I don't like this, but the story was so engrossing I barely noticed. The description was gritty and vivid, and the dialogue realistic yet never a word felt wasted.

Setting: Instead of introducing us to yet another dystopic America, we were instead dropped into China. China. For once, the U.S. was nothing more than another country in the background, and it felt good to be somewhere new and exotic for a change. Fresh yet familiar, I enjoyed every second.

Story: There are quite a lot of fairytale retellings out there, but Cinder is in a league all its own. Every familiar character was remolded and reborn as someone more real and human - even if they were part cyborg, or possessed "magical" powers. The dystopian world was unlike any I've come across before (and I read a lot of dystopian), and although not exactly a realistic future for our world, it felt tangible - and magical. Every aspect of this book shone with originality and creativity, and it was a wonder to behold. I will say the book's big surprise came as no surprise to me whatsoever, but that didn't ruin the story in the slightest.

Characters: Cinder was strong, capable, and caring, despite the mountain of things set against her - her family, her status as a cyborg, the uncertainty of her entire world. She had every right to act selfishly, but in the end she always did what she thought was right for those she loved. She was someone to root for, and I reveled in doing so. Prince Kai was a bit on the wimpy side for me, but considering the mountain of crap he was going through, he really couldn't be blamed. He was struggling to do the best that he could by his country, and that takes a lot of courage. Iko was adorable and I loved her so - she only made an awesome book even better. Peony was a sweet girl and gave Cinder something to really care for, balancing out evil step-sister Pearl. As for Cinder's stepmother, as far as I'm concerned, evil Queen Levana had nothing on her.

Romantic Relationship: A slow and sweet build to not much of anything - yet. The romance is a very minor plot thread, but the book does not suffer for it. It was so refreshing to read a story that didn't revolve around a romance.

Series: This is Book 1 in a 4-book series, and ends on a cliffhanger. I was very happy I had Book 2 (Scarlet) on hand!

Conclusion: I devoured this book. A brilliant and original story in the fairytale retelling niche, with relatable characters, an amazing world, and a stellar plot. I definitely recommend it to everyone.

Scribble Rating
5 of 5 Scribbles


  1. I think it's time I read this.

  2. I read this one and really liked it, but in my opinion Scarlet was so much better! In some ways I wish that the romance was a bigger part in it. But you are right, it is a little refreshing to read a book with romance as a little less important.
    Great review!