Book Review: Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer

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.  
Release Date: January 3, 2012
Age Group: Young Adult
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Source: Review copy from publisher

This was such a different read.  I started the book having no idea what was going on, and to be perfectly honest, the beginning of the book did not wow me.  It took about 50 pages for me to really get interested in the story, but once I did I really enjoyed the book.  

I don't know much about robots: I admit that I had to ask my husband what a cyborg was.  If you know what a cyborg is (see the Wikipedia page here) going into the story, you'll enjoy the story more.  I had to figure out over time that Cinder was actually born completely human, but was made part robot during a surgery in her childhood.  She is despised by her stepmother and one of her stepsisters.  They consider Cinder to be a lower-class citizen because of her cyborg status.  Cinder works as a mechanic and has to turn all of her money over to her greedy, lazy stepmother.  Her other stepsister--Peony--is her only human friend.  

If you haven't figured it out by now, Cinder is a retelling of Cinderella.  I've read several retelling of classic fairy tales lately and have really enjoyed them, and the genre as a whole.  Something about Cinder, maybe it was the fact that it is set in Asia (or what was once Asia) and the technology of the book, reminded me of Scott Westerfeld's Extras.  Which is not a bad thing---Westerfeld's Uglies series is outstanding work.  

My favorite thing about Cinder was Cinder herself.  She is strong and so persistent.  She never gives up, despite everything that goes wrong around her.  I liked how she slowly developed feelings for Kai---their relationship was very sweet.  I especially liked the Lunar people and their "magic".  That element of the story added a lot of depth and interest to the book.  The drama surrounding Kai and Queen Levana kept me guessing as to how the story would end, and it has me really looking forward to the second book in the series.  

Overall, I enjoyed Cinder.  The slow start made way for a strong finish, and I will definitely be looking forward to the next book in the series.



  1. Sounds awesome. I really look forward to trying it.

  2. Glad to hear the story totally turned around for you. I'm still not sure how I'd like it but now that you've explained the cyborg thing, I think I could get into it, I mean, I was a bit fan of the movie, Robo Cop! LOL

  3. Sounds great. I'm glad you gave the book a shot. I also found myself with a similar experience. Isn't it amazing how a few pages can flip your interest? Looking forward to reading this one.


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