Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Posted May 28, 2020 by Amber in Reviews / 0 Comments



by Marissa Meyer

Series: The Lunar Chronicles #1
Publisher: Square Fish on January 3, 2012
Genre: Artifical Intelligence, Fairytale Retellings, Retellings, Romance, Science Fiction
Target Age Group: Young Adult
Rating: ★★★★★

Check out this book on Goodreads

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.


I’ve had Cinder on my shelf for a couple years now, and I was so pleased when it popped out of the TBR Jar, because I’ve heard such good things about it.  I’m not a huge fan of Cinderella, but curiosity always gets the better of me when it comes to hyped books, and anyway, I really like that cover.

Somehow, I didn’t put together that if I loved the referential nuances and beautiful writing in Heartless, I would feel the same about Cinder.

Marissa Meyer is truly a retelling queen.  She has a way of taking the perfect balance of the original story elements and her own creative ideas and blending them in such a way that her stories are both familiar and engrossing.  I know there’s so much more to her library than I’ve read so far, but I’m really looking forward to more.

Linh-Cinder is a mechanic in New Beijing.  She’s a cyborg and was adopted by the Linh family when she was young… only to lose her adoptive father shortly thereafter to letumosis.  Like in the original Cinderella story, she’s left with an insufferable stepmother and two stepsisters.  In Cinder, only one stepsister is insufferable… Peony is immediately loveable and sweet and perfect.  It takes skills to fall in love with a character who has so little screen time, but with Peony, you can’t help but adore her.  Which makes the rest of the story so urgent.

The urgency of letumosis moves the story along, as well as the pressure of Queen Levana of the Lunars pressing her own agenda.  I have some mixed feelings about the romantic relationship (or, lack thereof?) between Cinder and Prince Kai, but I also get the feeling that development there has only begun, so I’m waiting to see what will or won’t happen in Scarlet now that we know who Cinder is and what she must do.

While the world here is just shy a dysoptian future, it doesn’t quite have the same tired structure.  As far as worldbuilding, I kept thinking of San Fransokyo from Big Hero Six, and I really loved that this wasn’t another book set in New York or London or Rome.  Not that I don’t love those cities, but the new setting was refreshing.  Marissa Meyer excels in providing information without info dumping.  Her writing style pulls me in without ever boring me, so I flew through this book and am looking forward to Scarlet!

Ratings Breakdown

Setting: ★★★★★
Plot: ★★★★★
Characters: ★★★★★
Writing: ★★★★★
Pacing: ★★★★★
Personal Enjoyment: ★★★★★


Cinder Stays on the Shelf

I will absolutely revisit this book as a mood read.  Honestly, I never really expected Cinder was going to be a book I’d unshelve – there’s just too many intriguing things about it even before I cracked it open.  The cover design is gorgeous, the premise fascinating, and I already knew I liked Marissa Meyer’s writing style, so it would take something particularly cheesy and insufferable to turn me off this one.


Am I the last book blogger who hasn’t read The Lunar Chronicles?  If so, lol, what are your thoughts on this series?  Is Cinder your favorite book, or one of the others?  Let me know what you think in the comments!

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