Cinder by Marissa Meyer | Book Review

Seems like I’m on a YA Fantasy run these days and I am certainly not complaining. I own the first three books of the Lunar Chronicles that have been sitting on my bookshelves for a couple of months (more like years!) waiting patiently to be read. Lucky for them, one day I decided to bite the bullet and reach for the first book in this series, ‘Cinder’.


Edition: Hardcover, 400 pages

Publication Date: 2012 by Feiwel & Friends

Series: The Lunar Chronicles #1

Goodreads blurb:

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.


‘Cinder’ follows 16 year-old cyborg, Cinder, a mechanic in New Beijing. She lived with her stepmother who hates her and stepsisters, not remembering a thing about her life before the crash. One day, Prince Kai shows up at Cinder’s stall to get his old android fixed because it apparently contained some super royal secret information. When the deadly plague begins to take more and more people, Cinder is shocked to discover that she is immune to the plague that has left her little sister sick.

Like the original Cinderella there is a handsome prince and yes there is even a ball. Cinder doesn’t care about the ball all she wants is her freedom.But what the classic fairy-tale doesn’t have is a plague, androids and cyborgs, a race of beings who are from the moon called “Lunars” whose Queen is more dangerous then anything on Earth and also there are the twists, that well I kind of guessed at. 

Cinder is such a fan character to read about. She’s smart, driven and handles everything that she goes through in the book by stride. Sure she kind of develops a small crush on Prince Kai very early on, and the fact that she was a cyborg was held up over her head by her less favourable stepsister Pearl; Cinder did not let it get to her. I do wish we had more moments between Pearl and Cinder before she got sick, it seemed like Peony was the person that treated Cinder as a person and as a family member.

Prince Kai is an equally fun character. Like any Prince, he had a lot of pressure on his shoulders as the next in line to the throne. Kai was never pretentious, but instead incredibly sweet and down to earth. You can tell that he was kind of taken by Cinder and it was so sweet to witness. I loved the way he flirted with Cinder and how persistent he was when asking her to be his date to the grand ball. I will admit that I was quite heartbroken when everything about Cinder comes out in front of everyone to see. This quote said by Kai will always break my heart; “You’re even more painful to look at than she is.”

In regards to the world of this book, I will say that I felt as though the world building wasn’t as developed as I wished it was. We learn very early on that Cyborgs are beneath others and everyone apparently hates them. For example, Cinder’s “guardian” regularly reminds Cinder how much she dislikes her and how Cinder is the reason for her all of their family’s problems and woes. However, we never really learn the reason why everyone hates Cyborgs. I hope the second book gives us a clear picture of this world and how their society works.

The “twist” in this story was quite obvious from the start and with the amount of foreshadowing and hints that was dropped, I’d be really surprised if you didn’t see it coming. However, this book isn’t a mystery book, so I can excuse the lacklustre “twist”. The reveal didn’t affect my enjoyment of the book at all, and I was just as excited to see where the story will go from there after the big reveal.

Overall, Cinder is a fun fairytale retelling that has you wanting to live in this technological world filled with of droids, cyborgs and lunars. I am so glad to own the second book because I cannot wait to start reading it and delve back into this world.

4 stars

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Have you read ‘Cinder’ by Marissa Meyer or any of her other books?

Let me know what you thought of it in the comments below!

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