Thursday, January 24, 2013

Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Book Description via Goodreads:

Hardcover (US Version), 387 pages
January 3, 2012, Feiwel & Friends

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.

Source: St. Martin's Griffin and Netgalley for the ebook + Andrew and Pan Macmillan Asia for the hardcover (Thank you!)

My Thoughts:

I have always been a fan of retellings, especially one that centered on my favorite tales as a child. Cinder gripped my heart and I knew right there and then that I would be fond of her. Cinder is a cyborg and a mechanic – two things that set her apart from the rest of the heroines of science fiction novels. But deep inside she has simple wants (well not entirely simple): she wants a dress so she could go to the royal ball; she wants a new foot – one that is preferably her size; she wants appreciation and love. Her stepmother held a deep grudge for the death of her husband and she blamed Cinder for it. She also somewhat enslaved Cinder by putting her in a booth in the market and letting her fix everything that needed to be fixed while she flitted here and there, thinking about gowns and royal balls. I respect Cinder for the way she treated her stepmom. She was civil, tried to be understanding and almost never talked back. Talent, manners and a vision, that were the things that Cinder had.

The storyworld of Cinder was superbly built. It was so detailed that I could imagine walking in the cluttered streets, the busy market and the sterile rooms of the Palace laboratory. What was incredible was how New Beijing seemed so Asian to me. Meyer made me feel that while I was reading her book and that was incredible. It was like a second home in a book. The attention to detail that was employed made the story all the more vivid.

Prince Kai was gorgeous, of course, and he had a great potential to fill in the empty throne that his father left. There were sweet, blush-inducing moments and I loved the push-pull reaction between Cinder and Kai. I felt that it wasn’t rushed and Meyer allowed the two to dance a series of attract and repel steps. However, I craved for a fireworks display. I’m excited to see if there will be blinding sparks when Cinder and Kai are together.

The element of Lunars injected into the plot was brilliant. I, personally, am not a big fan of aliens in YA science fiction but I was intrigued and fascinated with these mind-controlling moon creatures from the moon. Their biology and their gift were described into detail and was shown in the book in such a way that I didn’t raise my eyebrows at any of it.

Although I was able to guess the main plot points a few chapters in, do not let this discourage you. Albeit slightly predictable, Cinder will keep you entertained with politics, tragedy, humor, vivid imagery and of course, the flawless writing.

Cinder is a fairytale altered and injected with politics, tragedy and humor, with a one-of-a-kind heroine, an adorable android and an exotic setting that will captivate you. If you enjoy fairytale retellings and science fiction, this one is for you!


4.5 Cupids = Obsessive book love.
Almost made it as one of my favorites! I strongly recommend this!


  1. This was my first fairtale retelling and I LOVED it to pieces! I agree, Kai was wonderful and I'm just in love with the whole setting and idea.

  2. I just finished Cinder and Scarlet last week, and I will say that I enjoyed Cinder, but it didn't live up to all the hoopla for me. Scaret, on the other hand, blew me away. It was amazing!

    YA Sisterhood

  3. CINDER is such a fantastic read and I'm not sure why it took me so long to read it. You pointed out many things I hadn't originally considered and I've found even more appreciation for Cinder as a character. Can't wait to see what you think of SCARLET! I loved it even more!