Book Review : Cinder by Marissa Meyer

April 24, 2013 Book review 20 ★★★★½

Cinder is one of those books that could go horribly wrong.  Cinder who lives in New Beijing with her evil stepmother and two stepsisters has an unknown, mysterious past.  Through her mechanical workshop, she comes in contact with the Prince when she has to mend his defunct Android.  In a nutshell, we have a Chinese Cinderella who is a mechanic and a cyborg in a dystopia setting.  Could this really compute into an enjoyable read?  Yes!  It could and it does.

Book Review : Cinder by Marissa MeyerCinder by Marissa Meyer
Series: Lunar Chronicals #1
Published by Feiwel & Friends on 3 Jan 2012
Genres: Fantasy, ReTelling, Sci Fi, YA
Pages: 387
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased

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 am finding it hard to pin point exactly what I loved about Cinder – the plot, the characters, the magic of the fairy tale spin?  Well, yes, yes and yes!   I read Cinder in a day.  I had no choice.  The book seemed to defy gravity, every time I tried to put it down; I ended up picking it back up again within minutes.

Lately I have been reading some books that were weighted down by purple prose.  This is not the case here.  All the descriptions are done perfectly, enough detail so you understand what’s happening but so much that you get bogged down in Sci-Fi lingo.  This is perfect for me because if we get too many details, it shoots over my head and leaves me feeling frustrated and inadequate as a reader.

I kept forgetting that Cinder is a cyborg, let alone a girl from a book, to me she lives and breathes and feels just as I do.   Her feelings of shame for what she is are heartfelt.  I have often had times in my life where I felt I didn’t measure up so I felt instant empathy with Cinder over this.  Her efforts to hide her foot as well reminded me of times where I tried to hide excess weight that I used to carry.  These two things made Cinder an emotional read for me.

So many little fairytale quirks are captured in Cinder, I love it.  It’s distinctive, fun and entertaining.   And even better Cinder isn’t relying on the Handsome Prince to rescue her; she is more than capable of rescuing herself.  To be honest, I would rather read Cinder than Cinderella to a child, it’s far more realistic!

And hurray for a book without insta-love.  The relationship between Cinder and Kai is not so much a relationship as a pre-relationship.  We see a bond building up, an attraction that is intensifying but nothing unrealistic.   And as much as I loved Cinder as a character, Kai stands equally along with her in my mind.  He has the heart and spirit of a true leader, putting his people ahead of his own desires.  The prince and the cyborg mechanic might sounds like an unlikely match but if you read the book, you will know it’s just right.

Does it have negatives?  Honestly, yes.  Working out the plot is simple, you know exactly where this book is going, and there are no real twists.  So we lost half a star. But as I loved everything else so much, that was all I could justify deducting.

Finally as this is based on a fairy tale, can we expect an unambiguous happy-ever-after ending?  Well, it’s part of a series so I suppose you can guess the answer to that.  But when books are this well written, I have no problem with that.   Recommended, recommended, recommended!This post was getting too long so come back tomorrow for part 2 of my Cinder thoughts 🙂

Bookish Chat : Have you read Cinder, what are your thoughts on it?  And if you haven’t read Cinder what do you think of the idea of putting a futuristic spin on a fairytale?  Let the chat commence!


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20 Responses to “Book Review : Cinder by Marissa Meyer”

  1. anaherareads

    I haven’t read Cinder but I so want to! I love fairytales with a twist so I think a SciFi twist would be really interesting to me. 🙂

  2. Diamond Cronen

    Awesome! Ok, now I HAVE to read it. I was a bit worried all the hype wasn’t justified…but I need to find out for myself. Waiting for the library to tell me it’s ready to get picked up! If that doesn’t hapoen soon I may have to buy it! 😉 I have Scarlet, so I should probably buy it. Can’t wait to read it.

    I’m excited to read a lot more YA, since I am no longer in school I want to make a point to do that. And I have a few series to finish also..;)

    Hey, did u get my email awhile back responding to the dust off challenge progress? *shrug* not sure bc I sent it from a different address. Anyways, I’ll be in touch. This 700 pg whopper is pretty intimadating! Lol

    • Trish Hannon

      With your fab Scarlet swag, you need to get to Cinder asap! I DID get your email *blushes*, just forgot to reply. Sorry! Will do so, it was a great idea 🙂

  3. Asti

    Oh, I definitely need to read this. I have found myself dragging through a lot of books lately and need to get my hands on one that will suck me in and be hard to put down – and this looks like the right book! I’m glad you liked it and look forward to seeing your next post tomorrow. (A book HAS to be pretty good if it makes you want to write that much about it!)

  4. Kelley

    What a lovely review for one of my favorite books! I love the part where you said that Cinder is like a living, breathing person to you. She feels that way to me too. This book just has a way of coming SO ALIVE to a reader, and I just flat-out love it. I hope you’ll get to read Scarlet soon. I’d love to see what you think about it. 🙂

    • Trish Hannon

      I have Scarlet on my kindle ready to dive into. Just reading a few review books first. Plus I’m enjoying the anticipation 🙂 You are so right, the whole book is alive, so funny its a cyborg that makes us feel this way 🙂

  5. Lark

    I wasn’t sure I wanted to read another version of Cinderella, but the whole sci-fi thing is different enough and interesting enough to make me want to give this book a try. Who would ever have imagined Cinderella as a cyborg. Thanks for another great review! I can’t wait to give this book a try.

    • Trish Hannon

      Thanks for the compliment Lark, that’s so nice of you to say that. Made my day! Will look forward to seeing what you think about it in the future 🙂

  6. kimbacaffeinate

    Wasn’t this great Trish! It made my top ten for 2012 YA reads and like you I was worried before I read it but it turned out to be delightful and I loved Iko. Wait till you read book two..eep!

  7. Kelly W

    Ah I’m so jealous! I’ve been wanting to read this book for soooo long, but my wallet is unable to carry the weight of my book addiction for the time being, and I’m too stubborn to use a library. I’m glad to see you liked it so much, but I hate you a little for reading it before me. :p

    Great review!

  8. acps927

    I finished Cinder earlier this week and haven’t written my review for it yet, but it’s going to sound a lot like yours I think, because I agree with basically everything you said! It was really surprising in a great way!

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