Monday, October 26

[Review] Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1) - Marissa Meyer

Author: Marissa Meyer
Original Title: Cinder
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: January 3rd, 2012
Finished Date: July 17th, 2015
Pages: 390
Read in: English

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: GoodReads


This is seriously awesome. Please, check it out. I have no idea why it took me so long to pick it up, it sounded amazing and it really didn't disappoint. This is both science fiction, a futuristic envisioning of Earth and a fairy tale retelling, which honestly sounds like it shouldn't work, but it does. The book has that kind of quality or feeling to it that fairy tales seem to possess, which is that even though everything is kind of predictable in the sense that you know everything will turn out all right, you can't help but enjoy it.
Cinder is a reimagining of Cinderella as a futuristic cyborg mechanic. Even though you know she is Cinderella, don't believe there are no surprises. Don't think you know where her story is going, because trust me, you don't.
This was an awesome ride, and I highly recommend it.

The following extended review contains spoilers
If you have not yet read the book and/or do not wish to be spoiled, please do not read any further.

The first thing that I noticed as outstanding in this novel was definitely the world building. First of, and I think most refreshingly, it does not take place in America. As someone who does not live in America, I find it ridiculous that the majority of the books on the market take place there. Seriously, are there no other places of importance in the world?
So we follow Cinder, our main character through the streets of New Beijing, where she works as a mechanic to earn a living for her stepmother and stepsisters, who do nothing all day. Well, I suppose the kids go to school, something I don't think Cinder was even offered, but Adri just does nothing, and seems to believe that it's Cinder's job to do all the work - that's all she's worth.
Despite this being such a futuristic world, and there being new and very cool technology introduced to us, everything still feels strangely relatable. Which makes me think that no matter how much society advances, every human being goes through the same kinds of struggles.
I was afraid at the beginning that when they started explaining all these new technologies I would be completely lost, since I don't really excel at science. There is science talk, yes, but it never felt overwhelming or info-dumpy. It was very easy to understand, and things got explained as the story progressed, which made it flow very nicely. And guys, the main transportation are podships and spaceships. How cool is that?

Cinder was an awesome character. It was nice to see the emphasis on the underdog of society, in this case a cyborg. I find I always enjoy characters that have to fight and struggle for what they have. It was very predictable she was the princess though - I think that might even have been done on purpose. Either way, the fact that I knew she was the princess didn't really take away from the story, it just made it a bit frustrating at times, especially the Dr. Erland scenes. Because he knew, and you knew that he knew, and Cinder was just sitting there, oblivious to everything.

Iko was a wonderful best friend - my heart literally hurt when Cinder found out that Adri had destroyed Iko to get even at her. At least she still has her personality chip, and lets be honest, with Iko's sparkling personality, which body she takes means next to nothing.

Which leads me to Cinder's "family". Adri was just revolting. I hate it when people mistreat children, I don't understand why they'd do that. Seriously, treating a kid like crap is your way to make yourself feel better? What does that say about you? And then she basically sells her to her death. That was not even a smart move, Adri, honestly. You're selling away your only source of income for an amount that will only last you a while. What will you do next?
Pearl was just as disgusting as her mother, but Peony was a jewel. She was completely naïve and sweet and definitely did not deserve that ending.

Kai and Cinder were cute together, although the romance part of this book was what appealed to me the least. Maybe that will change in future books. I did feel bad for him at the end when he finds out Cinder is actually Lunar. He must have felt a bit unsure on whether or not she'd been manipulating him.

Levana, or the Lunar Queen had me intrigued. In the beginning of the book, Cinder comments on how deranged Levana is, but I just wrote it off as a rumour or an exaggeration. We don't get a taste of exactly how deranged until we see her interactions on Earth with both Kai and Cinder.
«They said she had forced her stepdaughter to mutilate her own face because, at the sweet age of thirteen, she had become more beautiful than the jealous queen could stand. They said she'd killed her niece, her only threat to the throne.»

The other thing I wanted to discuss was the Letumosis outbreaks. I've always been of the opinion that when Mother Earth feels that things are unbalanced between Nature and Man, she finds a way to correct that, and usually that is through plagues and disease. But there's something about Letumosis that smells fishy. I mean, a disease that has no impact at all on anyone who is Lunar? When we know that Lunars have been trying to find a way to dominate the planet? I'm just saying, that's a hell of a coincidence. Plus, what are they collecting all those identity chips for?

I did think that we could have been given more background on cyborgs and exactly why they are so shunned from society and must have a guardian. I mean, I might just be crazy, but if they could do such cool things like having internet directly in your brain, why don't people want to be like them? Is it just about them feeling threatened by how much more power they could hold?
And on that same track, exactly how much of a person can be robotic until that person stops being human and becomes entirely machine? That one is a bit more existencial.
Finally, who are Lunars? How did they end up in the moon? Did they volunteer? Are they even human anymore? Are they humans who were sent to the moon and developed new characteristics as a species and formed their own species or are they from another part of the universe altogether?
Let me know if I overlooked anything in the book that could answer any of these questions, please!

«Soon, the whole world would be searching for her - Linh Cinder. A deformed cyborg with a missing foot. A Lunar with a stolen identity. A mechanic with no one to run to, nowhere to go. But they would be looking for a ghost.»

Did you read this book? What did you think? Let me know! :)


  1. I completely agree with your review! This book was absolutely amazing. Just when I thought I knew what was going to happen, the author introduced a new event, a new revelation, and I was left reeling again and again. And the best yet is that the series gets even better with the next books!
    I can't wait to read your thoughts on the rest of the series :)
    ~Erika @ Books, Stars, Writing. And Everything In Between.

    1. Thank you so much Erika! I have already read the next books in the series - the reviews will be posted within the next week -, and I can already tell you I agree that it gets better!
      I can't wait to read Winter, I'm sure it'll blow my mind :)