Thursday, February 9, 2012

Review: Cinder

By Marissa Meyer
Publication date: January 3, 2012

My review:

This retelling of Cinderella takes the familiar story and sets it on a futuristic Earth complete with science fiction elements like cyborgs, androids, hovercraft, and alien beings who live on the moon. Cinder herself is a cyborg and a mechanic. Adding to the story is a plague that is devastating the populace and the threat of war with a powerful alien nation.

I love fairy tales retold but I was hesitant about reading Cinder. For one thing I wasn't a fan of the cover. I also was concerned about the science fiction part of the book. I've never read about cyborgs or androids (aside from Lt. Commander Data in Star Trek novelizations) and I wasn't sure what to expect with this book. Thankfully I found Cinder to be a thoroughly engrossing novel and the science fiction aspect blended very well with the traditional story. It is not an exact retelling of Cinderella either which added to my enjoyment. 

I liked that Cinder is a mechanic and that she is not just a helpless victim the way Cinderella was portrayed. Cinder has spunk, she is unselfish, and she is intelligent. Her relationship with her younger stepsister Peony was especially touching and I loved the banter with Iko, an android and Cinder's best friend. The world that Cinder lives in is a place that undervalues cyborgs and androids, treating them as second class citizens or worse. Cyborgs are used as test subjects for plague cures and live at the whim of their masters. Cinder does her best to hide her cyborg identity from outsiders like Prince Kai. She may be spunky but Cinder does deal with issues of low self esteem because of the way she is treated by her "family". While a romance later develops between Cinder and Prince Kai, it is not the main focus of the story. As a  love interest Prince Kai is a genuinely nice guy. He has a lot of weight on his shoulders but he tries to make the best decisions. 

Overall I thought Cinder was a fantastic book. I did find one particular plot twist to be very obvious but that did not detract from my reading experience. Cinder is very creatively told and a fast paced read. At the same time the book explores deeper themes like family relationships and prejudice. I think Cinder sets the bar high for other YA speculative fiction debuts and I can't wait to read the next book in the Lunar Chronicles series, Scarlet

Readalikes: Shadows on the Moon by Zoe Marriott, The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson, Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon

Note: I received an e-ARC courtesy of NetGalley for review purposes but I ended up loving the book so much that before I was halfway through it, I bought a copy


  1. I really loved Kai-he was such a decent guy in a difficult situation. I also loved secondary characters Iko and Peony. I'm excited for the next book too!

  2. Nice! Glad you liked this one. I love fairy tale re-tellings.

  3. I've heard so many good things about this one. I wasn't that interested at first but now I really want to give it a go.

  4. I love fairytale retellings too but thought this would be out of my comfort zone. Have to say I loved it, glad you did too :)

  5. Fabulous review! So glad you enjoyed this one....Iko was awesome! And the plot twist was definitely extremely obvious, but Cinder still rocked.


Reading Extensively is now an award free blog. Thanks for stopping by! Please leave a comment. I enjoy receiving feedback! Due to increase in spam, I've enabled comment moderation. Sorry for any inconvenience!