Cinder – Book Review



Author: Marissa Meyer

Date Published: January 3, 2012 (Feiwel & Friends)

Genre: YA, Fiction, Fantasy, Dystopia, Fairy Tale Retelling

ISBN: 0312641893 (ISBN13: 9780312641894)

Pages: 390 (Hardcover)

Other Books in the Series: Scarlet | Cress | Winter

Links: Good Reads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Book Depository

Synopsis: 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 know I waited forever before reading The Lunar Chronicles and honestly, I don’t remember why. Cinder was entertaining in a lot of ways. Despite its Cinderella roots, I thought it stood on its own two feet with no trouble.

Meyer’s style is engaging and easy to follow. I liked the little touches of culture like the style of the Emperor’s palace and the use of chopsticks during meals. I wish there was more world building involved though. I have a vague idea of what New Beijing is supposed to look like, but it’s not that clear how different or similar it is from today. Was it just the name and the vague mention of pagodas that were inspired by Chinese culture?

The book’s plot was interesting but also very easy to predict. I love Cinder to bits, but I was also wary of how conveniently special she was. She held the answers to all of their problems in her hands. She’s just oh-so-different and oh-so-special all the time, it was ridiculous.

Despite that, I liked Cinder. I thought she was feisty and I like how techy she was. I also like her impulsiveness. Iko is also a refreshing character, quite hilarious. Meanwhile, the prince is someone I felt could really use a bit of a makeover. He is bland and whiny. Was he never trained for this? I found myself muttering under my breath when he displays his tantrums and attempts to be charming. So far, I don’t see him as a good fit for Cinder.

Likewise, I wanted to understand the Queen’s intentions and attitude. Just being painted as the bad guy isn’t enough. Everyone also keeps hinting about her “ridiculous demands” on their treaty but I was never sure what these demands are. Actually, I have no idea what both sides want from each other. Is it trade? Is it peace? *shrugs*

So to conclude this really short review, Cinder ended with a lot of questions demanding to be answered. It also introduced a character which I believe we will learn more about in the coming books. It’s a very enjoyable read and I’m looking forward to reading Scarlet soon!

Rating: 3/5



Guest review contributed by Fiddler Blue. This blogger focuses on brief, easy to read book reviews. Reading has been a life-long romance, and it’s reflected in these pages.

13 thoughts on “Cinder – Book Review

  1. I’m glad that I read this book, but am not in a huge hurry to read the series. I have all the books and will probably use them as fillers. Cinder also left me with a ton of questions and I felt like you did- I wanted more world building and character building.


  2. I gifted this novel to a friend last year and wanted to read it for myself. Even though you say you’re looking forward to reading the next book, I was actually disappointed when you said the book lacked world and character building. I could always do without real plot, but those two things are my top things when reading novels. Without them it’s difficult to immerse myself in a novel. Thanks for the review! It has really put my urge at bay. Lol


  3. I really loved your review! Will you be doing the Rest of the series too? (Fairest and Stars Above included). Also, as a suggestion, I thought you should read Maximum Ride. I think you might love it, and I’d like to see your review on it.


  4. I had started Cinder a while back because someone recommended it to me. I got through the first chapter thinking this had a lot of promise, and then… I just gave up on it. I think I agree with your assessment that there was a lack of world building.
    BTW, I enjoy reading your reviews!


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