Booked til Tuesday

Life, Law & Libros

Cinder by Marissa Meyer (4 stars)

Mini-reviews are tweaked versions of reviews I wrote before starting the blog. It's a good way to show some love to older books (and keep me from panicking when I slack off and don't have anything new). The originals remain on Goodreads (unless it was, like, one sentence), and the new reviews get posted here in between reviews of books I'm currently reading. How to tell them apart? The mini-reviews get this cool intro paragraph. :)

Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #1
Genres: YA, Fantasy, Sci-fi, Fairy tale retelling
Published on January 3, 2012
Published by Feiwel & Friends
Final Rating: 4 stars

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've read a number of Cinderella retellings, but this is different from the usual. The setting is Asia with a dash of cyberpunk, and the main character is an enslaved mechanic (instead of an enslaved housekeeper).

Being fairy tale-based, you know romance will be a factor, but this romance doesn't try to steal the spotlight. It steps back at appropriate moments. Even better, the characters' interactions and thoughts read like a developing crush as opposed to insta-love. Besides, there are so many other important things going on: brink of war politics, crashing economy, a plague killing millions, family dynamics, second-class citizen status, inter-species relations, etc.

On that note, there is a LOT going on. The pacing is fast and I wished the author had spent more time immersing me in this cool city/era. My only other complaint might be the sudden dumping of special abilities. Everyone knows Cinder's real identity within the first two chapters. However, Cinder's cyborg parts and being Lunar already meet the special-ness quota. Giving her more abilities on top of that is kind of overkill for me.

Shortcomings aside, I am definitely interested in the world and enjoyed this novel enough to grab the next in the series. If you haven't tried it yet, I highly recommend you do so. Now. :)


  1. YAY I'm glad you liked this one! I also read this book before starting my blog. The fairy tale basis is superb, and I really like the romance. Unfortunately, I have not read neither Scarlet nor Cress, and I'm not sure that I will - the hype is insane now :/ Oh well! I'm so glad that you really enjoyed this book, and I hope you love the rest of the series! Fantastic review, Kel!!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    1. I read Cinder just before Scarlet came out and had to get the next one immediately. I definitely recommend continuing the series. Don't let the hype scare you off. If you liked Cinder and/or like romance (which I know you do), go pick up the next two. ;)

  2. I totally agree that it's good that the romance isn't over powering, too many YA novels are.

    I just finished Scarlet and LOVED it. I can't wait to read Cress!

    1. That's great! If you liked the first two, you'll almost certainly love Cress.