Book Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer (The Luna Chronicles #1)

CinderTitle: Cinder
Author: Marissa Meyer
Genre: Young Adult / Fantasy
Publisher: Puffin
Pages: 387
Started: 12th March 2017
Completed: 12th March 2017
Rating: 4/5
Summary: A forbidden romance.
A deadly plague.
Earth’s fate hinges on one girl . . .

Cinder, a gifted mechanic in New Beijing, is also a cyborg. She’s reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s sudden illness. But when her life becomes entwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she finds herself at the centre of a violent struggle between the desires of an evil queen – and a dangerous temptation. Cinder is caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal. Now she must uncover secrets about her mysterious past in order to protect Earth’s future.

This is not the fairytale you remember. But it’s one you won’t forget.

stars aboveCinder is the first book in Marissa Meyer’s The Lunar Chronicles and it was also her debut novel.

There are five novels in the series in total and there are also several short stories. The novels after Cinder are Scarlet, Cress, Fairest, and Winter. The short story collection is titled Stars Above. Every book in the main series is based upon a different fairy tale.

I did enjoy this book but not as much as I expected to after reading the summary and reading other reviews. I was torn between giving this a 3.5* rating and a 4* rating but ultimately I gave it the higher rating after comparing it to other books that I read at around the same time.

I think that this is a good opening book for a series because it sets up the world rather well. I was intrigued by the concept of cyborgs and androids and I was interested to see how this book impact the original tale of Cinderella. Cinder is a really nice twist on the original fairy tale as it keeps all of the recognisable characters, the evil stepmother and an awful/ugly sister, but it really played on your expectations.

The plot revolves around a futuristic country, the Eastern Commonwealth, where Cinder lives and works. Cyborgs and androids are commonplace in the Commonwealth but they’re considered to be lesser than humans because they’re mechanical. The Commonwealth suffers from a disease known as the plague and the Emperor of the Commonwealth suffers alongside his people. After the Emperor dies his son is forced to deal with not only the plague but the threat of war from the moon colony, Luna. There is a twist at the end of the book which I found thoroughly predictable but I won’t spoil it for anyone who hasn’t read Cinder yet. This twist in the plot is the source of my disappointment because I hadn’t read any spoilers before reading the book but I still found the plot twist to be predictable and boring.

The characters were all well-written. Linh Cinder, a mechanic and a cyborg, is just as hardworking as the original Cinderella but she’s also very different from her the character that inspired her. She’s funny, sneaky, loyal, and intelligent. She does admire the Prince Kaito but she isn’t waiting for her ‘Price Charming’ to come along and sweep her off her feet. Prince Kaito is also a very well-written character who is forced to choose between marrying an evil Queen and leaving his people to suffer from a plague. My favourite character is probably Iko, an android with a malfunctioning personality chip that leads her to think that she’s human occasionally. I loved her friendship with Cinder and her personality because she’s so human-like. I also really enjoyed the character of Queen Levana because she has no redeeming qualities at all and I love an unrepentant female villain.

The writing is very good because of how accessible for it is for younger readers. Usually this means that the writing is slightly boring for older readers but Meyer manages to still
appeal to older audiences without complicating her writing style too much. It was an
scarleteasy, fast-paced, enjoyable read and I completed it within a couple of hours.

I would recommend this book because of the concept of the book. The writing is enjoyable and the plot is good. I’m very much looking forward to reading the next book in the series which is Scarlet.


7 thoughts on “Book Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer (The Luna Chronicles #1)

  1. I read Cinder a few months ago– like you I also had really high expectations after reading so many positive reviews, and didn’t enjoy it as much as I’d hoped to. Still, I think I am going to try the next book in the series at some point.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s such a shame when that happens but I think trying the second book is a good idea. Maybe we’ll both enjoy it since our expectations are lowered now 🙂


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