Cinder Book Review

Book Title: Cinder

Author: Marissa Meyer

Series: The Lunar Chronicles #1

Publication date: 03/01/2012

Publishers: Macmillan Publishers


Hello everyone! On Monday I finished reading Cinder by Marissa Meyer. If I’m going to be honest about it, it did take me quite a while to get through it as it wasn’t one of those books I wanted to pick up all the time. I just kind of finished it because I started it and I don’t like not finishing things. Not that I completely hated it. I just didn’t think it was as good as expected, especially after all the hype.

But, I will go into more detail throughout this discussion.

The Setting

New Bejing. We’re in the future. The very, very far away future. It was quite refreshing to read a sci-fi fantasy book instead of the all-to-common dystopian adventure (although I can’t deny I love those). The setting is inventive and interesting. It was intriguing to find out that people, called Lunars, live on the moon. And I did think Meyer’s world building was great – with the hover crafts, net screens and ID chips etc.

New Bejing

When I think about it now I could picture the city and the market square fairly vividly in my mind. The descriptions are good, I just don’t know if I enjoy descriptions of grotty futuristic, plague-ridden cities all that much.

Oh, and we’ve hit on Letumosis, the strange disease that sweeps the land and kills hundreds of innocent citizens. I am kind of in two minds about this element of the plot. Part of me thinks it’s kind of unoriginal and boring, but then the another part of me thinks Meyer has invented an entirely fictional disease which does sound pretty damn terrifying. Again, I just don’t know how much I enjoyed reading about it.

The Characters

For starters, I really liked Prince Kai. He was so determined to do the right thing for his kingdom and I found that admirable, especially as he steps up so soon after his father’s dead. He is young and he loses his father, the Emperor, left to deal with a contagious plague and an evil moon queen who wants to take over the world. Not to mention his frequent rejection from Cinder kind of breaks my heart. I was pretty gutted they didn’t have some huge romantic reunion at the end of the book.

You’re even more painful to look at than she is” – Prince Kai

Cinder is a very interesting character. Where is says this book is loosely based on Cinderella, it means just that. There are many more differences than similarities, which I thought was really cool in terms of originality. This Cinder swaps the ashes of the hearth for the greasy smears of a mechanics workshop. She is skilled. She is courageous. And she has a plan to escape from her cruel stepmother, Linh Adri.


She is also ashamed of who she is and this part of the character was handled so well that I did feel quite sorry for her – which I’m assuming is the aim. We do start to route for Cinder as readers, especially because Queen Levana is just a massive liar who manipulated everyone into following her rule. Also, she has to power to make anyone think she is stunningly beautiful. I mean, why would you not hate that?

The Plot

The storyline was very well thought out and it had a lot of unexpected twists and turns along the way. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I didn’t not like the book, I just think I prefer dystopian sci-fi to fairy-tale sci-fi. This seemed a little bit less believable than stories such as The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey. I can sort of picture it being made into an animation.

The 5th Wave

I enjoyed the chapter where Kai was in a conference with other world leaders and his adviser, Torin (a character I also really liked). The debate about how to approach an alliance with the Lunar Queen was incredibly gripping and made a lot of sense in context with everything that was going on. Cinder’s role in the plot also slotted in very well and it all worked together like clockwork. I thought the parallels between the original tale of Cinderella and Cinder where very clever. Like the way Cinder loses her mechanical foot whilst running from the palace, instead of her shoe!

A fast paced story with strong characters – just not necessarily for me. I am not over inclined to pick up the second book in the series right now, although I hope I will one day! Like I said, I did not hate this book. The second book is titled Scarlet and is loosely based on the story of Little Red Riding Hood.

Have you read Cinder? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Lots of Love,

Laura x


3 thoughts on “Cinder Book Review

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