Cinder by Marissa Meyer | Book Review


book #1 in the Lunar Chronicles

Rating: 4 out of 5.

A wonderfully unique Cinderella reimagining.

Genre: Sci-Fi, Steampunk, Young Adult
Author: Marissa Meyer
Published: January 2013
Publisher: Square Fish
Pages: 387 (paperback)

I’m so excited that afters years of this languishing on my bookshelf, I’ve finally read it. This has to be one of the most popular YA fantasy/sci-fi books out there at the moment and I can’t believe it’s taken me this long!

My favourite thing about this was that it’s a cyberpunk retelling of the classic fairytale which is so much fun. The main character, Cinder, is part-cyborg (or just cyborg? Can one be part-cyborg?) and this is all about a plague outbreak in the ‘Commonwealth’ where they’re using cyborgs as test subjects for the antidote. Honestly, this hit differently reading it in 2022 than it would’ve done when it was first released, I’m sure. I had no idea this book was centred around a plague and it felt very surreal.

This had all the familiar elements of the original tale from Cinderella, with the stepsisters (though there is a bit of twist with that one), helpers, a Prince and a stepmother. So the themes are very recognisable without the story just being a rehashed version that was same-same. I liked all the little twists and turns that kept you on your toes without over-complicating anything.

I really enjoyed the story and particularly Prince Kai’s character – oh and the drama with the Queen of the Lunars, so fun – but I am definitely expecting things to be expanded and fleshed out for the next books. By itself, the novelty of this idea was exciting, but there are definitely parts I would’ve loved to have explored more or known more about. This was a really promising start to the series and I’m so looking forward to continuing it.

You may also like . . .

Title: Cinder
Series title: The Lunar Chronicles
Author: Marissa Meyer
Purchase: Angus & Robertson
Add it on Goodreads

Even in the future, the story begins with
Once Upon a Time. . . .

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. . . .

Sixteen-year-old Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past and is reviled by her stepmother. 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. Because there is something unusual about Cinder, something that others would kill for.

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