Thursday, March 8, 2012

Mini-Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Marissa Meyer
Released: January 3rd, 2012
Pages: 387 (hardcover)
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
POV: 3rd person, alternating 
Source: Netgalley
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...see more at Goodreads.
Cinder is a cyborg, the best mechanic in New Beijing, and unafraid to get her hands dirty. She's an endearing character, especially when it comes to her genuine love for those who she cares about. The narration switches mostly between Cinder and Prince Kai, giving a well-rounded view the events taking place as the intimidating Queen Levana of the Lunars visits....and things get pretty complex once she shows up. As the story begins to delve into political conspiracies and the illness sweeping New Beijing, it only becomes more intriguing. Meyer has a way with words that keeps you turning the pages, eager for more. Building off of the bare bones of Cinderella's story, Meyer shapes Cinder into something unique and spectacular. 

Highlights: Despite being inspired by Cinderella, Meyer takes smart creative liberties that work very well. A few moments, especially with the Lunar queen, had me hooked as the suspense built. One the largest highlights involved the characters - Iko (an android), Peony, and Queen Levana. Even the fact that not all the characters were safe1 from harm was an interesting aspect that I respect. 

Lowlights: Some aspects of the plot were extremely predictable2, and not just the Cinderella aspects. The story also had a slow beginning. And the ending was a bit unsatisfying - too many loose ends, even if this is a series.   


1 (Slightly spoilerish -- highlight at your own risk): Iko!!! NO!!!! Why, Marissa Meyer, why??? 
2 Personal bias. I hate obvious twists.    

Curious about Cinder?
Listen to the first 7 minutes of the audiobook version of Cinder


Image + Summary from Goodreads


  1. I really enjoyed this one, however I will agree that there were a few things that I definitely saw coming. The story was really unique though and the ending left me dying for more. I can't wait for the next book. Great review :)

  2. Nice review! I completely agree with the spoiler-y disappointed me SO badly!

  3. Great review, I've yet to read this one, but I love sci-fi and this sounds right up my street...I don't mind retellings as long as they're mostly done skilfully and it sounds to be the case here :-)

  4. The spoiler-y bit crushed me too! (But maybe it can be...uhh, reanimated?

    And the ending? I just *knew* it was going to be just like Cinderella but then it left me hanging...

  5. It sounds as if you did enjoy this (mostly), despite the loss of mystery. I did too! I loved the sci-fi elements, and I acutally liked how it ended (but that's me). Will you pick up the next one?

  6. I agree some parts were definitely predictable, but overall I just loved this one. Like you, I loved that it was recognizable as a Cinderella story, but there was so much new stuff thrown in there that it didn't feel so familiar that I got bored. Loved the mini review Lea!

  7. I loved Cinder and I love Iko too. And I know Cinder will somehow get her back.

  8. I loved this book, glad you enjoyed it too. I agree about the predictable ending thing, but I don't usually mind that. I'm enjoying retellings more and more each day, actually, and I can't wait for the nxt book (2013!!)...

  9. Predictability is something I frequently have some trouble with too because I apparently have this uncanny ability to know what's going to happen. At the same time though, it seemed like you enjoyed Cinder and I've heard SO many good things about it that I'm going to have to give it a shot at some point!

  10. I KNOW!! MARISSA, WHY? Iko rocks!! Anyway, great review. Interesting world-building, good characters and, even though the big twist was predictable, I liked it. Can't wait for the next installment!

  11. I've heard a lot about this book and i'm glad to see you enjoyed it! I'll have to check it out :)

  12. I actually really really loved this book - it was so much fun! Great little review :)

  13. I really liked this one (though yes, I saw the twist coming pretty early). Can't wait for the sequel!

  14. I just started this book. So far it is okay; I'm sure it get better. Great review. I like the idea of having cinder be friends with of her stepsisters and the mysterious plague that reminds me of the desolate black death.

  15. I have a copy of this book, begging for me to read! I've heard fabulous things about this book, and I can't wait to start it. I love your review, Lea :) I don't like predictable twists either, even if it is a retelling. However, I love fabulous characters! :) Wonderful review, Lea!

  16. I'm convinced she (spoiler 1) will be back.

  17. seriously love this book, totally sad about IKO too! Hopefully Cinder can work her magic.