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Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

 Title: Cinder
Series: The Lunar Chronicles
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Puffin
Publication Date: 5 Jan 2012
Source: Reviewed for We Love This Book
 Challenge: DAB

Synopsis from Goodreads

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.


Although I adore the retelling of fairy-tales I entered reading of this book with some trepidation, thinking it would be more science fiction than fairytale. This book defies classification, although the words steampunk fairy-tale do keep popping into my head, I have to say it is completely genius. The steampunk-esque detailing on the pages added to the overall steampunk feeling. I am hooked and cannot wait for the rest of the stories to be released.

The 3rd person narrative used within the book is a necessary tool in order to keep the many threads of the story under tight control. Not only do you have Cinders story you have her history, the history of Earth and the Moon and the underlying parallels to the original fairy-tale alongside Prince Kai’s story. I was constantly making comparisons of the characters with the original tale to work out who was who. I am still not certain but I think I can see shades of other tales being woven in with the characterisations. Some comparisons came as a surprise and the way in which the characters developed was not predictable in the slightest.

The world building was amazingly easy to imagine, a futuristic robotic dystopian steampunk fairy-tale. So easy to picture with the wonderfully descriptive writing. The images of the disease and how it was handled brought to mind the SARS outbreak a few years ago and the television coverage at that time; even the updated version of Ringa Ringa Roses aided the overall atmosphere. The Asian based imagery and names worked perfectly for this story.

The plot is so detailed and in depth it really does take you away with it and cannot be summed up without giving away too much. Characterisations and interactions were constantly taking me by surprise. Cinder is a fabulous character and details surrounding her unravel as the story develops. I adored the ‘sidekick’ little android (whose name I cannot remember) the girlie way in which the robot put on lipstick and jewelry and squeed over dresses and boys added such a delightful touch of humour to the story.

Although the world is now run by councils from the different continents working together the atmosphere of tension between them and Lunar is quite palpable through the narrative. Prejudice still exists and manifests towards cyborgs more than anyone else apart from Lunar’s. I honestly couldn't fathom why there was a problem with cyborgs. I would love to be wired into the net, be able to tell when someone is lying by have a little orange light blink in the corner of my vision, throw in a little bit of super-powers and away to go. So why the problem with cyborgs. This is one of the questions I would like an answer to in the future.

The whole fairy-tale romance ideal kept playing through my mind, and I have to say I was super imposing the Disney version onto Cinder and Kai. I adored their interactions. I really really really want to tell you more and am now sitting on my hands to stop myself.

I am just blown away that this is a debut. Believe me it is absolutely fantastic. I cannot wait for more. Someone please tell me I don't have to wait long.

Watch the Trailer HERE
Read a short story prequel HERE


  1. I've read a few glowing reviews of this book, everyone seems to love it.

    I definitely think this is one that I will add to my list eventually, I've just got so much waiting to be read and not near enough time.

    Great review!

  2. Oh wow, this sounds so good! Definitely going onto my wishlist :)

  3. I absolutely adored this - I can't wait for the sequel!

  4. I can't wait to get my hands on this book!
    Nice review!!

  5. I cant wait to get round to my copy of this book, Ive been meaning to for ages but you know, too many books too little time!! :(

  6. How did I not even know about this book?! Considering I'm doing my dissertation on fairy tales, I'm ashamed of myself


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