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.


The massive amount of hype for Marissa Meyer’s Cinder is certainly not unwarranted. It deserves every five-star review it gets because Marissa Meyer has truly created something spectacular here. This is an incredible start to what is sure to be an incredible series, and I’m excited to see where it goes from here.

They took away her beautiful clothes, dressed her in an old gray smock, and gave her wooden shoes.

In essence, Cinder is, at its core, a sci-fi Cinderella retelling, but it truly is much more than that. Cinder is set 200 years after World War 4 in New Beijing, China; where a deadly plague has taken over and a ruthless Lunar colony waits steadily to attack. No one knows it yet, but Earth’s fate relies on Cinder, a gifted mechanic and cyborg…

Marissa and IWhether you enjoy the main character of a book or not is crucial to whether you’ll enjoy the story overall. I found myself absolutely loving Cinder as a main character for her spunk and wit. She fights for what she wants, and you can’t help but empathize and admire her for that. Strong heroines are not necessarily rare, but I especially admire Cinder.

Side characters are what have the power to make a book entertaining or memorable, and the side characters in Cinder did just that. Each side character has a distinct personality with realistic motivations and reactions, and I admired that. From the hilarious Iko to the evil (but somehow not stereotyped) stepmother to the notorious Lunar Queen, each character shines in Cinder.

The romance here is overlooked either. The chemistry between Cinder and the love interest Prince Kai is absolutely fantastic. Not only is it a slow-burning romance that ignores any form of instalove or love triangles (which, in my eyes, is a plus in itself!), but the chemistry is genuine and realistic, and you can’t help but root for Cinder and Kai as a couple.

Like some reviewers have already mentioned, the main flaw in Cinder isScarlet its predictability. The “twists” Meyer has created are blindingly obvious. The reason for such is that, being a retelling, we are already familiar with the twists and turns of the Cinderella story Cinder is based upon, and once Cinderella’s twists are implemented into Cinder, they lose their shock factor. I would have preferred that instead of literally basing the Cinder upon the Cinderella story, if Meyer had chosen to create some of her own twists in addition to the original story.

Nonetheless, I am so excited to see where this series goes; as I felt there is so much more about the characters and Meyer’s world in general that is yet to be explored, and I can’t wait for it.




13 thoughts on “Cinder

  1. I liked all the elements that you listed in your review too, along with the problems I had with the book. I’m putting off reading Scarlet just so that I don’t have to wait so long for the next in the series. As always, amazing review! <3

  2. Excellent review, Zoe, and it certainly sounds like fun!

    Placing it carefully on my TBR mountain, and hoping it doesn’t cause an avalanche. 😉

    1. Yeah! So glad it sounds like something you’d enjoy Jamie! I’ll definitely be on the lookout for your review; and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! <3

    1. Yeah! So glad you loved Cinder as much as I did!
      Ahh…I know right? I need Scarlet NOW!
      Thanks for stopping by!

    1. Yeah! So glad it sounds like something you’d enjoy Libby! I’ll definitely be on the lookout for your review; and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! <3

  3. This is why I have both books and lead me to read some retelling from fair-tale without the cliches scene and rip-off stereotype.Excellent series!

    1. I know right! No love triangles, no insta-love, actually developed characters…it’s the beginning of a new era! I’m definitely sticking with the series – despite the minor flaws I had with Cinder. I’m so glad to hear that you enjoyed it as well! <3

  4. My complaints were similar to yours: weak world-building and a “twist” that I figured out really early in the story. I’ve avoided the rest of the series so far… even though I’ve heard that Scarlet is a stronger book.

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