March 13, 2012

Review: Cinder, by Marissa Meyer

Author: Marissa Meyer
Title: Cinder
Series: Lunar Chronicles (#1)
ISBN: 9780312641894
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends (January 3rd 2012)

Buy your copy: Hardcover

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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.” GoodReads’ blurb

I took ages before I got around to reading Cinder. It was the combined force of Dani’s enthusiasm, from over at Refracted Light reviews, and the coolness of the book trailer that made me take the plunge and order it.

Why, oh why did I take so long?!?

There are many good qualities in Cinder. The action is not over the top, and still the plot moves forward fast enough to keep me glued to the pages. The characters are sympathetic and likeable, a combination that most kick-ass heroines nowadays seem to have trouble conjuring up. The romance, while present, was not overwhelming: it was sweet, and cute, and not crazy or pushy.

But, the one thing I’d like to highlight the most is the emotion. It has been a while since I’ve read a book that can make me feel so much for the characters. There’re books that move me, where I just get hit by the situation and the developments and it’s enough to mark me (see what happened recently with Froi of the Exiles, by Melina Marchetta) but this was different. There were scenes in Cinder where I almost saw red on behalf of the main character, where I truly wanted to scream at her stepmother or to step in with some kind of superpower and change things.

That’s what I would like to take away from this novel. It’s ability to evoke emotions that I’m not prone to feeling, because I’ve come to care so much for the characters that the injustice of it all grows to be more consume than any situation I’ve found myself in.

So, would I tell you to read it? Yes. Right about now would be a good time to order your own copy, really. Only drawback is the cliff-hanger ending... Which I loved, even if I spent a while staring at the back cover of the book and willing it to produce more pages. While the revelation of the big secret didn’t really surprise me, the rest of the situation did and I can’t wait to find out what’s coming next.


  1. I've seen a lot of positive reviews for Cinder, but I love hearing how you connected with the characters. That makes me want to read it!

    1. To be honest, I didn't expect to connect with them as much as I did. The book is not exactly short, but I flew right through it... it was that good! I think you should read it. The cyborg element, and the lunars and their special abilities, those aspects do sound like something you'd enjoy!

  2. You are so right about the kick-ass element taking away the likeability factor and then the inefficiency to evoke deep emotions. The last time I felt anything like this was when back when I read Take Me There; only not as much heightened.

    I do have Cinder on my TBR and I look forward to reading it now that you talk about connecting with the protagonist so well.

    Sana @ artsy musings of a bibliophile

    1. Sometimes I think that the more kick-ass they are, the less real they seem and the less I can connect. This was not the case here, I promise! I think that you'll love Cinder when you get to it ;)

      MMh... and now I must check out that Take me There thingy... I hadn't heard of it!

  3. You too, Ron? Everyone seems to be reading Cinder these days. I was so determined not to read it because, quite frankly, I dislike fairytale retellings, but after ALL the wonderful reviews, I have no choice. Yours just pushed me over the edge.
    I just love when a book challenges you and makes you feel things you normally wouldn't.
    Fabulous review, my friend!

    1. Hahaha! I was determined to avoid it, too. I had just read another retelling of Cinderella (indie, not a title I'd recomment) and, on top of that, I tend to avoid distopias like the plague. But, after hearing a lot of stuff about the great characters (and, okay, I won't lie - after seeing the book trailer and the actor they picked for Kai, the love interest, oh my...) I went ahead and... Oh, boy.

      It's a retelling, yes, but very original. The fairytale doesn't get in the way of the story at all - it's just some symbolism in the background, that helps the flow rather than detract from it. I think you'd like this one!

  4. ooh i havent read this book :( I really do, but i never have the time!! Im glad its a book full of emotion, because thats what i look for in books! Great review and thanks for sharing!!

    Farah @MajiBookshelf

    1. Drop the first non-scheduled-for-review book you have and grab this one! It was great, really - I bet you won't regret it!

      (uh... If you do, please promise not to come after me with pitchforks? lol)

      Thanks for the comment!